Vienna, Austria [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] In keeping with increased funding promises made last fall from the UK, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) will now fund more than 30 new projects, including several in new countries. REEEP is attracting co-financing from agencies as diverse as USAID, Cordaid Netherlands, the budgets of local municipalities in South Africa and from other donors such as the government of Ireland and the UK Foreign Ministry.“REEEP has also expanded its priority countries from six to twenty countries and we are engaging some countries for the first time, such as Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Liberia and Tunisia,” said Morgan Bazilian, REEEP Program Board Chair. Ten of 32 projects are focused on identifying business models are in Africa — whether that be for solar water heating, small hydro in the tea industry or in developing biofuels — as the continent has been targeted as a key REEEP region in 2006. “Financial barriers to renewable energy and energy efficiency in Africa are significant,” stated Glynn Morris, REEEP Southern Africa Regional Secretariat Director. “By working with financial institutions, the carbon market and local government, we’re hoping to build the business case from the bottom-up.” A number of energy efficiency projects this year target buildings in China, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. “About one third of energy consumption worldwide is in buildings,” stated Marianne Osterkorn, REEEP International Director. “If one assumes that worldwide there is a technical saving potential in energy consumption in buildings in the range of 50% of energy used in buildings, then today almost 17% of total global final energy consumption can be avoided due to energy savings measures in buildings.” REEEP’s policy and regulatory work will continue as well, with further assistance provided to the Chinese government for the implementation of its Renewable Energy Law, but also to a pan-Latin American project designed to assess the required policy instruments to accelerate the markets for wind, solar and biomass. Corrado Clini, the Director General of the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory, stated that “Africa needs to develop and disseminate opportunities for innovative approaches to financing that may be generated through the carbon market — Kyoto mechanisms — and through the implementation of a tradable renewable energy certificates system involving all Mediterranean countries.” This funding round also has an interesting Tradable Renewable Electricity Certificates (TRECs) project in Tunisia thanks to donor funding from Italy. “The projects we’re backing promise to deliver replicable models for renewable and energy efficient development. Our partnership of governments, NGOs and businesses is helping to establish a stable global marketplace for clean energy,” explained Ms. Osterkorn.