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A technology cross-cutting platform to accelerate the deployment of renewables

The International Institute for Sustainable Development, Collings & Monney, and Green Budget Germany have been awarded the contract for the project RE Communicate, commissioned by the Renewable Energy Technology Deployment platform of the International Energy Agency (IEA-RETD). IEA-RETD is a technology cross-cutting and policy focussed platform to accelerate the deployment of renewables. The RE Communicate project is aimed at creating a body of knowledge to guide governments on how to use communications effectively to improve the general public’s perception towards renewable energy.

A specialist consortium has been assembled to provide the requisite experience to deliver on these objectives. It consists of International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the international think tank Green Budget Germany, and global renewable energy communications agency Collings & Monney, based in London. The consortium has in-depth experience with developing and analysing communications strategies, renewable energy policy and facilitating dialogues and peer-learning among policy-makers in an international environment.
“The increased deployment of renewable energy technologies has created debate around the impacts, costs and effectiveness of renewable energy. While debate around energy policies is to be welcomed, much of the public discourse is marred by misunderstanding and misinformation. We are pleased to be part of a project aimed at solving these issues”, commented Jonathan Collings. The project will be focused on four specific objectives. The first one is to document examples of successful communications activities conducted by RETD member countries. Secondly, to summarize experiences from other sectors comparable to renewable energy. The third objective is to provide  opportunities for policy-makers to share experience with one another, as well as to draw on the expertise of communications professionals and the broader renewable energy community. Finally, the consortium will identify conclusions and recommendations on how IEA RETD member countries can best reach target audiences with different communications mediums, and how this can be supported by the IEA RETD.

Collings & Monney will provide support to the project through high-level guidance on how communications are approached from a professional marketing perspective, and its solid understanding of the specific communications challenges and opportunities in the renewable energy sector. It is a specialist agency in renewable energy communications with clients across the world, and has a wealth of experience in the management of communications activities within renewable energy companies, media and trade associations. The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will be responsible for carrying out the bulk of the organisational and research tasks required in the project, as well as taking responsibility over administrative activities. IISD is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute, with its Geneva office having recently led a number of projects focused on renewable energy policy, including cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); and its Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) possessing a breadth of international experience with communications activities surrounding subsidy   reform. IISD is also an experienced facilitator of policy dialogues. Green Budget Germany will be responsible for directing and coordinating the consortium’s research activities. The think-tank is dedicated to researching and promoting all elements of market-oriented eco-fiscal policy, with a prime concern since its inception having been how to improve communication and public awareness in this area of public policy. In addition to the promotion of renewable energies, its work has focused on environmental taxation, emission trading, removal of environmentally harmful subsidies and green growth.