The Mediterranean at the forefront of the energy transition

Fossil fuels are still the dominant part of the energy mix worldwide. In the Southern Mediterranean region, power production today is based more than 80% on fossil fuels. Electricity demand in this region is forecast to triple in 20 years and, despite the significant production of fossil fuels in the region, imports of fossil fuels over the same period will jump from 44% to 66% of consumption. This presents a very significant energy security challenge and has important environmental and climate repercussions, with CO2 emissions set to triple by 2040.

This is why the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency is an absolute necessity in the Mediterranean region. Fortunately – the Mediterranean is equipped with tremendous assets to tackle the climate change challenge and be at the forefront of the energy transition: it has some of the best solar resources in the world, low rainfall and vast areas available in the southern shore to install mirrors, as well as excellent wind resources. Several countries in the region have already established a strong reputation as world renewable energy champions, other have ambitious policies while are still at an early stage of development.

This considerable potential can satisfy domestic demand and opens the possibility of exporting green electricity to the wider region. However, to realize this potential, appropriate policies need to be implemented with a view to promoting stable and sound regulatory frameworks, competitive and well integrated electricity markets and access to finance. High level representatives from political and financial institutions and from the industry will discuss current and future policies to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Mediterranean.