Last 26 November 2015 the II Mediterranean Solar Forum, in the framework of the Mediterranean Economic Leaders Week, was held in Barcelona, Spain. The objective of this forum was the joint reflection among government representatives, international organizations, project developers and private investors on the challenges and opportunities that solar energy represents in the Mediterranean, given its strategic importance of the resource.
At the opening session, responsibles of organizations such as the Energy Observatory for the Mediterranean, the Business Forum of Algeria, the Association of Chambers of Commerce of the Mediterranean, the Chambers of Commerce of Barcelona and Egypt, the European Investment Bank, the Union for the Mediterranean, or the Committee on Gulf-Mediterranean Development. This session concluded with the intervention of the Minister of Enterprise and Employment of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
Among the most interesting findings in this inaugural session, the important growth in energy demand that the southern Mediterranean countries will experiment, which will double by 2040 and triple in the case of electricity consumption, was cited. Facing this panorama, information on policies that some countries are developing was presented, such as Morocco, that will soon launch the largest solar plant in the Mediterranean, or Egypt, that foresee 12,000 MW of renewable energy by 2025 and 46,000 MW in the case of Algeria, combining gas and solar thermal energy. These references are important considering the energy dependence that Europe has with the countries of the southern Mediterranean. The representative of the Mediterranean Energy Observatory also pointed out the importance of advancing with equal force towards improving energy efficiency.
The second session was dedicated to the presentation of the six projects on the energy field funded by the ENPI CBC Cross-Border Cooperation Programme of the Mediterranean Basin, through its financial instrument European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument - ENPI. The ENPI CBC MED Programme aims to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and the participating regions located along both shores of the Mediterranean. Thus, FOSTERinMED, SHAAMS, MED SOLAR, DODSOLITPB, STS_MED and MED-DESIRE were presented. All these projects focus on the development of renewable energy, primarily solar energy.
Specifically, the MED-DESIRE project was presented by the Andalusian Energy Agency. This project aims to transfer best practices in renewable energy, organisational, economic, legislative and legal fields, among the countries participating in the project, namely Spain, Italy, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon.
The meeting ended with several B2B meetings between entities and enterprises from both sides of the Mediterranean, and in which the Agency also participated.