The time for “being renewable” has come
Prospects for renewable energy look positive in the coming years, which can be partly perceived in the shift of mood concerning this type of source around the world. At opposite ends of the Earth, China has adopted a target to cut net carbon emissions to zero by 2060, while US President Joe Biden re-joined the Paris Agreement on his first day in office. And here in the Mediterranean region, the number of renewable projects and the amount of new capacity brought online in 2020 will continue to accelerate.
In the world of business, clean energy firms are taking financial markets by storm. Meanwhile, tax credits and subsidies have allowed renewable technologies to scale-up significantly in many parts of the world, helping to drive down their costs. Solar and onshore wind farms are now the cheapest new electricity options for up to two-thirds of the global population.
The time for “being renewable” has now come with the aim of becoming less of a corporate buzzword and more of an action point. More companies have put renewables front and centre of their corporate social responsibility programmes in the past five years. As a matter of fact, an urgent demand is that corporate cultures everywhere ingrain a sense of renewable responsibility in everyone.
The MEDA Renewable Energy Summit 2021 will be the first major Mediterranean discussion on energy in a long time. It will give the global community a chance to address progress on the way towards Sustainable Development Goal 7, which was set by the UN in 2015 to ensure access to sustainable energy for all.
The event will be covering the key sectors comprised in renewable energy sources, such as solar power, wind power, biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydro energy, circular economy and power storage, as well as their potential implications for the countries national energy mix. Moreover, it will provide a complete outlook into the renewable energy market development in the region.
This innovative Summit will be focusing on the key topics and latest trends in renewable energy, giving a clearer picture of the policies and guidelines for development of renewable energy projects, and also discussing the challenges and business opportunities for the implication of Renewable Energy Technologies in the Mediterranean Region.
On the other hand, this event will also create synergies and strengthen the collaboration between authorities and companies to enhance the developments of renewable energy projects. It will be an ideal platform to bring together regional and global solutions and technology providers who, will present cutting-edge innovative solutions that ensure clean and green energy.
Discover the growth opportunities the Mediterranean markets can offer in this unparalleled event and hear about the investment possibilities for your renewable energy company in the Mediterranean countries.
17th November 2021
10:00 – 13:30
Session 1 – The Potential of the Mediterranean: Tapping into the abundant solar and wind resources
Key points for discussion:
- Overview of the renewable energy market. Current developments and how the regional market fits in.
- Understanding the economics. Who are the key stakeholders in driving solar and wind projects?
- How is this applicable to the regional market and what are its projected barriers?
- What are the opportunities for businesses and investors?
- Updates on innovation technologies and how this will boost future developments.
Session 2 – Towards a Mediterranean renewable revolution
As the renewable revolution takes hold, we have a historic opportunity to progress to decarbonised power systems in a manner that brings universal access to energy.
Given this context, the potential for increased demands in renewable energy indicates a possible inflection point. Combined with the electrification of transport systems, heavy industries, and oil and gas industries, enlarged the participation in the electricity value chain. In this setting, areas of convergence are emerging, which will bring more innovation to prompt new business models that advance the energy transition.
Today, renewable sources account for one-third of total global power generation, and we are witnessing substantial growth in variable renewable energy solutions. Yet, it is still the case that heavy industry and transport sectors alone will account for 38% of all CO2 emissions globally in 2050, unless we oversee significant changes to policymaking and approaches to energy production and consumption.
Another area worth keeping an eye on in the coming year is hydrogen. As we accelerate decarbonisation, many industry stakeholders are looking at hydrogen production and storage, to complement wind and solar’s role in cutting carbon emissions. What’s more, green hydrogen’s potential to store energy throughout the seasons could be another reason behind a possible spike in interest.
Key points for discussion:
- Why does the Mediterranean region play a global role in sustainability and renewable energy?
- Why the renewable energy boom could not be stopped even by the pandemic?
- Why the region needs to harness renewable energy to foster a sustainable economic recovery?
- What will it take to power the Mediterranean ’s renewables revolution?
- Why will the renewables revolution fuel a brighter future for women and youth?
- With projects in progress, and the circular economy as a Mediterranean and global key pillar, are on the edge of realising a powerful, state-of-the-art means of producing energy from an array of promising sources?
- Why is it important to place the potential of waste-to-energy in its proper context?
- How can manage waste be effective and appropriate? Deciding where we can innovate, and where we must dispose, recover, recycle and how to minimise its generation at source or at least prevent it, is critical to building the infrastructure and technologies to make waste management a priority for our citizens, residents and municipal authorities.
Session 3 – How the Mediterranean region can shape the post COVID-19 sustainability agenda
The Global Risk Report 2021 identifies environmental risks, including extreme weather, climate action failure and human environmental damage as the biggest global risks by impact and likelihood.
This reminds us that climate change should be among the highest priorities for policymakers in the years ahead, while at the same time, it must also be on top of the agenda for business leaders. The climate debate has shifted. It has evolved into a global and regional business imperative, as investors increasingly direct capital towards economies and organisations that adopt sustainable financing models and practices. The world is increasingly embracing the importance of stakeholder capitalism to address the world’s greatest challenges.
The Mediterranean region is especially vulnerable to climate shocks, facing a range of risks such as: water scarcity, high levels of pollution, reduced rainfall, drought and a loss of biodiversity.
With a growing global population that will require investments in infrastructure to reach $90 trillion globally in 2030, there are opportunities for leaders of the public and private sectors to collaborate and build a more sustainable and resilient Mediterranean.
Carbon emissions should be urgently reduced, which could be achieved through various means: increasing the capacity for clean energy, boosting energy efficiency, promoting sustainable agriculture, capturing more carbon and implementing environment-friendly waste management.
The momentum on the global and regional level is amplified by changing signals from markets. Fund managers increasingly require environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) reports for major financial and investment decisions. And global investors expect companies to provide a clearly articulated vision to promote sustainable business, coupled with a solid ESG strategy for the entire value chain of their business operations. The sustainability debate has become a global business imperative, marking a big shift from what used to be the norm till just a few years ago.
Some governments in the Mediterranean region are taking critical measures to advance sustainability and, therefore, have launched many projects related to green energy, including wind, solar and hydrogen power. Regional players are making sure that ESG targets are an integral part of their companies’ strategies and that these positions are aligned with government policies.
Given the urgency of the climate crisis and how it will affect the region, the next 5 years can be an opportunity to drive the sustainability agenda forward and build on existing possibilities. This will be crucial to create a more sustainable and inclusive Mediterranean. By anticipating the emerging trend of legally binding norms and regulations on net-zero, and by implementing these priorities within business models and operations, such companies build on their relevance for investors in the long term.
Taking into account these changing expectations, progressive companies must look at sustainability through the framework of the triple imperatives of adaptation, mitigation and risk assessment.
Key points for discussion:
- How can Mediterranean companies design investment strategies for the long-term and acquire a solid understanding of how climate variations have an effect on their business units?
- How can companies provide protection for shareholders, employees and the wider stakeholder community, while decreasing unpredictability?
- How can the private sector identify metrics to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, thereby increasing energy efficiency and cutting operation costs, while setting the stage for transitioning to the production of carbon-free energy?
- How should future risks be assessed in a variety of areas, minimising waste, accessing resources, stabilising operating licenses, adapting to regulations, mitigating potential reputational risks and satisfying customer demands?
- How can the private sector do their bit to add to the information about sustainability practices that exist in the region in the form of educational campaigns and on the media?
- Why are youth and gender equality key for a sustainable future?
Session 4 – Innovation in renewable energy is more than new tech
As we begin to reconcile and reconnect with a world disrupted by a pandemic that knows no bounds, the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement loom large on a horizon moving ever closer. If we are to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, increase the renewable energy market share and improve energy efficiencies, innovation in the renewable energy industry is essential in the next decade. Though the ask is tall, the task is not improbable but very achievable.
When it comes to solar power production, in the emerging fourth industrial revolution (4IR), technologies have facilitated and accelerated efficiencies at an impressive rate. Automation technologies such as additive and 3D printing, for instance, have dramatically cut operational costs for solar power hardware. In some cases, PV panels can now be produced three times bigger in a fraction of the time, as multi-day processes have been reduced to a matter of hours.
Beyond solar power production, 4IR technologies will also play a key role in integrating more renewable energy into the grid. As a matter of fact, blockchain technologies can provide new ways of operating the electricity system, by allowing the integration of higher shares of variable renewable power generation.
New technologies, the IoT (Internet of Things) and blockchain can not only empower consumers of electricity by allowing them to take control of their energy consumption habits and payment plans, but it allows system operators of distributed generation to optimise grid operations by managing all connected devices through one centralised smart device, enabling flexibility and real-time pricing.
New storage methods are also a critical component of an innovative renewable energy landscape. Battery storage systems are emerging as one of the key solutions to effectively integrate high shares of solar renewables in power systems worldwide. Recent research has outlined how electricity storage technologies can be used for a variety of applications in the power sector, from e-mobility and behind-the-meter applications to utility-scale use cases.
Key points for discussion:
- As these new technologies develop, how can we remain mindful that they should not only carry greater economic potential, but also contribute to a lasting, positive impact on our social development and people’s livelihoods?
- This is where innovation must transcend technologies and seep into the thinking of policymakers. How can new, agile business models that champion the case for new services and incentivise further integration of renewable energy technologies be initiated (whether that is through energy-as-a-service, peer-to-peer trading or pay-as-you-go models)?
- In the Mediterranean region, how can the design of new market structures and regulatory frameworks that stimulate new opportunities for market entrants, incentivising entrepreneurship and innovative start-ups be promoted?
- At times of great change, the ability to adapt and innovate determines whether we succeed or fail in the future. Is the global energy transition the best place to start our adaptation to this new normal by embracing an intuitive spirit of innovation?
Moderator: Loubna Karroum | President, Forum Africain des Energies Renouvables
Grammenos Mastrojeni | Deputy Secretary General Energy and Climate Action, Union for the Mediterranean
Badr Ikken | General Director Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energie (IRESEN)
Dr. Mustapha Taoumi | Former Regional Officer for MENA region IRENA
Dr. Jauad El Kharraz | Executive Director Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE)E)
Denisa Fainis | General Secretary of Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA)
Dr. Blanca Moreno-Dodson | Director, Center for Mediterranean Integration
Ali Zerouali | Cooperation and International Business Developement Director, MASEN
Dr. Nabih Cherradi | Chief Technology Officer, Desert Technologies
Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebing | CEO, Conjuncta GmbH
Arab Hoballah | Executive Director, SEED-Entrepreneurship
Hajar Khamlichi |President & Co-founder, Mediterranean Youth Climate Network
Ramy Al Ashmawy| Senior Energy Specialist in Strategy, Energy Economics & Sustainability Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP)
Hon. Gennaro Migliore | President, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM)