Energy expertise for Africa
A sustainable energy supply for Africa – What can Germany do to help? How about German companies offering to share their energy expertise? That was one of the core messages delivered by State Secretary Uwe Beckmeyer at the German-African Energy Forum.
Many African countries are faced with enormous challenges when it comes to energy security: rapid population growth, GDP growth and progress on the electrification of rural areas are all driving up demand for energy. Creating an energy system that is sustainable and capable of providing a secure supply of energy at affordable prices is essential to economic growth and social development in Africa.
What can Germany do to help make energy systems in Africa more sustainable and more reliable? This is the question that brought together more than 300 company representatives, policy-makers and scientists at the 10th German-African Energy Forum that took place in Hamburg. Participants included government ministers from Guinea, Mali, Sudan, Namibia, Madagascar, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Making the best of our energy expertise
In the opening speech he gave at the forum, State Secretary Uwe Beckmeyer said: "Energy relations between Germany and African countries are becoming ever more important. This is reflective of the fact that access to a secure supply of affordable energy is essential to overcoming the political and economic challenges that countries are faced with, particularly in North Africa. We want to use the expertise that exists within German companies, particularly within our SMEs, to support this development."
Africa does not only have large fossil fuel resources, it is also the ideal place for using renewable energy. However, according to estimates provided by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the share of hydro-electric, wind and solar energy in 2013 amounted to only five per cent of Africa’s energy consumption.
International cooperation: "energy solutions - made in Germany" and energy partnerships
"Energy solutions - made in Germany" which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy aims to promote cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency between Germany and countries around the globe. It helps German companies – in particular SMEs – to enter new markets abroad and further boost the export of renewable energy technologies.
Many African governments have realised that renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies offer a great deal of potential that can be harnessed and are now seeking to make their energy supply more sustainable. Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt and Kenia are leading this development. Germany has launched energy partnerships with several North African countries, namely Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as with Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa.