22Sep2016 Roundtable: Renewable Energy Experts discuss Potential for Regional Integration
EPF’s policy initiative “Regional Integration” aims at developing policy recommendations that contribute to ensuring that regional integration processes are beneficial for all countries in a given region, and not only for the dominant economic one. In this context, EPF in partnership with EPF-member think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) facilitated a roundtable in Berlin, Germany, on 22 September, to discuss the prospects of global/regional value chains of renewable energies as a new means to achieve regional integration. Eight representatives from German federal ministries and research institutions with expertise in the area of renewable energies in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa attended.
The key objective of the event was to review preliminary findings and policy recommendations of a research project conducted by Professor Renato Flôres and Dr Ruderico Pimentel of FGV. Through a case study on the newly flourishing industrial segment of renewable energy in South America, the researchers had looked for entry points (mainly existing suppliers that could lead the development of regional value chains) to promote cross-border manufacturing. Eventually, FGV did not find much evidence for their primary hypothesis. Therefore, the main question of the roundtable was which public policies can attract or create players that could build such value chains.
During the lively debate, the experts raised the following questions and discussed policy recommendations including:
- Collect quantitative information with the use of economic and spatial models to identify industrial opportunities
- Identify comparative market advantages of South America and build upon existing industries in the country taking into account regional/national conditions
- Align energy policy with climate policy and establish a sound energy governance system favouring renewable energies
- Build a common vision on a regional level for the future energy system
- Foster capacity development to enhance innovation and technical and vocational education and training on manufacturing of and services for clean technologies
- Learn from experiences of the German energy transition, European energy governance and Mediterranean initiatives such as Desertec
During the visit of FGV representative Dr. Pimentel to Germany, he also explored the cluster and innovation management strategy of the Berlin-Adlershof technology park, the Enercon (one of the largest wind power installations producer) production sites in Magdeburg and exchanged experiences with entrepreneurs whose clean-tech start-ups are supported by the ClimateKIC platform.
The results of the debate and the insights from the visiting programme will feed into the EPF-FGV project and will serve as a basis for creating new networks and collaborative activities around energy policy and/or regional integration. The output of the current joint EPF-FGV research project will be a paper that is going to be published by December 2016 and then be conveyed to decision-makers in Brazil, Latin America, and presented in international fora. Various participants of the roundtable and further experts have expressed their interest in joining further similar roundtables on the nexus of energy policy and regional integration initiatives.