The European Education Directory

Together Today for a Sustainable Energy Future:
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEE)
Intercultural Studies

By Prof. Dr. sc. techn. Dirk Dahlhaus, Dr.-Ing. John Sievers and Anke Aref, M.A.
M.Sc. Program REEE for the MENA Region (REMENA)
Dept. of Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, University of Kassel, Germany

Why Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

In view of depleting resources of fossil and nuclear fuels, energy generation based on different forms of renewable energy (RE) is the only presently available way to respond to the ever-increasing global energy demand on the long term. In addition, reduction of CO2 emissions to reduce global warming and climate change will only be feasible if energy resources are used more efficiently. The RE share is about 10% in Germany today and has already reached 20% of power generation. The RE share is expected to rise to 20% of the final energy by 2020 and to about 40% of power generation. Main fields of research for grid integration of renewable energies are the application of storages, the reinforcement of the grid and control of flexible loads and power generators. In remote areas, “island solutions” with decentralized RE generation might meet the demand. Due to the climatic and geographic conditions a sustainable energy future must take into account the locally available RE from different sources within an international energy network.

Why for the Middle East and North Africa

The world solar energy map shows the enormous energy potential of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. A photovoltaic plant in North Africa can produce three times as much electricity as one with comparable investment in Germany. “In less than 6 hours the deserts of the world receive as much energy from the sun as mankind uses in a year,” says Dr. Knies from the DESERTEC foundation. Wind farms located by the Red Sea in Egypt belong to the most efficient in the world due to the favourable wind conditions in this area. Hydro, biomass and biofuels may add to the energy portfolio. Furthermore, the exploitation of different geographic energy resources must be complemented by an effective demand side management.

Why Intercultural

Sustainable energy supply will remain one of the most crucial challenges for the Arab region in the coming decades and also a main focus in developing cooperation. Experience shows that there is a lack of energy experts being familiar not only with technological aspects, but also with the culture, language and politics of Arab and western European countries. The implementation of suitable solutions in the energy sector happens in a highly complex framework of stakeholders. Tools are needed to sharpen the awareness for culturally bound cognition and to analyse intercultural mishaps. Developing associated skills will support match-making and induce win-win-situations wherever possible. Working together in intercultural teams may well turn out to be one of the core issues in the shaping of a sustainable tomorrow.

Career Opportunities

Nuclear energy phase out will boost investments into green initiatives and clean tech innovations. The REEE sector is expected to expand rapidly. Experts and project managers understanding the technical, environmental, regulatory, commercial and socio-cultural issues and constraints are highly sought for by companies and institutions. National and international organisations, ministries, local authorities, energy centres, non-governmental organisations and engineering companies need experts on postgraduate level for research and development and as consultants for strategic, feasibility and policy decisions in the sector.

Why Postgraduate Studies in the REMENA Master Course

If you are interested in a career in field of REEE, the M.Sc. program “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for the MENA Region (REMENA)” will provide you with technical and managerial knowledge in the REEE sector and with intercultural competencies. Both aspects are equally important when taking up leadership positions in the aforementioned institutions and to work effectively in the framework of international cooperation. Two universities – the University of Kassel, Germany, and the Cairo University, Egypt – in cooperation with institutions and companies in the renewable energy sector have combined their expertise to design an attractive master program to guarantee an excellent education for young experts to meet the challenges of sustainable energy supply.

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