Cairo, 18 October 2017. Releasing renewable energy opportunities in the Euro-Mediterranean region is key to socio-economic development. This was the theme of today’s UfM Energy and Climate Business Forum, held in Cairo under the auspices of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and the New and Renewable Energy Authority of Egypt. The Forum was opened by the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt, Mr Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, the Energy Secretary of State of Portugal, Mr Jorge Seguro Sanches and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Mr Fathallah Sijilmassi.
Held in the perspective of the World Energy Day, the Forum brought together more than 150 high-level government officials from UfM countries, representatives of large private companies and start-up teams working on renewable energies, as well as international financial institutions and development banks. Participants agreed on the need to promote regional cooperation through the federation of energy-related business associations in the Euro-Mediterranean region in order to encourage private sector initiatives in the energy sector. They also called for the structuring of a dialogue platform to explore the potential of public-private partnerships (PPP) in the UfM region as an essential tool to foster investments on the renewable energy sector. Additionally, they suggested integrating international business networks working on energy transition, such as the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, in order to replicate and develop new innovative solutions, both in terms of technology and business models.
Successful investment cases were showcased at the Forum, such as the UfM-labelled project Tafila Wind Farm, which meets 3% of Jordan’s national electricity demand and constitutes a best practice model of public-private partnership. Another UfM-labelled project, promoted by the EBRD, is the “SEMED Private Renewable Energy Framework (SPREF)”, which aims to stimulate the development of private renewable energy markets in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. SPREF will provide financing and mobilise further investment from third parties of up to €834 million to prevent 780,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Mr Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt, briefed the participants on the plans for “modernizing and strengthening the transmission and distribution networks in the electricity sector as well as for developing a long-term strategy that allows renewable energies to reach 42% of the energy mix by 2035, using the potential of Egypt’s wind and solar energy”. He highlighted the importance of the role played by the private sector and the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“Portugal encourages the development of a strategic partnership between our friends and neighbours from the Euro-Mediterranean region, contributing to the integration of energy markets and developing a real Energy Bridge between all”, said Mr Jorge Seguro Sanches, State Secretary of Energy of Portugal. “Portugal, having no fossil resources, has applied to the electricity sector an ambitious and successful plan to promote renewable energies. Proof of the success of this plan for the renewables carried out by Portugal in recent years, were the four days of consumption, renewable, in May 2016. The promotion of renewable energy is an option that we are proud of and we intend to continue to strengthen”, he added.
“Mobilising private energy and climate investments is key to ensure a sustainable energy transition in the Euro-Mediterranean region”, said UfM Secretary General, Mr Sijilmassi. “Renewable energies and energy efficiency are an important source of job creation and an essential vector for climate action, sustainable development and regional stability”.
In line with the new UfM action-oriented Roadmap for enhanced regional cooperation (Barcelona, 23 January 2017) and the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Energy (Rome on 1 December 2016), this Forum constitutes a milestone in the activities of the UfM Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency dialogue Platform, which seeks to mobilise private sector investments in the renewable energy sector. In this regard, the UfM Secretariat will present next 14 November at the COP23, in Bonn, the results of a study on climate finance in the Mediterranean.
The Forum was organised in collaboration with the “Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Énergie” (OME) and the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions (WAES), with the financial support of the Government of Sweden.