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Pilot 2019: Seed Funding Global South - Project Summary

Securing Access to Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Department at TU Berlin: Exergy-based Methods for Refrigeration Systems
  • Partner countries: Rwanda, Algeria, Kenya, Switzerland
  • Partner institutions: African Center of Excellence, Pan African University, Jomo Kenyatta University, Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa, University of Geneva, RWI Essen
  • Mainly addressed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

    SDG   7:   Affordable and Clean Energy
    SDG 13:   Climate Action
    SDG 17:   Partnerships for the Goals


The Chair of Exergy-based Methods for Refrigeration Systems at the Institute of Energy Engineering of TU Berlin and the startup HEDERA received seed funding in 2019 to realize their idea of organizing a one-week workshop that would bring together different stakeholders in the renewable energy sector from Africa and Europe. Prof. Morozyuk (Chair of Exergy-based Methods for Refrigeration Systems) and Dr.-Ing. Natalia Realpe Carrillo’s (startup HEDERA) aim was to implement the workshop to discuss energy access as well as to strengthen collaboration and partnerships between practitioners and academia. The overall objective of the workshop was to develop a common vision focused on assessing and securing access to renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa in innovative and sustainable ways. Another goal was to build a research consortium aiming at a long-term research agenda in order to apply for the Horizon 2020 call for proposals.

The workshop (4th - 8th November 2019) hosted by TU Berlin took place with the participation of the following guests:

  • Prof. Etienne Ntagwirumugara, African Center of Excellence - Energy for Sustainable Development (Rwanda)
  • Prof. Chewki Ziani Cherif, Pan African University - Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate Change) (Algeria)
  • Prof. John Gitonga Githiri, Jomo Kenyatta University (Kenya)
  • Dr. Tekalign Tsige Sahilu, Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (Rwanda)
  • Prof. Bernd Balkenhol, University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (Switzerland)
  • Dr. Gunther Bensch, RWI Essen (Germany)

(The funding particularly supported the participation of representatives from African institutions, the European partners joining the meeting were not funded under this scheme.) 

With the guidance of the TU Berlin Dialogplattform, the institutions' different perspectives in terms of their research activities, demonstration projects, and technology transfer projects were examined and discussed in order to envision a collaborative approach to reach the abovementioned objectives. The project idea and reflections tackled the important challenge on how to measure and track achievements of SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy and how to support energy access for all.

In addition, the research partners interacted with different organizations in Berlin and Europe. The team visited the Reiner Lemoine Institute, TMG ThinkTank for Sustainability, Access2Energy Institute (A2EI), Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam, and Science Park Golm. Furthermore, discussions were held with the TU Berlin Department of Energy Systems, as well as with another existing consortium to explore the possibility of collaborating with the existing consortium for any future applications. 

Partnerships and ideas were successfully consolidated. Over the next few months, the consortium is preparing a research proposal to be submitted for third-party funding.

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