REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, is a policy network that provides a forum for international leadership in renewable energy policy, in order to share knowledge and facilitate the rapid growth of renewable energy technologies in developing countries and industrialised economies.

The network was launched in June 2005 as a result of discussion held the previous year at the International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn, Germany. Its secretariat operates from offices in Paris, France, and is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Technical Cooperation), in collaboration with the International Energy Agency. Like the Bonn Conference, REN21 distinguishes itself through its flexible nature and multi-stakeholder participation intended to provide a dynamic alternative to the official international fora. Its participants and members are drawn from a wide variety of bodies, including national and local governments, international associations and institutions, NGOs, the private sector, relevant partnerships and scientific panels, and other interested parties.

REN21 has produced a number of internationally recognised reports on renewable energy policy and the development of the renewables marketplace. Since 2005 REN21 has produced an annual Renewables Global Status Report, with Eric Martinot and Janet Sawin as lead authors.

Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy

The Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy was created to ensure that renewable energy, sustainability, and conservation were top issues in the 2008 Presidential election. It brought together 2008 Presidential Candidates to generate discussion and foster innovation.

Presidential Candidate Forum

The Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy sponsored a presidential candidate forum on the afternoon of Saturday, November 17, 2007 at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards confirmed their participation, and we continue to work on lining up additional candidates to round out the event.

The Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy joined forces with leading environmental organizations to hold a single joint forum on global warming and renewable energy. Their partner organizations in hosting the event included the Natural Resources Defense Council, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress.

Nationwide Student Essay Contest

The Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy also sponsored a nationwide college student essay contest asking students to submit a Renewable Energy Plan for America. By engaging students, they encouraged them to incorporate an awareness of energy conservation into their everyday lives. A professional grading company along with board members of the Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy evaluated the essays and chose three first place winners. The Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy awarded a $10,000 educational prize to each of these three renewable energy scholars.