Bilateral Energy Partnerships

Project description

Title: Support for Bilateral Energy Partnerships in Developing Countries and Emerging Economies
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Country: Algeria, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Jordan, Morocco, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Energy ministries in participating partner countries
Overall term: 2016 to 2022

7. Deutsch-Indisches Energieforum in Berlin, September 2016. © GIZ/Trappe


When it comes to sustainable concepts for maintaining energy supply, Germany is a trendsetter, both in terms of its policies and the technology that it employs. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has made it its goal to promote Germany's approach in transitioning to clean energy as a role model on the global stage and to attract new partners. A key element of the German Government's energy-related foreign policy strategy are bilateral energy partnerships.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH advises and supports BMWi in the implementation and conceptual development of the energy partnerships with Algeria, Brazil, Chile, China, Jordan, India, Morocco, Mexico, South Africa and Tunisia, as well as in the establishment of new dialogue structures with other developing countries and emerging economies.

The bilateral energy partnerships bring together high-level intergovernmental dialogue with practical, goal-oriented project work. German private sector involvement is also an integral part of the partnerships. The promotion of forward-looking energy concepts and private-sector innovation are thus strengthened worldwide and supported by the secretariats of the energy partnerships.


The partner countries are establishing a sustainable energy supply, for example by expanding the use of renewable energies and making greater use of efficient energy technologies. In doing so, they are sustainably safeguarding their energy supply in the long term. This contribution to mitigating climate change and alleviating global competition for ever-scarcer energy commodities also improves Germany's energy security in the long term. Germany's experiences in carrying out a transition to clean energy are recognised internationally and feed in to the energy policies of partner countries.


The project activities include support in four fields of activity:  

  • Intergovernmental policy dialogue: Preparing, conducting and carrying out follow-up work for meetings of steering committees and working groups
  • Technical and content-related advisory services for project partners 
  • Private sector involvement through formats such as economic advisory councils or dialogue events
  • Communication of information on the German transition to clean energy and energy policy issues from the partner countries

GIZ has established partnership secretariats in Berlin and the partner countries to support intergovernmental dialogue on energy policy issues. The secretariats function as a point of contact for stakeholders from Germany and other countries who wish to get involved in the energy partnerships. Active collaboration, particularly on the part of the private sector, is encouraged. Companies can recount their experiences and the challenges that they have faced in the course of their work and thus contribute to the political dialogue. Businesses also have the opportunity to show how their energy technologies and services may help to solve specific problems.


The bilateral energy partnerships’ greatest achievements include

  • Ten joint memorandums of understanding signed by officials at high-political level
  • Development and establishment of energy partnerships on four continents 
  • Establishment of twelve national and international partnership secretariats
© BMWi/Susanne Eriksson

The secretariats of the energy partnerships and dialogue have proved themselves indispensable in their function as a point of contact for stakeholders in politics, business and associations on the ground. At the same time, they advise the German private sector on how to support projects aimed at transitioning to clean energy worldwide with innovative services – for example, through dialogue with local economic advisory councils, bilateral talks or information provided via websites and newsletters.

Since the establishment of the bilateral energy partnerships, various issues have been promoted in the participating countries and are now the focus of policy and economic dialogue. These include expanding the use of renewable energies, enhancing energy efficiency, integrating renewable energy into grids and systems, and further developing energy infrastructures and regulations for the electricity and energy market.