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MED-DESIRE Technical Roundtable in Bari

Tuesday, 01 April 2014 11:00

Technical Roundtable on Solar market Costraints and Opportunities in the Mediterranean

During MED-DESIRE strategic project International Conference, hold in Bari on the 31st of March 2014 , the technical roundtable “Mediterranean Solar Market Constraints and Opportunities” took place. The goal of the session was to investigate cooperation opportunities in distributed solar technology markets in the Mediterranean Basin.

What clearly emerged from the very beginning of the discussion between the panelists is that on both Shores of the Mediterranean Sea the issue of distributed energy in general (and solar in particular) is a well-established priority in the energy policy agenda, both for a carbon free energy transition and for the development of a promising industrial sector.

New market opportunities are establishing, as is the case of Tunisia - described by Mr. Abdessalam El Khazen (ANME) -, where the effective financial mechanism PROSOL was implemented, aimed to overcome critical demand-side barriers to the development of a sustainable SWH and PV market. Investment opportunities was caught by an Italian firm directed by Mr. Ottaviano Mattavelli (EdS) that created a Tunisian solar company, attracted by the great potential of the Country and the good cooperation environment.

The same high potential is present in Egypt where, besides the existing barriers (among which financial, regulatory related to subsidy schemes), successful initiatives like EGYSOL – IPH Projects in textile, pharmaceutical and poultry industries presented by Mrs Omneya Sabry from NREA - demonstrate the viability of the development of distributed solar sector that reached up to 750.000 m2 in Egypt .

Mr. Rabih Osta (LSES) and Mr. Pierre el Khoury (LCEC) from Lebanon described a very dynamic situation, where the private sector was very active in supporting and implementing the public initiatives and in responding quickly to the market demand, and where a smart national financial system helps investments.

In European Countries renewable energies experienced a rapid expansion now hampered by the economic crisis and the excessive costs reversed on energy tariffs. The case of Andalusia, illustrated by Mr. Julio Escudero Padilla (AAE), is a very interesting one: in the Region the use of renewable energies has tripled in the last 10 years and currently contribute 19,3% (2012) of the total energy consumed. The weak legal framework for RES an energy efficiency promotion has stopped this expansion but Andalusia has developed a good industrial and research context along the value chain of solar technologies, in particular CSP, on which it can rely on for future developments.

The same holds for Italy, where the strong development of the solar PV market in the past decade has been driven by a very attractive feed in tariff now expired – as highlighted by Mr. Fabio Montagnino (ARCA). Now, as indicated in his speech, there is a clear need to deal directly with grid parity and for a progressive integration with intelligent load management and the deployment of storage systems integrated in smart grids: in this sense distributed solar poly-generation systems are very promising (see ENPI STS-Med project). On innovation in distributed energy systems Italy can spend some good experience, as illustrated by Prof. Mario Motta (Milan Polytechnic University), who added some examples of advanced applications of SWH. It was also interesting the evidence given by Mr Maurizio Cuppone (GSE and CORRENTE) for the need of cooperation among different operators along the value chain of the green economy to reap the numerous opportunities arising on international markets.

The high level discussion was very useful to focus some strategic issues that will be addressed by MED-DESIRE activities.