Bilateral energy partnerships

Project description

Title: Bilateral energy partnerships
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Country: Worldwide; Algeria, Brazil, China, India, Morocco, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Energy ministries in participating partner countries
Overall term: 2016 to 2018

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


There are already some eight billion people living on the planet. As the population continues to rise, the challenges involved in ensuring needs are met and using valuable resources in a forward-thinking manner become ever greater. This applies to covering the increasing demand for energy too.

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 are its bilateral energy partnerships with countries that are significant players in energy production, transit and consumption.

The energy partnerships help to develop sustainable and country-specific solutions for dealing with the challenges involved in the transition to clean energy. They also help to break down trade barriers, pave the way for businesses to break into international markets and lay the foundations for equal market access. The strategic direction of this collaboration is guided by the objectives of German energy policy: safeguarding energy security, mitigating climate change and protecting the environment, and supporting German businesses and technology in markets abroad.

GIZ has been implementing energy partnerships with China, India, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia for a number of years. Since 2016, it has also been implementing energy partnerships with Algeria, Brazil and Mexico.


Supported by the energy partnerships, the partner countries are expanding the use of renewable energies and are making greater use of efficient energy technologies. In so doing, they are sustainably safeguarding their energy supply in the long-term. Their 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 objectives of the energy partnerships are to be achieved by means of regular intergovernmental dialogue and with the help of joint projects. Bilateral energy partnerships and intergovernmental talks are designed to serve as platforms for dialogue. Stakeholders and institutions from the private sector, research, academia and civil society are included so that they can bring new ideas to the table. GIZ is assisting BMWi and the partner institutions in setting the technical and strategic course of the energy policy dialogue and in implementing any agreed measures.

The project activities include, for example:

  • Preparing, conducting and carrying out follow-up work for intergovernmental talks and meetings of steering committees and working groups
  • Facilitating mutual knowledge transfer on current energy policy issues; providing specialist advisory services to partner institutions
  • Organising workshops on topics relating to the transition to clean energy, round tables and dialogue events with the private sector and taking part in information-gathering trips in a supportive role
  • Highlighting German contributions during events focusing on energy policy and economic issues
  • Planning and developing publications to promote the German transition to clean energy to an international audience
© BMWi/Susanne Eriksson

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, meaning that they filter in to the political dialogue. Businesses also have the opportunity to show how their energy technologies and services may help to solve specific problems.