Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

CDMEDI conference

Within the framework of the CDMEDI project, the OME, ANER and Enel Green Power, with the support of the European Commission (DG Research), organised a high-level Conference on the theme "Renewable Energy and Clean Development Mechanism in the Mediterranean countries". This Conference was very successful and attracted more than hundred participants. This success was due to the valuable help provided by the EC, but also to the presence of decision makers and high-level experts from the world of energy and the environment in the Mediterranean countries.

The Conference was concerned particularly with disseminating the results of European research projects under the co-ordination of the OME and driven jointly by the European and Mediterranean partners on the theme of renewable energy technologies and the CDM. The Mediterranean has considerable potential for the realisation of ambitious projects. The MED 2010 project has been able to estimate the potential for wind and PV. For wind power, the potential is 6000MW in Morocco, 1000MW in Tunisia and 10 000MW in Turkey. As far as rural electrification is concerned, the potential should be enough to supply between 100 000 and 200 000 households in Morocco, between 6000 and 16000 in Tunisia, and almost 5000 in Egypt.

So far and in spite of governments will and public policies clearly in favour to RES development, RE technologies have been little developed in the Mediterranean countries. However, in Morocco the stated targets are 10% by 2010 and 20% by 2020. In Tunisia the targets for 2010 are 200 MW for wind power, 100% electrification (which assumes equipping 6000 households with photovoltaic systems), and a surface area of 500 000 m2 for the installation of solar panels. Nevertheless, in order to promote large-scale development of RE in the region, the delegates at the Conference agreed that major constraints have to be overcome: institutional and financial. They do think that it is important that governments accept that there is role for private enterprise. Also governments need to ensure that the development of projects is not held back by excessive taxation.

With regard to financial matters, the presentation of the EDF ACCESS program has highlighted the importance of the support given to initial investment as a factor in the ultimate success of a program. Indeed, delegates were reminded that throughout the world rural electrification is subsidized, at least with regard to initial investment. In France the level of subsidy is 70%, excluding tax, and 84% with tax. The speakers have also highlighted the efforts and initiatives of their institutions in financing renewable energy projects and the important role they could in developing the Mediterranean market for these technologies. The Italian Ministry for Environment has also presented the Type II Initiative it launched on the development of renewable energy in the Mediterranean region and the important efforts performed with its partners in order to attend the Initiative's assigned objectives.

The presentations also highlighted the opportunities of valuing the environmental advantages obtained by setting up renewable energy projects and the potential impact of the implementation of the CDM on this market. Indeed, the Conference recalled that the CDM is the only flexible mechanism to come out of the Kyoto Agreement that concerns both the developing countries and the industrialized world. The stakes of successfully completing CDM projects in the field of renewable energy are of crucial importance for all the countries in the Mediterranean basin. For the countries to the north of the Mediterranean, the matter at issue is to honour, at least in part, the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to show restraint in the management of carbon. For the countries to the south, the issue is to exploit the potential of renewable energy and to make a real contribution to sustainable development.

The delegates also stressed that the completion of CDM projects in the renewable energy domain in the Mediterranean basin is a major challenge that involves establishing an appropriate institutional and regulative framework, preparing project specifications, and drawing up a strategy for communication and training. An innovative solution introduced by the Conference concerned the creation of a Mediterranean Carbon Fund. The delegates think that the creation of a Mediterranean Carbon Fund could play a decisive role in the development of renewable sources of energy and be of enormous benefit to all the countries in the region. It should enable the northern countries to acquire gas reduction units and to partly honour their commitments vis-à-vis the Kyoto Agreement. It should also lead to an equitable distribution of capital that takes the national priorities of the southern countries into account.

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