The NEED project interlinks successful initiatives, research institutions, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and national and local public decision makers in the domain of RET in order to contribute to a wider acceptance and application of renewable energies within Southern African societies.
It will combine and boost existing local capacities - of students, policy makers, SMEs and research institutions - in the implementation of RET and roll out projects in specific fields of activity that were previously inaccessible, e.g. through the formulation of research policies, the development of industry standards and the promotion of higher / vocational education for young people (‘dual studies’, i.e. alternating practical and theoretical teaching stages). The experience gained will then be put into practice with the development of energy concepts and transition roadmaps for two model regions. As these model regions are representative of typical local environments (a small village in the desert and an accumulation of lodges in a national park), the principles that are developed for setting up an energy concept and its incorporation within local structures and policies will create a template for the implementation of sustainable energy concepts in other rural regions.
The project focuses on national (policy and research institutions) and local structures and stakeholders that will profit from the integration of RET in local policies, e.g. the private sector will derive benefit from the availability of well-educated young scientists, while local communities will profit from a professional workforce in the field of RET and, in the long term, from an increased supply of secure energy. Similarly, experiences from the model regions can subsequently be incorporated into the formulated (research) policies on a national scale.