Promoting employment through renewable energy and energy efficiency in the MENA region (RE-ACTIVATE)

Title: Promoting employment through renewable energy and energy efficiency in the MENA region (RE-ACTIVATE)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: MENA region, focus countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt
Overall term: 2014 to 2017

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Context
The countries of the MENA region are pursuing increasingly ambitious plans to expand the use of renewable energies and improve their energy balance. In addition to reducing environmental pollution and strengthening the security of supply, sustainable energies are expected to contribute to increased local value creation and new jobs. As the focus so far has mostly been on large-scale projects, the barriers faced by local providers are high. Not enough is being done to exploit the key opportunities arising from the development of new local markets for decentralised and labour-intensive technologies.

Objective
In the MENA region, particularly in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, environmental pollution is reduced and the security of supply is improved through the use of sustainable energies. In addition, local value creation is increased and a large number of new jobs are created.

Approach
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), RE-ACTIVATE supports the partner countries in the MENA region, particularly Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, in making targeted use of the socio-economic effects of sustainable energies. The project focuses on applications that require an above-average volume of labour. This applies in particular to energy efficiency in buildings, industry and agriculture, as well as to decentralised energy generation, especially by means of photovoltaics, solar thermal energy and wind energy.

The project supports the partners in identifying the employment effects of different applications and in further developing their policy approaches. It facilitates the development of suitable framework conditions and adapted support instruments and helps to build skills at local level. Successful examples are documented and fed into national and regional dialogues. It also initiates measures at local level and carries out pilot projects.

The main national partners of RE-ACTIVATE are the responsible state institutions, representatives of businesses and associations, educational and research institutions and actors involved in international cooperation. International partners include the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) in Cairo and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi and Bonn.

RE-ACTIVATE project teams in the focus countries and in Germany remain in contact with the partners, carry out measures at local level and feed the results into policy dialogues at national, regional and international level. Networking activities make it possible to take into consideration the special features of the partner countries and, at the same time, to share experiences beyond national and sectoral boundaries.

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Results
RE-ACTIVATE is organising national and regional dialogues with the relevant actors about methods for assessing and making better use of the potential of sustainable energies to promote employment and generate income. This is helping to improve discussion and decision-making processes on the ground.

Sustainable Energy for Jobs (SE4JOBS) is a measure that is supported by a number of GIZ projects and coordinated by RE-ACTIVATE. It identifies and assesses good practices and success models in connection with optimising the socio-economic effects of sustainable energies in developing countries and emerging economies. Results and recommendations are made available to a wider audience through the SE4JOBS toolbox.

In addition, RE-ACTIVATE is carrying out ‘deep’ market analyses for selected focus countries and sectors. These market analyses are helping to identify specific employment potentials and training requirements. This process also examines the labour-intensive service sector, which is often neglected.

In the focus countries, the project is promoting labour-intensive market segments for sustainable energies, such as in the farming, food processing, textile/leather and building materials sectors. Beneficiaries are enterprises that consume high levels of energy and are directly exposed to international competition. The measures are reducing environmental pollution and the energy consumption of the companies involved. At the same time, there is a growing local demand for new, sustainable energy products and services.

To satisfy this demand, RE-ACTIVATE is also helping to expand the range of local providers of products and services and to improve the training of technicians and managers.

  • It is working in a targeted fashion with business associations and cluster initiatives concerned with sustainable energies. A transnational network, involving countries north and south of the Mediterranean, has been established and is providing valuable impetus for structuring and implementing transnational cooperation and investment projects.
  • Together with its partners, it is implementing hands-on training measures for the local workforce, and is working to develop and disseminate application-oriented and internationally compatible quality standards and quality assurance systems for practical training.
  • In cooperation with RCREEE, a regional online database of training-related standards, procedures and actors is being established. The database is supporting the development and improvement of the training systems in the energy sector.

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