The countries of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA states) have very favourable natural conditions for the successful use of renewable energies. Yet, fossil fuels dominate their energy markets. Similarly, energy efficiency potentials are left unused, for instance, in the building sector. Against this backdrop, it is a core concern of the GIZ-program RE-ACTIVATE for the MENA region to create favourable conditions to combine the goals of transforming the energy systems with a sustainable economic development that also creates domestic employment effects. This way, it will contribute to the creation of functioning renewable energy and energy efficiency markets and support employment in the region.
The appropriate framework conditions and infrastructures are key to creating such a green economy. However, the necessary transformation processes often affect vested interests and thus create opposition to these changes, as they tend to benefit from the status quo (e.g. the recipients of energy subsidies or those that produce negative external effects). Additionally, new technologies often require both, investment in the development of the technology itself as well as into infrastructures.
An evidence base for the long-term economic, ecological and social advantageousness of such changes can not only show the feasibility of creating functioning markets for renewable energies and energy efficiency, but can also outline specific pathways and crucial elements for implementing them. In order to do that, the FFU will investigate international examples of good practices in various segments of renewable energies and applications for energy efficiency from emerging economies and developing countries. The case studies will help to identify factors for the success of these countries and will provide insight regarding the transferability of these success factors to MENA countries. The research will ultimately support the GIZ’s REACTIVATE project and the MENA countries in developing strategies and policy measures that support the creation of functioning markets with significant employment effects in these countries. Beyond the analysis of good practice cases, the FFU is involved in developing a toolbox that will serve as an inventory for gathered knowledge and link it to actors in the region as well as capacity building measures.