Global registry of voluntary commitments & multi-stakeholder partnerships
The Renewable Nations Institute
Description/achievement of initiative

The Institute is a Commitment to: (1) provide an integrated set of Enabling Actions in Energy Planning and Policies, and in Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing, targeted to 81 low- and middle-income countries of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Initiative; (2) establish a United States Partnership for Sustainable Development to stimulate $200 billion USD in U.S.-based investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) projects through 2030; and (3) develop a technical assistance and human capacity building services center (Project Incubator) to support the development of investment-grade proposals for targeted countries of the SEforALL Initiative.

Implementation methodologies

COMMITMENT IMPLEMENTATION METHODOLOGIES: The Institute’s implementation methodologies are based upon established Service-Learning and Work-Learning-Service pedagogies. COMPONENT #1: Service-Learning, the Green Earth Corps. Under the Institute’s “Green Earth Corps” non-accredited Service-Learning program, high school students from throughout the United States and abroad will attend a 14-day residential term at the Renewable Nations Summer Institute and receive certification to conduct training in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In turn, these students will train their peers with the support of distance-learning services from Institute instructors. Summer Institute graduates and their peers will be designated as United Nations Junior Ambassadors upon completion of a minimum of 60 hours of community service educating the general public on the SDGs in the context of the UN SEforALL Initiative and the Paris Agreement. Additionally, Junior Ambassadors will support the Institute’s Sectoral Commitment, the MicroSolar Distance-Learning Programme (MSDLP), under a sister-school program. The MSDLP aims to electrify deep-rural schools throughout the developing world to serve as multi-purposed educational telecenters. COMPONENT #2, Work-Learning-Service: Under the Institute’s Work-College program, high-performing college and university undergraduate and graduate students will attend accredited one- and/or two-semester low-residency and residency Work-Learning-Service programs to: (a) support the delivery of the Institute’s Commitment to Enabling Actions in Energy Planning and Policies, and in Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing; (b) establish a United States Partnership for Sustainable Development; and (c) develop a technical assistance and human capacity building services center (Project Incubator). Up to 50% of undergraduate and graduate students, designated as UN Junior Fellows are required to work a minimum of 5-hours per week in a paid internship to support the preparation of investment-grade proposals for low- and middle-income SEforALL country members who register as clients of the Institute’s Project Incubator.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Under a United States Partnership for Sustainable Development, the Institute will collaborate with Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI-U) members, member institutions of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and member institutions of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The goal of this collaboration is to establish a distributed Commitment services network based upon a Hub and Spoke model with College Clusters. The Hub and Spoke model, as feasible, will be replicated after and integrated with US Department of Energy (DOE) university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), an established network of engineering schools throughout the US that trains undergraduate and graduate students for the energy services industry. In the Hub and Spoke model, academic spokes are proposed at host colleges and universities based upon existing academic programs aligned with the Institutes technical assistance and human capacity building delivery services. Hub and Spoke services are identified for education, finance, technology, planning, data services, research and development. The Institute’s Hub and Spoke model will also be established regionally: (a) an Africa Hub in collaboration with the US-Africa Energy Ministerial in Sub-Sahara Africa; (b) a Latin American Hub in collaboration with the Organization of Latin American Departments of Energy (OLADE) in Quito, Ecuador; and (c) an Asia Hub coordinated through a US-China Partnership. The Institute is currently aggregating a financially capable, multi-sector stakeholder consortium with the mission to establish a special purpose vehicle with the objectives to formulate a consortium-based concept proposal for the adaptive reuse of the historic Fort Winfield Scott at The Presidio (San Francisco, California) to develop and operate a National Center for Work-Learning-Service and Leadership in Sustainability & Global Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

GOVERNANCE: SolarQuest L3C is the Commitment Holder responsible to Global Facilitation Team (GFT) and supervises Commitment services. SolarQuest L3C is managed by its Members in compliance with State of Vermont corporate law. The Global Challenge Award, Inc., (GCA) doing-business-as the Renewable Nations Institute, is the commitment operator. GCA is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors in accordance with the Statues of the State of Vermont and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. SolarQuest L3C and GCA will jointly manage Commitment services and deliverables in collaboration with multi-sector affiliates. COORDINATION MECHANISMS: An International Leadership Council (ILC) consisting of current and former government officials from United Nations (UN) member countries, and a Commitment Advisory Board (CAB) consisting of multi-sector stakeholders from SEforALL Initiative targeted member countries, will coordinate Commitment activities in alignment with the goals and objectives of the SEforALL Initiative, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. These coordination mechanisms will support access to key governmental policy makers for targeted delivery of decision support services while insuring transparency through multi-sector stakeholder engagement. The Governance team (SolarQuest L3C and GCA) will consult with SEforALL Global Facilitation Team (GFT), as necessary, to assure effective structural teaming and coordination protocols in compliance with the United Nations fundamental coordination principles of accountability and transparency, and professional standards and ethics. EVALUATING IMPACT: The IAC and CAB shall oversee the evaluation of Commitment services and deliverables under an iterative assessment process in conformity with Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Principals of Impact Evaluation. The OECD Principles for Evaluation of Development Assistance (1991) will provide the framework for evaluation programming, including but not limited to: (1) design and implementation of evaluations; (2) reporting, dissemination and feedback; and (3) application and follow-up. Impact evaluation will assess how interventions across the full spectrum of Commitment services affect outcomes, whether intended or unintended, and will provide a counterfactual assessment of what outcomes would have been based on current policies and practices in the absence of the intervention(s). Systems of National Accounting (SNA) metrics will be utilized to establish benchmarks for integrated SDGs across spheres of economy, society and environment. Systems Dynamic (SD) Modeling will be utilized to conduct predictive modeling for decision support and assess longitudinal impacts of Commitment services.


SolarQuest L3C, The Global Challenge Award, Inc., Vital CleanTech Ventures
Updates to initiatives
Goal 4
4.7 - By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
Goal 7
7.1 - By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
7.2 - By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
7.3 - By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
7.a - By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
7.b - By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support
Goal 13
13.1 - Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
13.2 - Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
13.3 - Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
13.a - Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
13.b - Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international,
intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
Goal 17
17.16 - Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
17.17 - Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability
August 2017
Summer Institute (2017), Annual Program
August 2018
Institute Work-College, Annual Program
August 2018
Project Accelerator Hub, Annual Program
August 2018
Micro-Solar Distance Learning Programme, Annual Program
September 2017
Online Service-Learning Jr. SEforALL Ambassador, Annual Program
Other, please specify
Annual Revenue from Workstation Lease Agreements: USD 12 million (beginning 2018).
In-kind contribution
Pre-program Development Financing, In-kind, contracts and grants: USD 9 million

This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
Basic information
Time-frame: JANUARY 2017 - December 2030
SolarQuest L3C, The Global Challenge Award, Inc., Vital CleanTech Ventures
Contact information
Allan Baer, President,
United Nations