BMBF-Nachwuchsgruppe 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. 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 might eventually close the North-South gap of global climate policy-making. Embedded into the broader framework of a 'great global transformation', the prospect of 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 the research group GLOCALPOWER analyzes glocal energy transitions from the perspectives of global/local environmental governance and international political economy of energy, 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 three central aspects that orchestrate the shape and structure of these green transformations: (1) the systemic and up to now scarcely acknowledged role of global green funds for a renewable energy transformation; (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, and (3) the impact of glocal transition networks and stakeholders as political catalysts in the context of postcolonial environmental governance. 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 as well as with our African civil society partners.