Biomass in Nepal

Sun, wind and water power are often not used enough as sources of energy: Germany is also supporting sustainable energy supplies in other countries

Wind power for Egypt, geothermal power for Kenya, biogas for Nepal, water power for Indonesia: four countries and four examples of international energy partnerships with Germany. The goal of these collaborations is to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. By 2030, estimates the International Energy Agency (IEA), global energy consumption will increase by 50%. In the developing and emerging countries, too, the hunger for energy is growing ever larger. Some two billion people live there without environmentally friendly and modern energy supplies. They cook and heat with wood or charcoal. They live in rural areas of Africa, Asia or even some regions of Latin America where the energy systems are outmoded in parts or there is no electricity at all. For these regions in particular, the sun, wind and water offer climate-friendly energy sources with enormous potential. Whether wind power technology for Africa or biogas plants for Asia, Germany provides other countries with know-how and even funding to help them develop their own energy supply with the aid of renewable energies. The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and its partners, KfW Entwicklungsbank and the Germany Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), are currently supporting 132 energy projects worldwide. Germany is thus an important partner for clean energy technology in 50 countries:

Solar Energy and Modern Power Plant Technology in China

The economy is booming. China is experiencing enormous growth. The country has to satisfy the huge energy needs of its industry and its 1.3 billion inhabitants. In China, however, electricity is not part of everyone’s everyday life. In the sparsely populated provinces, some 30 million people still live without electricity. That is now meant to change – with the help of renewable energies. By the year 2010, no one in China will have to get by without electricity, which will then be supplied by small-scale power plants using solar, wind and water power. Assistance is coming from Germany: KfW Entwicklungsbank is financing 300 photovoltaic systems to supply several Chinese provinces with electricity. The German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) is assisting in installing the plants and in ensuring that a market for renewable energies can develop. China generates most of its electricity, almost 80%, in coal-fired power plants. Some of these have been equipped with technology from Germany. Modern and environmentally friendly turbines increase power plant output and reduce emissions of climate-damaging carbon dioxide.

Wind Power in Egypt and Morocco

Strong winds blow along the Red Sea coast on the Gulf of Suez. The rotor blades turn almost uninterruptedly at the Zafarana wind farm. This desert region is a perfect location – a steady wind blows throughout the year. Egypt aims to utilize the potential of wind power. The country’s energy consumption is growing. In large cities like Alexandria and Cairo, however, the air is already thick with pollution and the high level of carbon dioxide emissions makes the situation worse for the population. That’s why Egypt wants to expand the proportion of renewable energies and is beginning to depend on wind power in addition to the hydroelectric power plants on the Nile. On behalf of the BMZ, KfW Entwicklungsbank is supporting the construction of the Zafarana wind farm on the Red Sea coast. Currently, 180 wind turbines are turning there, producing 160 megawatts and supplying 340,000 Egyptian households.

The winds are also favourable in Morocco. With German support, the country has started generating electricity at the wind farm in Tangier. Even more rotors will begin turning on the Atlantic coast before the end of 2007. Some 50,000 households will receive their electricity from the new Essaouira wind farm, which is being supported by KfW Entwicklungsbank. This represents a major contribution to climate protection: air pollution has been reduced by 143,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

Hydro Power in Indonesia

Small plants, big impact: Indonesia is using hydro power to generate electricity in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way. New turbines and generators now drive a whole series of smaller hydroelectric plants. Here, too, German know-how played a role in realizing these projects. Supplying energy with hydro power is also kick-starting the economy in Indonesia. The technology has become a genuine export success on the energy market. The hydroelectric plants and specialist know-how from Indonesia are now in great demand worldwide. Orders are coming in from Asia, Africa and Europe.

Biomass in Nepal

When farmers in Nepal want to cook, use a lamp or heat their simple houses, renewable energy often comes into play. Biogas plants are to help the farmers make do without wood, the traditional energy source that covers 75% of total energy needs. The government of Nepal has launched a biogas programme with German help. So far, 100,000 biogas plants have been built. It is planned to treble this number by 2009. Farmers who keep livestock profit doubly from the clean energy: the plants supply them with gas for their stoves and lamps and the composted sludge can be used on the fields as natural fertilizer. Nepal’s industry has also discovered the biogas sector. Jobs are being created in small firms that build and maintain the biogas plants.

Geothermal Power in Kenya

In Kenya, an inexhaustible natural energy source lies deep beneath the ground. There, the earth bubbles and seethes, the heat rises, and steam at temperatures of several hundred degrees flows through pipes straight into a modern power plant where it drives the turbines. There is great potential for geothermal electricity generation in Kenya. In the Rift Valley, not far from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, geothermal power is being tapped and the enormous heat from the earth’s interior harnessed to produce electricity. It is the location of Africa’s largest geothermal power plant, whose construction was cofinanced with German assistance. Today, 10% of Kenya’s electricity output is already generated with geothermal power. However, this proportion should and can be significantly increased. It is estimated that Kenya could generate almost twice the country’s present electricity output using geothermal energy. A new power plant is already being prepared. It will supply 430,000 people with climate-friendly electricity from the heart of the earth. What works in Kenya could also serve as a model for other African countries. For example, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda have not yet attempted to tap the wealth of energy that lies beneath their territory. May 18, 2007, Embassy of Germany, Deutschland Magazine]

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