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Strategic partnerships for sustainable energy


For the Technical Cooperation Department, 2016 was characterized by strategic partnerships, whose development was actively advanced especially in the field of sustainable energy. This effort was visibly expressed by two prominently attended events in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

ADB Vice-President Bambang Susantono before the start of the podium discussion

Both players are connected by the relevance of their complementary development policies: ADB is one of the world’s largest financing organizations for energy projects in developing and emerging economies. With its “Affiliate Country Programme”, the IEC has an effective instrument for integrating developing countries into international work on standardization. PTB, furthermore, strengthened its collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which has increasingly given more attention to quality infrastructure since its foundation in 2009.

The event with ADB took place within the scope of the 49th annual meeting of the development bank, which focused on the theme of “Cooperating for Sustainability” and was held in Germany for the first time at the start of May 2016. A seminar which was based on an idea by the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung - BMZ), Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, and was planned and organized by PTB, was dedicated to quality-related challenges in the development of renewable energy systems. The panel of speakers, which comprised project partners from India and Indonesia as well as the President of PTB along with representatives of IRENA and the KfW development bank, pointed to a number of issues including the loss of profitability and reputation as a result of neglected quality and security issues. Financing programs for the development of renewable energies must go hand in hand with the development of capacity in quality infrastructure. This was the unanimous conclusion.

In October, PTB hosted another international seminar on quality infrastructure and renewable energies. This time the background was provided by the IEC 80th General Meeting in Frankfurt, which was organized by the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE (Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik – DKE). In the “Workshop for Industrialising Countries”, which was jointly organized with the DKE and the IEC, examples and experience gained on “Quality Infrastructure and Renewable Energies: Sharing Expertise for Capacity Development” were exchanged. The laboratory visits that followed gave the 120 participants from the international world of standardization practical insights into the fields of research which relate to energy at PTB. The event was rounded off with a trip to Jühnde, the first village to produce heat and electricity by means of renewable biomass in Germany. This showed the workshop participants the feasibility of decentral energy concepts based on renewable energies.

IRENA has had numerous links with PTB at project level in the past. For instance, joint workshops have been held and the production of publications has been supported with PTB’s expertise. In view of the growing importance that is attached to the interface between quality infrastructure and renewable energies, it seems natural for PTB and IRENA to intensify their cooperation. This is taking place in the form of an agreement with the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC) based in Bonn, and is to strengthen collaboration between members of staff. One of the Technical Cooperation Department’s employees was thus seconded to the IITC in October for two months with the aim of strengthening the mutual exchange of knowledge and information. More temporary staff assignments are planned for 2017.

International partnerships as well as PTB-internal collaborations between the Technical Cooperation Department and PTB’s technical divisions will form the basis of successful development projects also in the future. The Technical Cooperation Department would like to take this opportunity to thank its partners and colleagues at PTB for their outstanding support and cooperation.