Energy Transition Academy
The Energy Transition Academy (ETA) aims to empower energy professionals to be leaders of clean energy economies in the Global South and have a meaningful role in international climate action. The ETA provides a global platform for energy practitioners to access curated information, tools, peer-to-peer problem-solving, and coaching networks.
Why It Matters
Countries in the Global South bear the brunt of the climate emergency. Despite their low contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and island regions are already experiencing health, economic, environmental, and safety impacts of climate change. Yet energy practitioners in these regions are often marginalized from the international climate community. They often lack access to timely and relevant information and to the peer networking needed to address the unique challenges of upgrading energy systems in developing economies. Without these resources, they frequently confront complex energy challenges in isolation and lack individual and institutional capacity to act decisively.
What It Is
The ETA is designed to respond to the challenges in the clean energy transition expressed by energy leaders in the Global South. It provides the tools and support to enable these energy leaders to lead the way toward a truly just, resilient energy future with the urgency needed to meet global 1.5°C targets by 2030.
“I like that the Energy Transition Academy starts locally, by speaking to local stakeholders to understand our needs.”
- Senior Nigerian public servant working on energy issues.
How the Academy Works
The ETA—developed with input from Global South energy leaders—provides capacity development and peer networking opportunities that respond directly to local priorities. Program offerings are designed based on the insight, experiences, and needs of energy practitioners in the Global South. The ETA provides support for senior and mid-level energy professionals in utilities, renewable and distributed energy companies, and regulatory bodies. It also engages politicians, policymakers, investors, and influencers who can enable the transition to clean energy. The ETA provides energy leaders with the skills and tools to permit, build, and regulate renewable energy systems, with an ancillary focus on related sectors such as transportation and buildings.
Where We Work
The ETA is focused on developing countries and emerging markets where RMI has on-the-ground operations including sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and island nations.
ETA Fellows 2022
This year, selected fellows will undergo 3 months of clean energy training (online) and 9 months of energy transition residency, working alongside the RMI Islands team on solar and battery storage microgrid projects in the British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and The Bahamas. Learn more below under "Experience Exchange."
US Virgin Islands
Marquis A. McGregor
Interim System Planning Manager, Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority
What We Are Doing
Global Fellowship Program
The ETA offers fellowships supporting energy leaders in the Global South with technical training, critical decision-making, and connection to expert support to advance their renewable energy projects. The fellowship includes hands-on training, peer collaboration, and communities of practice to facilitate deeper practical experiences with projects and processes needed to support the clean energy transition.
Our initial cohort — the Inaugural Caribbean Fellowship — includes five senior- to mid-level energy practitioners based in the Caribbean. The program consists of online events, direct project experience and support, and networking opportunities. Fellows can take a deep dive into focus areas such as microgrid development and operation (focusing on solar and battery systems), regulatory frameworks for distributed renewable energy development, and procurement and contract negotiation considerations. The program was co-designed with input from participants to ensure content is relevant and timely for their individual and organizational needs. The Fellows receive coaching and support from RMI to enhance their capacity to develop regional clean energy projects.
We are excited to be launching the next cohorts in RMI’s Fellowship Program! Kicking off on September 14, 2022, we will expand to include energy professionals from other regions of the Caribbean and Nigeria. Over time, we will invite eligible candidates from different parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia. Up to 35 fellows will be selected for the program, and managers, engineers, and other technical professionals are encouraged to apply. As the program grows, the fellows' network and community of practice will also expand to include energy leaders across regions. Both the Inaugural and Global cohorts of fellows will form an integral part of building this community of practice and will share their experience with future participants.
To learn more about the fellowship program and how to get involved, contact: ETA@rmi.org
Leadership Accelerator cohort training and facilitation develops solutions to shared and individual clean energy challenges— building confidence in bold, new action. Leadership Accelerators are regionally focused and designed to advance local clean energy projects.
In early 2022, the ETA will launch Leadership Accelerators in the Global South, focusing on peer-to-peer problem solving, learning, and support.
Global Learning Platform
Coming soon! The Global Learning Platform is under development. Information will be generated by subregional communities of practice and curated by a centralized team of knowledge management experts into practical trainings. The platform will interconnect practitioners and communities of practice providing relevant content, training, insights, storytelling, and amplified experience-sharing.
Africa Minigrids Program
The Energy Transition Academy is excited to be a partner in the launch of the Africa Minigrids Program, coming in Q2 2022. The Africa Minigrids Program is a new initiative designed to increase access to electricity by improving financial viability and promoting scaled up commercial investments in renewable energy minigrids. The Africa Minigrids Program is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded program that will focus on reducing hardware costs, soft costs, and financing costs, as well as innovative business models for minigrids.
The Africa Minigrids Program has an initial 18 national minigrid projects in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome e Principe, Somalia, Sudan, and Zambia. These minigrid projects each have a common architecture consisting of four components:
- Policy and regulations
- Business model innovation and private-sector involvement aimed at encouraging economic activity
- Innovative finance for minigrids scale-up
- Digitalization, knowledge management, and monitoring and evaluation.
The Africa Minigrids Program is also comprised of a regional project, which will support the program’s national projects and the Africa minigrids market more generally. The regional project is a partnership between RMI and the United Nations Development Programme and has five core sets of activities:
- Knowledge tools for both public and private actors
- Tailored technical assistance to countries
- Specialized regional communities of practice
- Support for digitalization in the minigrids market
- Monitoring and evaluation
The Energy Transition Academy will support the Africa Minigrids Program through providing peer support by creating communities of practice, tools, and resources to support energy professionals.
African School of Regulation
The Africa School of Regulation’s (ASR) objective is to build skills, knowledge, and sustainable jobs in the clean energy field by enhancing expertise and training in the field of energy regulation. The ASR aims to build local capacity using a multi-stakeholder approach to develop, teach, and disseminate sound energy regulation and policy in Africa. The African School of Regulation will offer training courses, best-in-class tools and templates, policy dialogue, and applied research, with the purpose of developing economically and socially sound energy regulation and policy in Africa. This program is a joint initiative with RMI’s Energy Transition Academy, the Florence School of Regulation, University of Cape Town, Enel Foundation, and SE4All. The curriculum is currently under development with program implementation expected in 2022.
Energy Transition Academy partners include RMI’s Africa Energy Program, Islands Energy Program, and SE Asia Program, as well as the Climate Finance Advisory Network. Africa Minigrids partners include the United Nations Development Programme. The Africa School of Regulation partners include the Florence School of Regulation, Enel Foundation, SE4All, and University of Cape Town.
Ways to be Involved
To learn more or collaborate with RMI’s Energy Transition Academy team, email us at ETA@rmi.org
Bold stories of local leaders driving the global clean energy transition
Summary of Concept