Skhirat, 19 Novembre 2018. The UfM Secretariat and the Energy Federation of Morocco (Fédération de l’Energie) co-organized last Monday, 19 November, the 14th Energy Conference in Skhirat, under the High Patronage of His Majesty the King Mohamed VI, to promote regional dialogue towards a sustainable energy transition in the Mediterranean region. Such joint effort comes in line with the UfM mandate on energy and the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the UfMS and the Energy Federation of Morocco in 2017 to foster inter-institutional cooperation and promote regional dialogue.
The 14th Energy Conference titled “Energy Transition: What Regional Geostrategy on the Horizon by 2050 ?” aimed to evaluate geostrategic impacts on national and regional energy policies, discuss regional challenges, highlight national and regional efforts towards sustainable energy transition, showcase benefits of regional cooperation, and assess potential future energy scenarios in the region and how they correspond to GHG emissions thresholds.
SDSG Borrego represented the UfMS in the opening session, highlighting the role of the UfM in the fields of energy and climate action in the region, along with related challenges in the Mediterranean while affirming that energy and climate action cooperation in a regional framework has become more essential than ever to tackle such shared challenges, particularly given the fact that by 2040 (according to OME’s Mediterranean Energy Perspectives 2015), a 98% increase in energy demand is estimated in Southern Mediterranean countries and that the Mediterranean region is one of the main climate change hotspots in the world, where the rise of average temperature by 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels – the lower limit not to be surpassed as agreed through the Paris Agreement – is already being exceeded, according to the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C from last October.
Panel discussions focused on three main topics; energy transition, integrating renewable energy in regional electricity markets, and energy efficiency. Those topics are at the heart of the work developed under the three UfM Energy Platforms, three regional dialogue platforms that seek to address the energy challenges in the Mediterranean region. Panellists included several high-level officials, representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, public and private companies, business associations, in addition to relevant stakeholders.
Considerable emphasis was placed during discussions on several key issues; namely renewable energy strategies in the Mediterranean, international efforts to counter renewable energy intermittency through storage solutions and combined cycle technologies, the impact of geostrategic changes on energy policies, and national and regional integration efforts in energy markets, with special focus on the interconnection project between Morocco and Portugal (the latter being the guest country of the conference) and Morocco’s strategy towards Africa and the ECOWAS group, particularly the planned onshore/offshore Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.