BMBF Research Group GLOCALPOWER

Project: GLOCALPOWER: funds, tools & networks for an African energy transition

Paris has written history. The initiation of a worldwide, internationally binding climate agreement serves as a wake-up call for a rapid transformation of the energy system, especially in African countries (UNFCCC 2015). Reframing the goal of a temperature increase below 2°C as a flexible and dynamic investment signal for renewable energy (RE) now paves the way towards a joint undertaking that eventually bridges the North-South divide of global climate policy-making (Geden/Beck 2015, Bals et al. 2015). Embedded into the broader framework of a 'great global transformation' (WBGU 2011), the prospect of a wide-ranging decarbonisation will hopefully serve as a very concrete agenda for an energy transition that is not only efficient and comprehensive, but also inclusive and fair, insofar as it creates a dynamics that ensures a fair participation and distribution of RE around the globe. Against the backdrop of this global transformation GLOCALPOWER analyzes glocal energy transitions from the perspectives of global/local environmental governance and international political economy, both on a global level (with regard to global green finance and the international donor community) and on a local level through case studies in Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia. We focus on two central aspects that orchestrate the shape and structures of these green transformations: (1) the systemic and up to now scarcely acknowledged role of global green funds for a renewable energy transformation; and (2) the design, appropriateness and impact of political toolsets for managing an energy transition on a glocal level, such as feed-in tariffs, risk mitigation tools or forms of capacity building and stakeholder trainings. GLOCALPOWER investigates glocal energy transitions through two cross-cutting projects on RE funds and RE tools, complemented by two comparative case studies. The final transfer project aims at disseminating systematic and transformative knowledge on glocal energy transitions. We give policy recommendations for the design and governance of RE funds and tools, communicated via a decision-matrix and a dialogue process with German institutions (GIZ, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)) as well as local partners.