"Clean Energy in the EU and the GCC" within the EUSEW 2019

Thursday, June 20, 2019
Résidence Palace, Brussels, Belgium


The EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network (the Network), funded by European Commission (EC) and supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat General (GCC SG), aims to catalyze partnerships between clean energy stakeholders in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the European Union (EU).

The Network is a source of information on clean energy topics and acts as an inclusive platform for various stakeholders to meet and debate and also forms a bridge towards cooperation on clean energy, including policy and technology aspects, among various players across the EU and GCC countries.

Within the framework of EUSEW 2019 at the Networking Village - Energy Fair, on Thursday 20 June 2019 from 09:00 to 12:30, the Network organises a half-day session, entitled "Clean Energy in the EU and GCC", aiming to present the potential for collaboration on the following topics: 

  • Renewable Energy Technologies

The Gulf countries have the lowest fossil fuels cost in the world but have also recently discovered the potential for low-cost renewable energy. World record low prices for solar power in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the result of smart procurement, highly rated off-takers, the availability of low-cost capital and land and of course an excellent solar resource. Solar power is now the cheapest form of electricity in the Gulf and ambitious targets are currently being pursued, with individual projects routinely exceeding the 1 GW mark. This session will elaborate the potential for solar PV, CSP and wind energy.

  • Energy Efficiency

Currently, the Gulf countries face many challenges in the energy sector such as low energy efficiency, chronic dependence on fuel subsidies and related high CO2 emissions. To tackle these issues, energy efficiency measures and technologies, including smart technologies and smart cities, can play a major role to reduce energy intensity and thus emissions. There are solutions available suited for small, medium and large-scale applications and that can be implemented in different sectors of the economy such as building and Industry. In addition, Energy efficiency provides significant co-benefits in terms of job/SMEs creation, revenue generation, interaction with research and innovation, increasing competitiveness and improvement of companies’ corporate images. This session aims to exchange best practices and lesson learned and identify ways to advance collaboration between EU and GCC actors.

  • Electricity markets

Europe has the most advanced complex integrated electricity market in the world and is currently working on adapting that market to the ongoing energy transition. The Gulf countries are connected through the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) backbone and initial electricity trading has emerged after a start-up phase of using the GCC grid for emergencies and cross-border support in case of planned outages. A full-fledged electricity market would be beneficial in terms of cost, reliability and the energy transition. In the journey towards such a GCC electricity market,  an open and constructive dialogue with European stakeholders can help accelerate the introduction and avoid pitfalls, recognizing the different sizes, dynamics and characteristics of each region.  

  • Hydrogen

Low-cost renewable electricity can be used to split water into its components, yielding green hydrogen. With world record low prices for solar power, ample available land and decades of oil & gas experience, the Gulf is predestined to become a major producer of green molecules, and more and more green energy will be traded across borders. Of course, electricity interconnection will continue to play a role, but there is a growing interest in green molecules that can be used as feedstock, transport fuel and for industrial processes. The conversion of green electricity into hydrogen, ammonia or methanol furthermore enables bulk energy storage over seasons and very cost-effective shipping over long distances. The Network support stakeholders engaged in that promising new business in a joined-up approach.

The four above-mentioned clean energy topics (Renewable Energy Technologies, Energy Efficiency, Electricity markets, and Hydrogen) are core elements of the Clean Energy transition and are of high interest for energy-related stakeholders. Presentations and discussions at the session aim to highlight the potential for collaboration and synergies between the regions in the respective fields of interest.