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ESRAG's Renewable Energy Task Force

Announcing ESRAG's Renewable Energy Task Force

ESRAG is pleased to announce the creation of the Renewable Energy Task Force (RETF) to foster clean energy in Rotary Projects and support the anticipated new Rotary Area of Focus ‘Ensuring Environmental Sustainability’.

Background – Rotary Ideas in Action
The idea for the RETF was started in a conversation DGND Nathan Thomas, of the Raleigh Midtown Rotary Club, and Governor Elect for Rotary International District 7710, Raleigh, NC had with Aur Beck, who is past president of the Rotary Club of Carbondale Breakfast, past District Youth Director, both in IL District 6510. He is currently on the District 6510 Disaster Response team.  He is also a past member of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise in District 7020.  Other RETF members include Robert Youngberg, Rotary eClub One, District 5450.

The RETF was charged to explore various renewable energy options, opportunities, and needs to implement renewable energy within the anticipated new Rotary Area of Focus ‘Ensuring Environmental Sustainability’.

Potential Projects
Access to renewable energy can provide a significant improvement in over-all health, provide jobs, and economic status but can also address existing systems that may be harmful and expensive.  Examples include kerosene lamps, wood and coal fired cooking, and diesel generators.

Possible Renewable Energy projects may include:
•    Solar Photovoltaics (PV) for:
•    Lighting
•    Household needs
•    Well Water Pumping
•    Water distribution
•    Water treatment
•    Cell phone charging
•    Heating/Cooling/Cooking
•    Battery charging
•    Commercial and industrial equipment
•    Mini-Grids
•    Solar Water Heating
•    Solar Cooking
•    Bio-gas capture for cooking
•    Micro-hydro systems
And many other possibilities. 

After much discussion the Renewable Energy Task Force determined the following three initial objectives:

1.    Technical Expertise - Serve as a resource referral center for Clubs, Districts, and Global Grant applicants to provide information, guidance, and referrals to renewable energy knowledgeable resources within Rotary and non-Rotary potential partners.  Specific expertise may include assistance in performing needs assessments, design, implementation, long term maintenance, and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).  
An essential part of the process is to provide training in all areas to create jobs, and to ensure long term sustainability of all projects.

2.    Global Grant Guidance - Assist RI to define Renewable Energy projects, particularly Solar PV and Wind Energy Project criteria for Global Grants and Guidance to Districts and Clubs in their project grants. 

3.    Advocacy – Serve as Renewable Energy Ambassadors to spread the word and provide presentations to local Clubs, Districts, and Globally at various Rotary functions.

These three areas are the first concepts for the Renewable Energy Task Force to encourage Rotary clean energy projects.  These areas will be refined and added to as Rotary develops more experience in renewable energy projects.

The Need:
Access to renewable energy, particularly electricity is the biggest driver in improving all aspects of quality of life in developing countries. Globally, almost a billion people do not have adequate access to electricity, if any electricity at all.

Given Rotary International’s global reach, credibility, and experience in developing countries, Rotary can play a significant role in addressing climate change through clean electricity provided by solar photovoltaics (PV), wind, and other renewable energy resources.

Encouraging renewable energy is an essential tool to enable all of Rotary's Areas of Focus to be more closely aligned with the 17 UN's Sustainable Development Goals.  The anticipated AOF for the environment will enable the following UN SDGs to be encouraged and implemented in Rotary projects: 
•    Affordable and Clean Energy; 
•    Sustainable Cities and Communities; 
•    Responsible Consumption and Production; 
•    Climate Action; 
•    Life Below the Water; 
•    Life on Land.

The Ask:
ESRAG invites global Rotary members with interest, experience, and expertise in renewable energy to contact the Renewable Energy Task Force Chair, DGND Nathan Thomas to join the Taskforce.

Project Category: 
Transportation - clean
Sustainable economies
Solar energy
Wind power
Air pollution
Disease control and prevention
Forests - preventing deforestation
Energy - renewable
Environmenatal Education
Agriculture - sustainable