German-Tunisian Energy Partnership

Project description

Title: German-Tunisian Energy Partnership
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy, Mining and Renewable Energy (MEMER)
Country: Tunisia
Overall term: 2016 to 2018

Context

The German-Tunisian Energy Partnership was founded in early 2012 when the foreign ministers of the two countries signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in the energy sector with a particular focus on renewable energy. Tunisia’s geographical location endows it with significant potential for harnessing renewables. Given its close proximity to Europe, the country could help diversify and raise the efficiency of power supplies to its European neighbours in future.

Objective

Tunisia builds up a sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply system. A key area of activity involves creating an enabling framework for the energy market.

Approach

The German-Tunisian Energy Partnership is an institutionalised energy policy dialogue designed to support Tunisia in developing and rolling out a national energy policy that provides for a sustainable, secure and affordable supply of power. The partnership’s activities focus on creating effective and efficient energy market conditions.

The Energy Partnership is implemented by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and Tunisia's Ministry of Energy, Mining and Renewable Energy (MEMER). Other key actors on the German side include the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Office. The main players in Tunisia include the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation (MDICI), the Environment Ministry, the National Agency for Energy Efficiency (ANME) and the state-owned energy company STEG.

The steering body at ministerial/state secretary level comprises representatives of the governments and state-owned energy agencies.

Three working groups are currently focusing on the topics of energy policy, low-carbon strategies and the green economy. Providing a platform for open collaboration, these groups are made up of government representatives and actors from industry, research and civil society who participate in activities such as workshops, energy policy conferences and study trips.

With the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, a permanent secretariat mandated to provide organisational and technical support to the partnership now operates in Tunis. The Secretariat serves as an interface and information platform for all stakeholders and interested parties. Furthermore, the Secretariat assists with the preparation and follow-up work involved in committee meetings and helps organise and run supplementary thematic workshops.

Results

Regular steering committee and working group meetings have facilitated institutionalised policy dialogue between German and Tunisian decision-makers. As a result of this and other technical exchanges, it has been possible – with the private sector's help – to improve the economic, legal and technical framework conditions on the Tunisian energy market. Another positive outcome of these discussions are the initial steps taken by the Tunisian electricity and gas company STEG to integrate renewables into the power grid.

Now an established event, the German-Tunisian Energy Day constitutes the most important exchange platform available to decision-makers from the fields of politics, industry and science from both countries. Recently, around 300 participants discussed the latest cutting-edge energy transition topics. This high-profile event also gave Germany a platform on which to showcase its own energy policy topics and objectives.

Numerous workshops designed to raise awareness among Tunisian municipalities about the use of renewable energy prompted the non-governmental organisations taking part to set up an alliance for the promotion of sustainable energy solutions (Alliance pour la promotion des énergies renouvelables – APER). The Secretariat supported APER's formation and helped put it on a professional footing.