Home Rationale

solar panelsRenewable energy is of great relevance for the socio-economic development of countries in the ACP region (particularly in small island developing states) as well as in Europe, as to date they heavily depend on (imported) fossil fuels to meet their energy needs. Apart from the environmental benefits and the fact that it concretely contributes to mitigate climate change, the local generation and use of renewable energies offer great potential for local economic development (e.g. a wide range of local job opportunities from high-skill to low-skill and from high-tech to agriculture) It also fosters local investments and reduces the need for imports.

However, the sector of renewable energies cannot develop appropriately at present, due to lack expertise and limited access to the latest technologies and knowledge, especially in ACP Small Island Developing States (ACP-SIDS). Due to their innovative work, universities and research institutions in ACP-SIDS countries are very important actors in this sector, especially in terms of research as well as in the education of future employees in this sector. Despite the value of the topic of renewable energy, it is not yet as prominently featured in the research and technology activities of ACP- SIDS universities as it could have been or, indeed, as it should be. It is for this reason that the project DIREKT will be implemented. It is a concrete tool to foster the cause of climate change mitigation in developing countries, by raising their capacity to develop the field of renewable energy.