Berlin, 9 November, 2012. UfM Secretary General, Fathallah Sijilmassi, and representatives from the UfM Energy division participated at the 3rd Dii Desert Energy Conference, held in Berlin last 7-9 November, 2012. This large Euro-Mediterranean regular meeting aims to follow-up on the Desertec Industrial Inititative (Dii) to create a market for renewable energy which incorporates the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) as well as Europe (EU) on an industrial scale.
“I believe that the cooperation between the UfM and Dii is a key component for the implementation of the Mediterranean Solar Plan, and for the development of economic and technical sound pilot projects. Connecting the Mediterranean countries with Europe will facilitate climate action across the entire region and provide sustainable power”, stated Secretary General Sijilmassi, who participated at the discussion panel “The Bridge: Energy Transition through Cooperation”.
« Electricity demand is increasing by 6 to 7% per year in the UfM country members. While today they have a production capacity of 120 GW, by 2030 they will need to increase it by 200 GW”, said Mr. Sijilmassi. The development of renewable energy and energy efficiency is therefore « a necessity in the region ». Moreover, the European Union has launched an ambitious policy to fight against climate change where the proportion of renewable energy was set at 20% by 2020. “The Mediterranean region has the potential to both meet the growing domestic demand and secure export to Europe”, added UfM Secretary General.
UfM and Dii agreed to intensify their cooperation in order to utilize existing synergies to develop their long-term strategies “Mediterranean Solar Plan” and “Desert Power 2050” for one common cause. UfM Secretary General stressed how working together will create a win-win-situation for all the stakeholders, bringing together governments and industry from the Euro-Mediterranean region
The conference also served as an opportunity for the UfM to explore common ideas and initiatives during fruitful discussions with representatives from the Federal Office and key figures from the international private and public sectors. Particularly positive were bilateral talks with German government officials, notably with Mr Stephan Auer, Director for Globalization, Energy and Climate Policy, who are keen to drive change in energy policy both nationally and internationally, in light of the domestic momentum created by the “Energiewende” (Energy Transition).
Union for the Mediterranean – Energy
The Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) – Website