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European Forum for Economic Co-operation



Welcome to EFEC -

the European Forum for Economic Co-operation

The European Forum for Economic Co-operation, EFEC, comprises of qualified members and partners in EU countries and in particular Asia as well.  EFEC as an European Economic Interest Grouping is an international organisation.

EFEC supports on a not-for-profit basis sustainable development via the mobilisation of economic co-operation within the European private sector and organisations and companies in developing countries.


Architectural use of large scale photovoltaic panels in China


Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province receives with around 6000 MJ/Ym2 abundant sunshine over the year. Therefore it is called ‘city of eternal spring’.


In the context of the Chinese Renewable Energy Law local organisations and companies will evaluate the generation of electric power on the large architectural façades within this rapidly expanding city.  Through EFEC's efforts this study will be co-finaced from the EU Asia ProEco programme


Quality Standards for Solar PV and Thermal Equipment

Based on China's new Renewable Energy Law China Standards has been instructed to develop Quality- and Technical Standards for Solar Energy Equipment.

EFEC arranged a consortium of RALSolar  and  the 
China Standard Certification Centre proposing a joint  Public-Private-Partnership  Project  to SEQUA  for co-financing the adaptation and transfer  of RAL's quality and testing standard to China.



Promotion of sustainable  utilisation of Biomass Energy Sources in Asia

Biomass, in particular fuel-wood, constitutes 60-95% of all energy consumed in developing countries.

However, biomass utilisation is inefficient, depletes natural resources and impacts negatively health via indoor air pollution resulting from open fire heating and cooking.

EFEC, as member of an large consortium led by the German Solar Energy Society implements a sustained 5-year project financed from the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme on improving RES utilisation in developing countries: REEPRO.


Business to Business Meetings in the RES Sector between Bangladesh' and European SMEs

EFEC believes that development co-operation in the institutional area needs to be complemented by private sector actions to be successful and sustainable.

Therefore EFEC participates in the development and implementation of B2B meeting events in Bangladesh and Germany in co-operation Project Partners from Bangladesh, Poland and Germany. The meetings will be supported from the EU Commission's Asia Invest Programme







Architectural use of large scale photovoltaic panels in China

The PR China became the third largest energy user in the world, and its coal-dominated energy structure implies high CO2 emissions. The amount of CO2 emissions from China may surpass that of the United States within 20-30 years, making China the world's largest source of greenhouse gases by around 2025. Currently, renewable energy sources (except for hydro power) account for only a fraction of China's total energy consumption. However, China has abundant solar energy resources: 66% of the national geographical area has more than 2200 solar hour equivalents per year, annual radiation is greater than 5020 MJ/m2, and solar insolation with 50,000 EJ (50,000 x 1018J) absorbed at the surface annually.

In particular, the PR China advanced with 940 to 1.300 billion kwh installed generation capacity to one of the largest producers of electric power in the world. According to official statistics, 67% of China’s electric power is generated from coal, 24% from oil, 3% from natural gas, and 7% from hydropower. Chinese coal is often unrefined and has high sulphur content. Accordingly each year ca. 20 mil t sulphur and 18 mil. t. dust are emitted to the atmosphere. Although the per capita consumption of electric power in China is only around 1/6 of developed nations, China is already the second largest emittent of sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide (CO2), currently 2.5 billion. t, in the world.

As China’s industrialisation, the mechanisation of agriculture and its urbanisation are continuing together with an improving quality of life and mobility a further dramatic increase in energy consumption is inescapable. Actually, the annual increase of primary energy consumption is around 3.4%. Until 2020, China’s CO2 is expected to reach around 5.7 bill. t. Until 2010 China’s increase of CO2 will overcompensate by 5 times the agreed CO2 reduction under the Kyoto Protocol. Hence, it is in the vital interest of the signatories to the Kyoto Protocol to mitigate the Chinese CO2 emission increase.

According to China’s actual economic 5-year plan, each region shall generate at least 5.5% of its electric power from renewable sources. Regions, which cannot comply with this planning, shall purchase electric power from renewable sources from other provinces.  This planning will from 2006 onwards be supported by the Chinese Renewable Energy Law.

Within this framework, China’s State Development and Planning Commission (SDPC) decided to support the application of solar energy, in particular PV with 2 bill. US$ within the next 3 years. It also supports the produce polycrystalline PV cells and applications. The additional planned production capacity of 3 MW p.a. is equivalent to the existing production capacity in China, which shall lead to a price reduction. According to the China Energy Study Society, the application of PV will rise with 30% p.a. over the next decade.


EFEC developed a consortium comprising of Chinese official Institutions, Chinese and European companies, which will in early 2006 produce a feasibility study to evaluate the technical and economical viability of large-scale PV façades in Kunming.  EFEC managed the successful bid for  support from the EU's Asia ProEco Programme







  Quality Standards for Solar PV and Thermal Equipment


This project was co-developed with our Chinese Partner CECP – China Standards Certification Centre.  Based on the new Chinese Renewable Energy Law CECP intends to develop technical quality- and test specifications for solar energy equipment, in particular photovoltaic.

Objective of the Chinese Renewable Energy Law, which will be enforced from 1st  Jan 2006, is to increase the share of renewable energy from currently 1% to 10% until 2020.  

Germany is the leading country in the development and application of Solar Electricity Systems. Hence, EFEC sourced the required competence and identified the German DGS as project partner. DGS already published in March 2005 Quality- and Test Standards for Solar Energy Systems und the RAL-SOLAR umbrella. Discussing project possible content and activities it became apparent that transferring the German specifications – requirements adapted to Chinese technical, professional, and climatic environments - would indeed make sense.

Therefore, EFEC volunteered to prepare a PPP Proposal to the German SEQUA agency.





Promotion of sustainable  utilisation of Biomass Energy Sources in Asia


Fuelwood and other biomass energy are the main sources of energy in developing countries, representing between 60% and more than 95% of national fuel consumption. Households and small enterprises use fuel-wood and charcoal as their main fuel for firing, cooking and heating. In some regions fuel-wood and charcoal consumption add to deforestation, affecting the environment, whilst also having a detrimental effect on human health as acute and chronic respiratory diseases, eye diseases and infant mortality from indoor air pollution. On the other hand remain firewood and other biomass very important fuels for the poor in the target countries.

Forests and wooded lands are particularly valuable in dry or seasonally dry land regions.  They provide fuelwood and timber, as well as other forest products. Tree cover helps to moderate local climate conditions and reduce potentially damaging runoff from torrential rainfall. Forests may occupy fragile ecosystems and, once lost, they may never be recovered, resulting in erosion and desertification. Nevertheless forests are increasingly cut for fuelwood and timber, resulting in a continued decline and degradation in woodlands. Firewood is mostly taken from natural forest. In the past for example Cambodia and Vietnam had abundant natural forests. Unfortunately since 1973, forest resources have significantly declined by up to 40% due to conflict, illegal logging, and population growth. Annual demand for fuelwood is still increasing or stable with more than 6 million m³ extracted annually in Cambodia and Laos, and around 20 million m³ in Vietnam


As a consequence significant forest cover that has been lost in the last two decades for timber, fuelwood and because of clearance along strategically relevant routes and sites. Resulting from the collapse of traditional livelihoods after decades of conflict in some of the target countries, local people depend on the forest sector to earn their living. Nevertheless, many local communities have lost control over their resources, and forests are being consumed for immediate profit by a small minority. It is obvious that the economic benefits of clear-cutting have overwhelmed most of the beneficiaries of this illegal industry, and have resulted in cutting of valuable trees within most of the accessible areas the forests to the extent that their restoration may take more than a century of hard and systematic effort, if possible at all. Deforestation has economic and environmental consequences. It leads to firewood shortages, and adversely effects living conditions, especially of those in the rural area. Since the countries faces the problem of forest degradation, governments made an effort to ban or reduce forest cutting. Meanwhile, reforestation and alternative programs including improved cooking stoves were launched to address those issues.

With these developments in mind a long term capacity building programme to sustainably sensitise local stakeholders towards the benefits of improved biomass utilisation involving local organisations and trainers was designed and proposed to the EU Environment & Forest Programme.





Business to Business Meetings in the RES Sector between Bangladesh' and European SMEs


According to the Government of Bangladesh „Energy is one of the most important ingredients required to alleviate poverty, realise socio-economic and human development. “
The primary objective of the project is to improve the access to electric energy in Bangladesh, which currently stands as low as around 30%. Bangladesh has only few fossil energy resources in the form of natural gas and bituminous coal.  Current electric energy is mainly produced from imported fossil fuels.
If one relates this fact to sustainable development, the inherent limitations become evident:
·        Fossil fuels currently play an important role in the electric energy generation of developed countries with the respective generation and distribution infrastructure already in place and will do so for some time to come.  It may however not be advisable to build a countries energy infrastructure on resources with a remaining commercial lifespan of a few decades only .
·               Because of the limited supply and rising demand for fossil fuels in the develop and developing word alike the respective prices for fossil fuels, already in the range of around 60€ per barrel the foreign currency reserves needed to finance Bangladesh’s electric energy supply become itself a limited factor for economic development.  Even if electric energy from renewable resources will not be cheaper, the related expenses for products and services will benefit the local economy more than the importation of fossil fuels.
·           Building economic development of fossil fuels contributes to climatic change via additional CO2 emissions.  It is in the vital interest of developed countries and developing countries alike, especially countries with vast low-lying areas exposed to flooding at rising sea levels. 
The activities of the consortium to address these issues consist in the mobilisation of the targeted participants, a joint seminar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which will inform participating companies and organisations about:
·       the current state of renewable energy utilisation in Europe;
·       adapted technologies for successful application in Bangladesh;
·       operation modes, -cost, performance and maintenance of such adapted technologies;
·       explanation of co-operation modes, including financing options, with European companies to introduce advance and adapted renewable energy solutions into Bangladesh.

In addition to this seminar  Bangladesh companies and organisations will learn via direct B2B meetings about the capacity and performance of European technology and service providers in the renewable energy sector. Following this meeting interested and capable Bangladesh companies will be invited to visit reference sites in Europe to evaluate renewable energy technologies on site.  By establishing direct company to company links via technology licensing, equipment import, staff training and the development of financing schemes –utilising EU Member States export financing support -  the limitation to Bangladesh’ economic development resulting from the limited availability of electric energy shall be tackled.