Europe aims to meet this demand with renewable and sustainable energy in its future goals, but for urbanizing and crowded cities.
Europe’s energy demand is increasing day by day. Europe aims to meet this demand with renewable and sustainable energy in its future goals, but for urbanizing and crowded cities, this transition will be difficult because renewable energy sources need large areas, so Europe plans to have various partnerships with Africa, a continent with abundant un-urbanized rural areas.
Most of these partnerships are provided by IRENA, and it will eventually grow into a large organization like the World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO).
The focus of this research is on how energy will be transferred to Europe as a result of commercial developments and investments, in addition, these processes for countries have been evaluated. Although IRENA is defined as an intergovernmental organization, certain countries have more influence in the administration. The reason for this is the geopolitical location and the political attitudes of the countries.
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) defines itself as an international collaborative intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to sustainable energy. It also highlights the development, energy access, low-carbon economic growth, and renewable resources (About IRENA, n.d.). In fact, its history dates back to the 1980s and has been formed as a result of various ideas and arguments such as Eurosolar (History, 2021).
Even though the Eurosolar still operates, unlike IRENA, it is based in Germany and does not cover all European countries and the area of influence is much lower than IRENA. The question should be asked why this process started in 1981 at the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Energy Resources in Nairobi, Kenya. African countries and the years when these countries became members of the united nations can be seen in the Figure 1.
These conferences, which reinforce the treaties, are quite understandable and natural, but energy and the African duo are a matter of question in the future. Another important development in the establishment of IRENA took place at the 2002 World Sustainable Development Summit in Africa. Another major development in the founding of IRENA took place at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Africa, but the real initiator was the Bonn conference. Later, key countries in its establishment were Spain, Germany, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
I would like to point out that Spain and Egypt are geopolitically important and they connect both continents, Europe and Africa. Germany and the United Arab Emirates can be interpreted as two countries that want to be essential in the renewable energy sector. Apart from Spain and Egypt, Italy and Tunisia also have an important geopolitical position, as seen in Figure 2.
|Adnan Z. Amin||Old Director-General||Kenya||2011 – 2019|
|Francesco La Camera||Director-General||Italy||2019 – Present|
|Gauri Singh||Deputy Director-General||India|
|Rabia Ferroukhi||Senior Management||United Arab Emirates|
|Dolf Gielen||Senior Management||Germany Bonn|
|Gurbuz Gonul||Senior Management||Turkey|
|Laura Secada Daly||Senior Management||Peru|
|Aboubacar Touré||Senior Management||Mali|
When the table is examined, Turkey and Italy, which are the Mediterranean countries, are striking. Kenya, the country where the establishment started, and Germany, which played an active role in the establishment, Mali is an important African country, and India and Peru from different geographies are in Table 1.
West African Power Pool (WAPP)
West Africa Power Pool is a platform that was officially established in 2000, but before this platform, there were various energy partnerships in Africa (Pierre-Olivier, 2008). Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra are the countries included in this platform (About WAPP, n.d.).
The difference of this platform from the others is its relations with France and the French language. Apart from that, they are partners with United States Agency for International Development, European Union, World Bank, European Investment Bank, French Development Agency, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, KfW, Japan International Cooperation Agency ve ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (WAPP PARTNERS, n.d.).
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
At this point, it differs from IRENA at some points based on countries. In addition, there are commercial activities between France and Africa, although there is no high-level French authority in the formation of IRENA (Economic relations between France and Africa, n.d.). It is known that there are connections between France and ECOWAS, on a theoretical level, in addition to the past relations of the countries (Wyss, 2017).
West Africa Clean Energy Corridor (WACEC)
In July 2013, ECOWAS’ Heads of State and Government adopted the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP). This was a milestone because, after this agreement, IRENA and ECOWASS’s relations started to improve and IRENA became the organization that developed investment plans in the region (Bruno). Later, various other regional energy organizations became involved in this cooperation. The corridor and WAPP have become complete and it can be seen in Figure 3. However, while transferring the energy obtained in this region, cooperation should be made with the countries on the Mediterranean coast.
Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC)
The African Clean Energy Corridor (AVEC), the East African Power Pool (SAPP) and the South African Power Pool (SAPP) are an initiative such as WACEC. Since it is far from the European continent, it needs a longer route to deliver energy. If this road goes from the west, it is difficult to cross paths with WACEC due to the countries in between.
Hydrogen from Renewable Power
IRENA prefers to use hydrogen energy in conjunction with renewable energy for naming. This is because most hydrogen processes are currently operated by fossil fuels. Most of the investment is from Germany and the hydrogen technology is carried out by Germany (Germany and West Africa Cooperate on Hydrogen, n.d.). The fact that Germany has partnerships outside of European countries positions Germany a little outside of IRENA
International and Intergovernmental Energy Grid
A global energy grid may exist in the future, but this depends on the relationship between governments rather than a technical difficulty in the transmission of electricity. Studies on this subject can be found in articles and on the internet, and some studies have been made with reference to renewable energy.
Peter Rüegg and Göran Andersson explains the matter in an interview: ““It is worth discussing the topic in-depth,” Andersson believes. “If we want clean energy in fifty years, we need to do something about it today.” The European power grid is currently undergoing large changes and we must not miss the opportunity to integrate the alternative energies, he explains. Andersson and his colleagues hope that they will be able to start the discussion on a global network fed from renewable energy sources with their project (Andersson, 2013)”.
Europe is making renewable energy investments in Africa with the various organizations it has established and will start to benefit more from the costs of these investments in the next 5 years. At this point, the transfer of energy is imperative and it can be achieved with the Strait of Gibraltar, the most logical way to transfer between the two continents. It is very unlikely that Italy may be preferred, but even if this happens, it will have less priority than Spain.
Research by Atahan KARAMAN