Energy and Climate

Germany's commitment

 Sustainable energy for all

Wind farm near Zafarana, Egypt

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the expansion of sustainable energy systems worldwide. The German government is currently promoting energy projects in more than 70 partner countries. In 21 of these countries energy is a priority area of cooperation. In 2014 and 2015 alone, BMZ spent more than four billion euros on developing sustainable and climate-friendly energy systems in different parts of the world. In terms of funding volume, energy is one of the largest single items in the German development cooperation budget – and its share is continuing to grow.

Germany mainly supports approaches that consider the partner country’s entire energy system and promote the triple strands of renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to sustainable energy. This matches partner countries’ need to increase energy supplies while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Germany draws on its own experience of converting to a climate-friendly energy supply to assist partner countries in making this transition. What technologies have proved their worth? What legal framework should be put in place? What factors are – or are not – conducive to success? The insights Germany has gained can be applied elsewhere. It will therefore continue to be a committed and reliable partner in issues of renewable energy.

Bilateral commitment: Facilitating the transition to a sustainable energy supply

At bilateral level BMZ helps its partners create favourable conditions for a sustainable energy supply and open up the market for renewable energy and energy efficiency products. German development cooperation provides advice on new laws, strategies, feed-in tariffs, tax rates and subsidy reforms. It assists with the establishment of energy agencies and trains local experts. It raises awareness through education campaigns and supports the dialogue between government representatives, business and civil society.

To enable the market for renewable energy to get going, BMZ provides many countries not only with know-how but also with capital. For example, credit lines for climate-friendly products are set up via national development banks. The purposes for which these monies are being used include energy-efficient domestic appliances in Mexico and energy-saving new buildings in India and various countries in Eastern Europe. Because banks in many countries still hesitate to provide loans for renewable energies or projects to boost energy efficiency, such credit lines can do much to encourage further expansion.

Assisting developing and newly industrialising countries

Workers at the solar power station in Ouarzazate, currently the largest solar power station in the world
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Workers at the solar power station in Ouarzazate, currently the largest solar power station in the world

One of the largest solar parks in the world is currently being built at Ouarzazate in Morocco; when completed it will supply green electricity to some 1.3 million people. Germany is providing reduced-interest loans totalling more than 800 million euros and is thus the largest sponsor of the project. Further funds are being made available by the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), the African Development Bank and other donors.

India is also being helped to realise its ambitious plans for the expansion of renewables. Through the Indo-German Energy Programme, Germany is advising the Indian partners on issues such as integrating the increasing quantities of electricity from clean energy sources into the national grid. The areas of India with the greatest potential for renewables are at some distance from its industrial and economic centres. The electricity must therefore be transported to where it is needed. To achieve this, India – with German support – is currently establishing 'green corridors' that will supplement the existing energy grids and balance out regional differences.

German development cooperation is also supporting the expansion of renewables in South Africa. Through an ambitious programme it is helping to improve settings there. In addition, BMZ has committed 300 million euros to expanding the country’s electricity grids and is advising the national energy supplier ESKOM on the restructuring of its energy mix. South Africa now has facilities for generating electricity from renewable sources with a total capacity of 1,800 megawatts connected to the grid.

Electricity from renewable sources also plays an important part in ensuring access to energy in rural parts of the world. For example, Germany is supporting improvements to the electricity supply in the remote West Nile region of Uganda, where a small hydropower plant now meets the entire electricity needs of more than 60,000 people and many businesses. Construction of a second plant is planned. The electricity is transported via a new island grid. This improves the living conditions of local people and enables the local economy to develop without adverse impacts on the climate.

Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

Logo: Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)

Together with other industrialised countries, Germany supports the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), which was initiated with the African partners at the G7 Summit in Germany in June 2015 and founded six months later at the World Climate Conference in Paris.

The AREI is an African-led initiative. Its goal is to install an additional ten gigawatts of renewable energy generation capacity in Africa by by 2020, and it aspires to install an additional 300 gigawatts by 2030. At the Paris climate conference, the G7, Sweden, the Netherlands and the European Commission pledged ten billion US dollars in support of renewable energies in Africa and thus AREI’ goals for the period up to 2020. This support is to be provided through existing channels of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Germany and France have announced to provide the largest contributions of three billion euros each. In 2016, Germany was the largest donor with 1.3 billion euros. It is currently supporting energy projects in more than 20 African countries through bilateral cooperation.

At European level the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) provides a platform for policy dialogue and cooperation between Africa and the EU. It enables European and African countries to work together to address challenges in the energy sector.

Infographic: Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)
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Infographic: Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)

Multilateral commitment: Working together for a sustainable energy future

At multilateral level, too, Germany works to support sustainable, climate-friendly energy systems. It focuses in particular on collaboration with international partners and initiatives such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the renewable energy policy network REN21 and the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative.

Energy is also an important issue in cooperation with multilateral development banks. BMZ supports the banks’ efforts to align their funding policy with the Paris Climate Agreement. This helps to ensure that financial flows promote development that is geared to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting resilience to climate change.

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