On May 10th 2010, Spain will host the EIB's 8th FEMIP conference focusing on solutions to the energy challenge being faced by the Mediterranean region. The conference will be followed by the Mediterranean Solar Plan conference organised by the Spanish Government in Valencia on 11-12 May 2010 within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union.
With the Mediterranean regions energy mix being mostly based in fossil fuels and considering that the primary energy demand will increase 70% by 2020, the decision to integrate renewable energy and energy efficient projects into national and regional energy policies is essential.
The three sessions of this one-day conference will take a pragmatic approach and provide practical examples of how to support renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy infrastructure policies and projects. On this occasion, the EIB will announce the results of the FEMIP Trust Fund Study on the Mediterranean Solar Plan, will discuss how to integrate the Mediterranean's potentially large renewable capacity into the national and international grids, and present new instruments available for boosting energy efficiency.
Administrative obstacles need to be removed, unclear goals need to be defined and support mechanisms need to be rational so that both Mediterranean partner countries and European countries can reap the full benefits of renewable energies expansion in the Mediterranean Region.
Since October 2002, FEMIP has dedicated more than EUR 3.6 billion to energy projects in the Mediterranean partner countries - almost 40% of its total financing over the period.
FEMIP's activity in this sector aims at improving the local population's access to energy; integrating the Euro-Mediterranean energy markets; and diversifying the sources of supply, particularly through the use of renewables.
This third area is of growing importance for the Bank. At the FEMIP Ministerial Meeting in October 2008, the EIB was asked to play a key role in the implementation of the Mediterranean solar energy plan, one of the six key initiatives of the Union for the Mediterranean. This assignment was subsequently confirmed by the Euro-Mediterranean Industry Ministers at their conference in Nice in November 2008, when they called on the EIB to draw up an investment plan for the development of solar energy in the Mediterranean region.
FEMIP supports the energy industry with a wide range of instruments: loans, technical assistance and sectoral studies. In 2008, it financed the first fund in the region based on the Clean Development Mechanism.
The Gabal el Zait wind farm in Egypt is among FEMIP's most recent projects in the area of renewable energy. The EUR 50m loan provided by the Bank in 2009 will support the construction of a 200 MW onshore wind farm on the Red Sea coast, which is part of an ambitious national program to further expand power generation from renewable energy.
In the most recent period, renewable energies have increased their share in the EIB pipeline. This trend has also been mirrored in the Mediterranean region, which benefits from favourable conditions in terms of renewable energy sources, in particular, regarding sunshine and wind.Side Event
On 11-12 May 2010, Valencia will also host the high-level conference on the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union, presided over by the Spanish Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce. This event will gather together Ministers and representatives of the 43 countries that make up the Union for the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean Solar Plan, born under the scope of the “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)”, and launched in July 2008, is one of the strategic processes for sustainable development facing the foreseeable increase of energy demand in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and the need to cut back greenhouse effect gas emissions.