“Clean Energy for the Future: How to Foster Cooperation between the EU and the Gulf Region”
Brussels, 21st June 2012
Informative presentations and fruitful discussions have taken place during the Event “Clean Energy for the Future: How to Foster Cooperation between the EU and the Gulf Region”, which was successfully held in the premises of Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), on the 21st of June 2012, in Brussels, Belgium.
The Event, organized by the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network and CEPS within the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW, 18-22 June 2012), attracted a distinguished and multidisciplinary audience of more than 60 experts from EU and GCC organizations, among which high level representatives from Masdar, ICCS-NTUA, Gulf Research Centre Foundation, IRENA, FEEM, QEERI, ESTELA, ELIA Group, CEPS, CERTH – ISFTA, Alstom, IEA, etc. The aim was to present and discuss the ongoing work of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, as well as the practical potential for EU - GCC cooperation on clean energy projects.
Arno Behrens, representing CEPS – host of the event, warmly welcomed the delegates and confirmed the strong interest for coordination and partnership within the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network.
Michael Köhler, Head of Cabinet, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, in his opening keynote address highlighted the importance that the EU gives in supporting EU-GCC clean energy co-operation, also through the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, stressing that the enhanced energy co-operation among the two regions will be mutually beneficial and will create a more resilient energy system for all. “There is a new dimension of co-operation that is getting increasingly important, not only from climate point of view but also from economic and technology point of view, for both sides.”, Mr Köhler stressed. “The EU has to offer a lot to our Partners in the GCC, through this co-operation; notably, Europe is the largest integrated market, not only in terms of purchasing power, but also in terms of energy demand and prices. In Europe we are leaders in R&D for renewables and increasingly important energy efficiency and we have a stable, transparent, non-discriminatory and legally binding energy policy framework. These provide a good basis for extending co-operation beyond oil and gas to new areas towards energy sustainability”.
The Agenda continued with an overview of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, the current status and future prospects of cooperation presented by Prof. John Psarras, from ICCS-NTUA, Network EU Consortium Leader and Assist. Prof. Sgouris Sgouridis, from Masdar Institute, the Network GCC Consortium representative.
The Declaration of Co-operation signed by the EU and GCC Consortium Leaders (ICCS-NTUA and Masdar Institute) on establishing the appropriate structures and mechanism to ensure the sustainability of the Network, confirms the interest of both sides to further strengthen the Network operation in the years to come.
Toward the same objective, the Network discussion groups’ conveners presented the main highlights of the five Discussion Groups on Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Efficiency/Demand Side Management, Electricity Interconnections & Market Integration, Clean Natural Gas & Related Technologies and Carbon Capture & Storage.
The Event continued with the presentation and fruitful discussion on concrete opportunities for EU-GCC cooperation on clean energy projects, a session chaired by Prof. Giacomo Luciani of the GRC Foundation.
In this context, Marcus Lippold, from International Relations and Enlargement, DG Energy of the European Commission presented the policy perspective for EU-GCC energy co-operation, Prof. Giacomo Luciani from Gulf Research Center Foundation, presented the research and academic prospects, while the industry point of view was comprehensively covered by Mariángels Pérez Latorre from ESTELA, Mr Gilles Lafleuriel from ELIA, Alain Berger from Alstom and John Gale from Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme, IEA. Haris Doukas from ICCS-NTUA presented examples of practical co-operation initiatives that can be further elaborated within the Network collaboration mechanisms.
At the end of the Meeting, the participants discussed the way forward for the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network.