Indicative topics for panel discussion per Session include:
Session 2: Promoting co-operation on Energy Efficiency & Demand Side Management
- Sustainable built environment and energy efficient buildings: design, construction and operation:
- How did the construction industry generally get impacted by the movement towards sustainable development and energy efficiency buildings?
- What are the techniques and tools that designers and engineers need to integrate into their processes in order to better the industry?
- How influential are the analytical tools such as environmental impact assessment, life cycle assessment, cost-benefit analysis etc in the design decision making process?
- Mechanical and energy services and solutions:
- What are the opportunities/ challenges in implementing district cooling in the region?
- What role do the Energy Services and management companies have in promoting and providing technologically feasible and economically sustainable energy efficiency solutions to the Municipalities, cities, developers etc.?
- There is increasing evidence that investing in green and energy efficient buildings makes good business sense. Can we share some case studies to identify the measures that were used to improve the buildings efficiency and the return of investment?
- Demand side management: smart appliances, smart gird and human behavior:
- Despite some clear benefits of the smart grid, there has been hesitation and delays in both investment and implementation of such technology, what are the main factors behind such hesitance?
- A cross-disciplinary approach that integrates social factors such as human behavior are critical in addressing demand management. Can we share some case studies on how cities addressed the “sociology of energy” to achieve its sustainability goals?
- What kind of EU-GCC cooperation may be envisaged here?
Session 3: Exploiting synergies for renewabes and other clean energy technologies
- Most of the GCC countries use Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGTs) where the gas is provided at subsidized prices; this is very different from other parts of the World and indeed calls for innovative commercial arrangements to support the business case for ‘private’ renewables in the GCC. What financial models are best suited for such situation to send the right price signals to both producers and end customers alike?
- Considering the strong interdependency between the Power & Water production in the GCC, which is in fact delivering the highest overall efficiency, and since the renewables are mainly Power production systems, what sort of energy Policy is required in the GCC to satisfy the water demand, maintain the linkage between Power & Water and preserving the above mentioned high efficiency?
- The Electricity (and Water) Sector in some of the GCC Countries are becoming increasingly regulated through independent Economic & Technical Regulators. How can the renewable case be presented to and accepted by the Economic Regulator knowing that in the short/medium term it may incur additional financial cost that may have to be born by the end consumer to support the long term deployment of renewables?
- From a technical point of view, the network companies must deploy appropriate tools & facilities, analytical and otherwise like the concept of Smart Grid, to deal with the intermittency of the renewables; what are the key systems required and for what type of renewable these are being used in the EU?
- Interplay between power generation and water desalination. A key project for the network would be studying the optimal mix between MSF and RO water desalination, optimization of RO plants as interruptible users, and issues related to water storage. This is the key to flattening the load for gas fired power plants and accommodating power from renewable sources when available.
- The possibility of direct desalination from solar should also be explored.
- Reliance on solar creates a night/day availability cycle which is best dealt with single cycle gas turbines. However in the conditions of the Gulf the combination of power generation and multi-stage flash water desalination is an important synergy, which however means that the gas fired power plants should be treated as must-run, hence they are preferably combined cycle.
- A synergy may be found between solar power and RO water desalination because water can be stored and a RO plant does not need to run at capacity all the time. Cement plants and refineries can also produce power effectively and there are multiple synergies to be realized.
- Joint co-operation EU-GCC projects/initiatives involving synergies for renewables and other clean energy technologies.
Session 4: Financing Clean Energy Projects
- Innovative energy financing models (e.g. Third Party Financing)
- Ways to demonstrate that clean energy investments are good business?
- Possibilities to extend special funding to EU companies willing to enter in joint ventures in the GCC
- Financing opportunities under the Kyoto Protocol (e.g. granting GCC entities green certificates that they will be able to sell on the EU carbon market)?
- CCS in the CDM and economic viability.
- CCS in the GCC for storage or for EOR?
- Could the Regional cooperation activities help to increase access to financing by creating a critical mass of projects?
Session 5: EU-GCC Clean Energy Co-Operation Avenues in higher and executive education
- What are the current initiatives that broaden EU-GCC cooperation in higher and executive education?
- How the Network will act as a focal point for stepping-up the cooperation between universities and research centres in the EU and GCC countries?
- What are the specific proposals for activities that will lead to increased visibility and improved knowledge of clean energy efforts, such as lectures, research, publications, conferences, workshops and media coverage of the events?
- Can the Erasmus Mundus and other relevant mechanisms support co-operation?
- Network activities towards this direction: Announcement of related co operations (e.g. Training seminar on Solar resource assessment with HCT)