The project “Green Energy Center of Iran” (GECI) includes 2 phases, that the first phase was defined for the duration 05-2017 till 12- 2020, and the second phase is from 10-2020 till 10-2021.
The GECI phase 1 project aimed to build, strengthen and institutionalize technical and personnel capacities (capacity building) in the field of renewable energies (RE), energy efficiency (EE) and related cross-cutting issues in Iran. The project consists of the three pillars of academic cooperation, vocational training and concept development for the establishment of a Green Energy Center in Iran (GECI). GECI is a competence center for climate protection in the energy sector center which promotes the development of the synergy between RE and EE.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency will work in synergy to drive decarbonization in energy sectors. The synergy between RE and EE means that energy demand is significantly reduced through efficiency gains, and the remaining energy needs are satisfied by using renewable energy. Therefore, the synergy between RE and EE causes higher shares of renewable energy as well as faster reduction in energy intensity, and lower energy system costs. Renewable energy systems and energy efficiency can be combined through various demand-response, smart-grid and intermediate energy storage systems. Moreover, the methods of RE and EE synergy can contribute to behavioral changes in the energy consumption, by making consumers more aware of the importance of not wasting energy and hence more sensitive to the notion of energy efficiency. However, in many countries like Iran, the indicators and accounting methods for renewable energy and energy efficiency are not integrated and associated together to make better results. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a framework and policy guideline to integrate and make synergy between policies of RE and EE development.
The the phase 2 of GECI project is for 12 months (01.10.2020-30.09.2021) after the project’s 1st
I. Introduction: State of Activities GECI Phase 1
1.1. First Pillar: Academic Cooperation
The first pillar of GECI Phase 1 was the academic cooperation, particularly in the field of education by TU Berlin-IBBA. In this regard, many intensive contacts and cooperation with universities from various regions of Iran have been initiated (Tehran University: different faculties, Sharif Energy Research Institute (SERI), Iran University of Science and Technology, Amir Kabir University of Technology, Azad University, Karaj Materials and Energy Research Center, University of Guilan, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Tabriz University, Environmental Sciences Research institute (IRNEF/ESRI), University of Mazandaran, Shiraz University of Technology, Shahrood University of Technology, etc.). Cooperation in holding academic symposia as well as in development of Iranian curricula in the field of renewable energies has met with great interest from Iranian universities. In this regard, the measures already fulfilled are as below:
- Preparation of 60 posters of stakeholders Ideas regarding the green energies in Iran, regarding GECI and their expectation from the center in English and Farsi (100*70cm) for the stakeholder exhibition
- Holding 4 academic symposiums (3 in university of Tehran and 1 in University of Guilan), as platforms for knowledge and experience exchange in the fields of Renewable Energies (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE); 18 speeches by German university professors and industrial partners of the universities with cooperation of Iranian university professors and representatives of the private sector; participation of a large number of university professors, researchers, lecturers and postgraduate students, representatives of governmental and private sector
- Developing 3 new curricula in the fields of RE and EE as well as upgrading 5 existing curricula by integrating RE and EE syllabus as well as social and managerial dimensions to them.
In many places, revisions of degree programs, initiated years ago, are and have been pending here, in which qualified input from German experts has been very gratefully received and incorporated into the revision and new development of degree programs.
Moreover, TU Berlin and Iranian universities have developed their international academic collaboration through applying joint-academic proposals for the international funds like Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. One of the successful joint proposals is for the Erasmus+ “KA107” which was developed by cooperation between TU Berlin and Tehran University. The “key action 107” aims at extending the well-known Erasmus mobility program between the European countries and other regions across the globe to provide the opportunity of gaining international experience. This fund covers the mobility costs of PhD students and professors for academic exchanges in the field of RE and EE between TU Berlin and Tehran University from 2021 till 2023. This success shows the potential of the GECI center for the mutual academic cooperation between Iranian and German universities in the field of climate protection programs. Therefore, for the next phase of GECI, this academic cooperation will be strengthened to apply for bigger international projects to promote the climate protection programs in Iran and ECO region.
1.2. Second Pillar: Vocational Training
The second pillar of GECI Phase 1 was the vocational training of renewable energy courses by RENAC. The focus was on educational formats that combine internet-based training with classroom training (blended learning). Trainings were held in Berlin and Iran at different locations. The content focused on grid-connected photovoltaics (PV) and the grid integration of PV and wind energy. Both the classroom and online seminars were regularly attended by high-ranking representatives from the energy industry, public administration and politics in Iran. In this regard, the measures already fulfilled are as below:
- Organizing 7 face-to-face training modules in Tehran
- Organizing 2 face-to-face training modules in Tehran
- Organizing 4 face-to-face training modules in Berlin
- Organizing 5 online training semesters
In general, the courses and seminars aimed on theoretical and practical capacity building to adapt and establish the Iranian power supply system to the generation, transmission and distribution of large amounts of variable sources of renewable energies together with an increase in energy efficiency.
1.3. Third Pillar: Concept Development for the Green Energy Center of Iran
The third pillar served the consolidation, sustainability and institutionalization of the project goals. In this pillar, a concept and business plan for a "Green Energy Center of Iran" is being developed together with the Iranian Ministry of Energy and a circle of stakeholders from politics, business and civil society. TU Berlin and RENAC were jointly responsible for this pillar, although TU Berlin-IBBA played the leading role in this section. In this regard, the measures already fulfilled are as below:
- Organizing the 1st Meeting of Revival, Rearrangement and Planning for Establishment of the Center on 02 January 2019 at the venue of the Ministry of Energy.
- Formation of the GECI steering committee) within the Iranian Ministry of Energy with cooperation of representatives from the Ministry of Energy: International Affairs section and Power and Energy Affairs Section, Niroo Research Institute, Plan and Budget Organization: Bureau of Energy, Iran Renewable Energy Association (affiliated to the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture), Iran Association of Energy Service Companies, Professors from K.N. Toosi University of Technology, and participation in its regular weekly/bi-weekly meetings for making required coordination.
The stakeholders exchanges of views during these regular meetings along with the support of TU Berlin-IBBA team to form the necessary basis and structures as well as the necessary detailed considerations, resulted in:
- the physical establishment and unofficial opening of GECI at Niroo Research Institute (NRI) on 13 November 2019 (allocating around 75 m2 space to physical establishment of GECI), and
- the submission of the GECI Business Plan along with the Budget Projection for its activities in first five years by TU Berlin on 15 January 2020 to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Due to political challenges in Iran during January and February 2020 and later the spread of Covid-19 virus, two simultaneous events have been postponed to the time when traveling to Iran is possible again. These events are as follows:
- Official opening of the GECI
- Stakeholders Exhibition
- The Scientific Visit (which due to the pandemic restrictions is planned to be remodeled to a virtual meeting
- Contribution of TU Berlin to the 5th academic symposium through at least one presentation of German guest lecturers on the topic of synergy between RE and EE
II. Outcomes and Outputs of GECI Phase 2
In order to institutionalize, stabilize and ultimately multiply the goals of the project by transferring them to the Iranian side, and based on the needs announced by the Iranian side during the development of the business plan for GECI, the project consortium applies for a new phase of the project (GECI Phase 2) with a duration of 12 months. By supporting GECI to become operational during this phase, the sustainability of the project and the continuous provision of know-how in this field are ensured and the following outcome and outputs will be achieved:
Outcome: Know-How is transferred to help GECI become operational and financially independent. GECI is supported within the process of its integration into a wider regional context institutionalization.
Output 1: Content, topics and methods of the GECI are shaped and one pilot project is developed
Output 1 “Content, topics and methods of the GECI are shaped through knowledge exchange and know-how transfer and one pilot project developed” will ensure that the newly founded GECI will be equipped with the necessary know-how to conduct research, piloting and collaboration projects in the field of synergy between RE and EE.
Output 2: A long-term strategy for GECI with regard to its sustainable financing and its integration into a wider regional framework in the ECO is developed.
The first element of this output (the development of a long-term strategy for the sustainable financing of GECI) will be achieved by the following activities:
· Advice and support in defining the long-term structure, procedures and mechanisms of activities at GECI center, in explaining how the five fields of activities categorized in the GECI business plan (Business to Business, Accelerator, Think Tank, Research, and Education) would relate to each other and function
· Support GECI in developing a long-term financing structure and business plan in order to make GECI activities sustainable and make the center financially independent
- The Institute of Vocational Education and Work Studies (IBBA) of TU Berlin
- Renewables Academy AG (RENAC)
Referents and collaborators
Prof. Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel (Head of Consortium)
Funding Agency / Programme
The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)