Organised by the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, this transdisciplinary research summit brings together the academic community, international top speakers, societal changemakers, and the public to create knowledge, actions, and solutions for a sustainable future. Sustainable Science Days aims to respond to the high demands and growing megatrends of sustainability science, fostering a common understanding and knowledge about the sustainability crisis. LEAP-RE will be holding a session about “The Sustainability of Renewable Energy Solutions in Africa Based on Bi-Continental AU-EU Research and Innovation Cooperation” on May 25 between 3:15 and 4:45pm.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN for the 2015-2030 period intends to shift the world onto a sustainable path. The Goal 7 of the agenda is dedicated to energy, with the objective of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. However, a recent study (Alova, 2021) estimates that in Africa only a 10% share of energy will come from renewable sources by 2030 unless immediate action is taken. A paradigm shift is required to trigger the energy-development nexus.
One way to support this shift is to promote a pathway for empowering local research and innovation through bi-continental cooperation. The Long-Term Joint European Union – African Union Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE) programme (2020-2025) seeks to create a partnership of African and European stakeholders in a quadruple helix: government, research and academia, private sector, and civil society. LEAP-RE establishes and implements research, innovation, and capacity-building activities on themes such as innovation priorities, smart-grid and off-grid systems, productive and domestic uses, access to energy, recycling, etc. Furthermore, the establishment of a long-term AU-EU coordination platform for research and innovation and capacity building on renewable energies is envisaged.
More details about the LEAP-RE session
In this session, the proceedings from the 21 research projects in the LEAP-RE consortium will be presented, with a reflection of their resonance with the conference subtheme on technical, business or social solutions and innovations for promoting sustainability transformations. The session begins with a keynote presentation describing the overall programme, followed by selected summaries of the research project proceedings.
The session will end on a brief discussion and Q&A on the potential role of an impact-oriented method for the AU-EU member states towards a long-term partnership in renewable energy. This will attempt to identify long-term impact-oriented management methods in a multi-lateral cooperation and address the effectiveness of these methods in building sustainable networks to leverage sustainability transformations. The discussion is rooted in the conference theme of understanding systems with the help of scientific knowledge and specifically on the notion of what impact pathways do we have for better futures.