On 31 October 2017, the CoE Alumni Energy Group has organized a breakfast event, hosted by the GIZ Representation Brussels. The Event was attended by about 30 Alumni from different promotions who discussed the topic of “Promoting Access to Energy through EU Development Cooperation”.
The participants had a chance to talk about the challenges EU Development cooperation faces while promoting access to energy in developing countries with Anca SIMION, Policy Officer at DG DEVCO, European Commission, in Unit C6 on Sustainable Energy and Climate Change and Michael FRANZ, Team Leader of the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP).
The main conclusions of the discussion are that EU programmes promoting energy access in developing countries need to be tailor made to the specific country context: this means they have to respond to the needs of the local communities as well as to the geographic realities (e.g. rural areas) and take into account the different market realities. Since development aid alone is not sufficient to tackle the challenges of energy access, investments from the private sector are crucial. However, money is not at the heart of the problem, but it is the lack of viable investment opportunities (e.g. bankable projects). This is where projects like the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Coooperation Programme come in, a European platform, funded by DG DEVCO, that promotes private sector participation and investment in renewables in Africa.
Lioba Donner, Igor Taranic and Camillo Toscano