Knowledge is Power: AREU’s Expert Pool Sparks Energised Discussion

On Wednesday, a pool of experts from key institutions in the renewable energy sector shared their knowledge at a workshop with the Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union (AREU) at the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW). Sixty people, men and women, participated in discussions on how to promote renewable energy in the private sector. Experts helped disseminate updated information to AREU members as well as develop the capacity of its member organisations. In attendance were representatives from MEW, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD). The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Energy Sector Improvement Programme (ESIP) supported the workshop.

Mohammad Gul Kholmi, the Minister of MEW said, ‘We always support the private sector. This is a great opportunity for us to sit with each other and discuss laws, policies, the procurement system, and the projects. You can find the answer to every question you have during the group discussions.’

During the workshop, members discussed the procurement process of renewable energies, updates on rules, laws and policies, and upcoming projects and opportunities for the private sector, such as net metering.  Experts from key institutions in the renewable energy sector, including MEW, MRRD, and DABS, hosted group discussions with participants at different tables and shared their knowledge.

Amena Adel, AREU General Manager said, ‘The AREU expert pool is a platform to help AREU disseminate updated information, train and build the capacity of its member organisations, and share knowledge among those who have interest or need.’

Knowledge and information offer competitive advantage and opportunities for involvement for companies in the energy sector. The workshop aims to help AREU member organisations develop their businesses in order to compete in the national and international energy market.

AREU member organisations had the opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities in the sector, and network beyond a formal setting. Networking helps AREU sustain an influence over laws, policies and regulations of renewable energies. Helping its members build meaningful relationships by strengthening and broadening their existing networks, AREU can also ensure its sustainability as an organisation. In this way, it can better support the renewable energy sector and promote self-sufficient clean energy production in Afghanistan.

On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the Afghanistan Energy Sector Improvement Programme (ESIP). ESIP aims at promoting renewable energy generation and energy efficiency in Afghanistan to boost economic growth and protect the environment. To achieve this goal, ESIP closely cooperates with key actors at national and provincial level to establish an institutional framework that enables a reliable energy supply. It also supports the private sector in adopting market-based quality standards and maintenance concepts for photovoltaics and solar thermal energy to attract investments. At the same time, ESIP implements capacity-building activities for staff in the public and private energy sectors and at universities.