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Clean energy is critical for achieving sustainable development and is at the forefront of the global agenda. Technology plays a key role in promoting sustainability in many areas, including energy and sustainable industrial development. But developing countries, especially the least developed countries, face a range of challenges in obtaining, adapting and effectively using technologies for sustainable development, not to mention in building productive capacity.

Despite a fairly adequate endowment of energy resources, Africa suffers from severe energy poverty due to inadequate generation capacity, limited electrification, low power consumption, unreliable services and high energy costs. The impact of the chronic energy challenges in the continent falls disproportionately on the productive sector which is dominated by smalle and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Low carbon low emission clean energy technologies can help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote access to energy and enhance productive energy use. Moreover, the implementation of these technologies would benefit small businesses, and create more jobs and new entrepreneurial opportunities, especially in rural areas where electricity infrastructure is not sufficiently developed.

To this end, in 2013, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) initiated a global collaborative programme, titled "Low Carbon Low Emission Clean Energy Technology Transfer" (LCET), aiming to provide potential solutions to simultaneously address three key global challenges, namely energy poverty, job creation and climate change.

Technology transfer approach


The LCET programme is implemented in three phases to promote the transfer of low carbon technologies:

• Develop a selection criteria to initially identify and screen technologies that could be replicated and repeatedly demonstrated.

• Conduct a feasibility study of identified LCETs vis-á-vis the current techno-socioeconomic needs; and

• Implement pilot projects, including capacity building, for local counterparts.