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Towards sustainable renewable energy investment and deployment (Advance Version)

Towards sustainable renewable energy investment and deployment. Trade-offs and opportunities with water resources and the environment (advance version of December 2019)
Renewable energy technologies can be used to improve access to water and to increase food production, but their deployment can also compete with other needs, bring unintended cross-sectoral impacts, including on biodiversity and ecosystems. These considerations highlight the crucial importance of considering intersectoral impacts and sustainability priorities as early as possible in the renewable energy planning process, and to consistently address them through well-integrated, sustainable renewable energy projects. This approach requires the effective implementation of a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral dialogue along three parallel “tracks”: strategic planning, policy design, and project development. This report suggests a non-comprehensive “tool-kit” for policy makers to identify, evaluate, and act upon the synergies and trade-offs brought by the deployment of renewable energy. Their aim is to upscale renewable energy while at the same time facilitate (or at least safeguard), progress in the other sectors, with a special focus on water, agriculture, and environment. Crucially, this must happen at all levels of decision making: strategic planning, policy development, and project development.