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Action plan for high-priority renewable energy initiatives in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean area

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Harnessing sun and wind in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean region is dependent on gas, oil and nuclear power for its energy. However, the wind and solar resources available in the region combined with the sensitivity of its inhabitants to global warming support the potential success of a well-organised plan to develop wind and concentrating solar power (CSP) projects in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

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The ‘Action plan for high-priority renewable energy initiatives in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean area’ (Remap) project was designed to evaluate the technical and financial considerations together with the priorities of each of the countries involved to develop a formal action plan for a wind and CSP collaboration. Combining the competencies and financial resources of Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia and Turkey could create a win-win situation for the countries as well as potential financial and industrial investors. Such collaboration would provide a basis for sustainable wind and CSP development and thus energy for all with minimal impact on the environment. Furthermore, it would provide the potential for economic development in the form of an export to other European countries and beyond, increasing flexibility and decreasing risk. The investigators determined that successful implementation of CSP projects in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries depends on reliable assessment of resources combined with reliable economic conditions. The researchers observed that existing electric power grids in the region are generally weak and the legal and institutional frameworks in some countries are not always adequate. In order to maximise potential technical success and minimise financial risk for investors, the researchers proposed both improvements to existing electric power grids (which would be integrated with CSP) as well as improvements in transparency regarding policies, laws and inter-country agreements. In summary, the investigators funded by the Remap project fostered close collaboration among stakeholders in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries and developed financing plans for implementing wind and CSP projects with specific considerations based on country priorities. The detailed action plan could provide a basis for harnessing wind and solar power and efficiently distributing it, thus contributing to energy and environment goals as well as economic development in the region.

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