International sustainable energy agency forming

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An international agency for sustainable energy, the brainchild of the director of the United Nation's Environment Program, Klaus Topfer, is slowly taking shape. The Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE) is to be set up in Basel, Switzerland, with between five and eight employees and a budget of just over $1 million in 2002. In late November, BASE hosted the first Investment Forum for Sustainable Energy at which 12 investment projects were discussed, including a 50 MW wind plant proposal for Ghana (above). Between them the renewable energy projects are seeking in excess of CHF 500 million. Some 70 investors, project developers and other specialists from nine countries attended the BASE forum in Basel. Topfer, a former German environment minister, first floated the idea of a sustainable energy agency, to be supported by Germany, France and Switzerland, at an energy congress, SUN21, in 1999. The agency was brought to life following a feasibility study conducted by the Canton of Basel and two Swiss ministries. BASE will be supported by a foundation to be founded in Basel, as well as by earnings from its own projects.

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