Germany’s goals for the expansion of renewable energies and the improvement of energy efficiency are highly ambitious. The energy transition ‘Made in Germany’ is a source of inspiration for many developed and developing countries, and German know-how in this field is a core component of the country’s development cooperation.
Germany is already the largest bilateral donor in the energy sector. More could be done, however, to strengthen Germany’s international cooperation and role in this sector. Concerted efforts to support the expansion of renewables and to promote energy efficiency abroad could play an important role in building momentum for a global energy transition and contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Their vast but under-exploited potential for renewables and energy efficiency makes the countries of North Africa worthwhile partners for German cooperation in the energy sector. Experiences in the promotion of renewables in North Africa hold important lessons for Germany’s international energy transition policy as a whole. Against this background, the new IASS Policy Brief Advancing an International Energy Transition Policy in North Africa and Beyond provides key recommendations to enhance Germany’s support for international energy transitions.
The policy brief offers three recommendations:
Strengthen understanding of partner countries’ policy priorities. Successful international cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency requires a strong alignment with the policy priorities of partner countries. Nevertheless, little context-specific knowledge on drivers and barriers exists. This deficit could be addressed by fostering policy-oriented research to afford German actors insights on developments and priorities in partner countries.
Ensure that energy transitions deliver socio-economic benefits. Employment and local value creation are important priorities in partner countries that can be addressed through energy transitions. Germany’s international cooperation should provide stronger support for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises by providing access to training and expanding technology transfer through business linkages in promising supply chain segments.
Streamline communication on international activities. The creation of a single, government operated website to provide comprehensive information on the activities of the different ministries and implementing agencies would significantly improve the visibility of German activities.
Röhrkasten, S., Quitzow, R., Auktor, G., Westphal, K. (2016): Advancing an International Energy Transition Policy in North Africa and Beyond. - IASS Policy Brief, 2016, 4.