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Topic: Energy
Region: Russia, Africa, Europe
Type: Policy Briefs
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Carla Leonetti

Dual Master in Governance and Global Affairs (MGIMO) and International Relations (LUISS), RIAC Expert

Romain Pradier

Dual Master in International Public Management (Sciences Po Paris) and International Security (MGIMO), RIAC Expert

Africa is an ideal market for energy production. With a booming population, developing economies, a crucial need for energy security and international commitment to sustainability and green economies, this continent has all the characteristics of an attractive market for nuclear and renewable resources. The European Union and the Russian Federation are giants in the sphere of energy: not only do they develop and manufacture energy technologies and power plants, but also have a genuine interest in exporting them globally. This includes the African continent. However, Africa comes with challenges, namely a cruel lack of infrastructure in certain regions, political instability and lack of funds. How interesting can the African energy market be to Europe and Russia and how can the latter coordinate their comparative advantages on the field? This chapter will provide market research for policymakers in Africa, Europe and Russia.

Policy Brief #26 / 2020

Africa is an ideal market for energy production. With a booming population, developing economies, a crucial need for energy security and international commitment to sustainability and green economies, this continent has all the characteristics of an attractive market for nuclear and renewable resources. The European Union and the Russian Federation are giants in the sphere of energy: not only do they develop and manufacture energy technologies and power plants, but also have a genuine interest in exporting them globally. This includes the African continent. However, Africa comes with challenges, namely a cruel lack of infrastructure in certain regions, political instability and lack of funds. How interesting can the African energy market be to Europe and Russia and how can the latter coordinate their comparative advantages on the field? This chapter will provide market research for policymakers in Africa, Europe and Russia.

This market analysis provides compelling findings. It seems that the true competitors are Russia versus France on the one hand and Germany versus China on the other for two sets of energy resources respectively. In the case of nuclear and hydro energy, Russia has the upper hand on France. Moscow is already well implanted in Angola and South Africa. However, France will probably be a preferred choice for members of the Francophonie, which already have strong political and economic ties with Paris. Regarding the hydropower market in the DRC, the country offers true potential, with France and Russia presumably being able to participate without friction.

As for solar and wind energy production, Germany has a hard task ahead. Not only do countries like Chad have no supportive policies for the targeted energy, but China is well implanted in the Horn of Africa and provides much cheaper products. In order to remain competitive, Germany could emphasise the quality of its products, employ and train local labour and provide interesting loans to help finance the projects.

A Russia-EU-Africa Energy Strategy. Nuclear and Renewable Energy Security, 1.1 Mb

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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
 
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