Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Energy Efficiency being developed in the South

Written by Michel Neumuller on Wednesday, October 24th 2012 à 18:03 | Read 532 times

MEDITERRANEAN. Ten South and East Mediterranean countries are building decision-making tools for energy. This patient, harmonisation work gives rise to a partnership between the Mediterranean Plan Bleu and RCREEE, an organisation that works closely with the Arab League. It will end in 2013.

Energy Efficiency being developed in the South
“We must first measure the effectiveness of public policies.  In energy efficiency terms, this means reliable data and the right indicators”.  Work prepared by Ferdinand Costes for the Mediterranean Plan Bleu should, by 2012, enable an international team to develop the right economic and statistical criteria to help decision-makers in the South and East Mediterranean to take decisions on energy and then assess impacts and results.
The European Union sets indicators but countries in the South and East Mediterranean have rarely developed these, with the exception of Tunisia.
Since 2009, the Plan Bleu, an offshoot of the UNEP (UN), launched this project with its partner, The Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency  (RCREEE, Cairo), which works closely with the Arab League.

Subsidised energy and embryonic strategies

During the third framework meeting held at Sophia Antipolis, on 6th -7th October 2011, experts from ten countries from the region concerned (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen) agreed a set of indicators on energy dependence, primary energy consumption and energy intensities.
This last concept measures the percentage of energy consumption on the Gross Domestic Product of a country.  It would reflect “the actual energy performance of economic activity”, according to an RCREEE report.
Energy is often subsidised in the South, especially when the country concerned is an oil- and gas-producer.  It is difficult to measure whether, in these conditions, “energy-efficiency practices are able to help meet the challenges of the future”, such as resistance to higher energy costs, the need to reduce pollution levels and greenhouse gases, says the same report.

Energy Efficiency being developed in the South

Conservative policies for renewable energy

The lack of reliable, comparable criteria between these countries does not help them develop a strategy for energy efficiency.  However, behind energy efficiency looms economic efficiency.
The agreement of international experts on energy efficiency indicators could generate statistical information systems.  These would then be a decision support for the countries concerned.
Of course, the credibility of the experts depends on the quality of information collected.  Hence the establishment of a training programme in data collection for public policy actors.  Preparatory work will be completed in mid-2012, and work to integrate these indicators in new energy policies in the countries concerned can then begin.

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