The Humanitarian Energy Conference (HEC) is an annual global event, overseen by Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group and the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA). Hosted by the Clean Cooking Alliance and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), it has support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Shell International, and the IKEA Foundation. The aim of the conference is to bring together humanitarian agencies, NGOs, development organizations, private companies, governments, funding entities, and researchers on a global level to work together to improve energy access for displaced and crisis-affected people.
This year, as part of a side event at the HEC conference, HEED delivered a workshop for over 40 energy practitioners, policymakers and energy suppliers. Lead by HEED project partners, Practical Action and Scene, the workshop presented the aims of the project and introduced the Renewable Energy Recommendation Tool (HEED -RERT). In keeping with HEED’s vision of encouraging collaboration between researchers, stakeholders and service users, the workshop allowed for critical discussion on RERT and ways the tool could benefit practitioners when planning energy needs in the displaced context.
Melania Tarquino, project manager for HEED (Practical Action), felt attending the conference, not only increased exposure for HEED’s work but would also inform the project in going forward:
‘The conference itself was very interesting, I especially enjoyed the networking and experiences exchange with other project managers that work in similar contexts. I couldn’t find any other implemented project working on communal access to energy as ours, or at least not off-grid. Hence, many people were interested in knowing about our experience, for example, to keep the security of the systems and to create awareness in the community. This means that many of the positive and negative lessons that we will have learnt at the end of HEED will be really valuable for the sector since it is clearly an innovative project.’
In being part of the HEC conference it gave HEED a platform where knowledge was shared, best practice discussed, and play an active part towards finding affordable, reliable and sustainable energy systems and services for all crisis-affected people.