Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Renewable energy projects exceed forecasts

Written by Michel Neumuller on Wednesday, October 24th 2012 à 17:48 | Read 736 times

On 17th June, in Marseille, the Plan Bleu (Blue Plan) for the Mediterranean, heard a presentation from El Habib El Andaloussi on an energy “Departure Scenario” in 2030. The full study is to be published in September 2011, but the findings are already known: the reality on the ground has exceeded forecasts in energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy will exceed expectations raised by the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development.

Renewable energy projects exceed forecasts
MEDITERRANEAN. “All Mediterranean countries appear to be involved in a departure scenario where renewable energy and energy efficiency policies (will be) meaningful”.
Optimism is a must for El Habib El Andaloussi.

For some months now, the project leader of the Blue Plan for the Mediterranean (Plan Bleu pour la Méditerranée ) has been refining prospective scenarios for production and consumption of energy in the Mediterranean area. However, by 2030, the energy mix could include about 30% renewable energy, while energy efficiency gains would also be in the range of 30%, as would lower carbon emissions”. 
This 30/30/30 scenario goes beyond anything conceived by the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development Stratégie Méditerranéenne de Développement Durable for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMC). Their study began in 2005 and focused on a 20/20/20 scenario.

“The difference is explained by the fact that developing countries have been more proactive than expected then, in terms of renewable energy, because some industrial techniques were either unknown or in their infancy at that time”, explains El Habib El Andaloussi.
Concentrating solar power plants, of which Spain produced two amazing projects in 2010, while pursuing a wind programme (Spain exceeds all forecast expectations with 20,000 MW installed) the new Algerian programme for renewable energy, the Mediterranean Solar Plan and also the German project, Désertec, which involves Saharan countries, were inconceivable in 2005.

In 2011, they are either a tangible reality or are in the administrative and budgetary pipeline. The reality on the ground has overwhelmed the project boards !

Savings equivalent to the consumption of all of North Africa

Concentrating Solar Power Plant in Spain. The Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development did not anticipate technological innovation in 2005 (photo DR)
Concentrating Solar Power Plant in Spain. The Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development did not anticipate technological innovation in 2005 (photo DR)
So, the “Departure Scenario” outlined by the Plan Bleu in November 2010 exchanged ‘The Impossible for “The Possible”.

The latter, focusing on the non-investment in traditional oil, gas and coal industries, recommended using these investments for energy efficiency and ENR projects, which they forecast would be around 23% of the energy mix in 2030. In fact, hydroelectricity included, the ENR share could eventually be at least 44% in the Southern Mediterranean region.
“By 2030, energy demand in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) should be reduced by almost 25% in the” departure scenario”, says Mr El Andaloussi, “it would be a saving of nearly 150 million tonnes of oil equivalent, as much as the current total consumption of North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt”.  
It should be emphasised that the contribution to this reduction in consumption of the building sector alone would be, according on the Plan Bleu scenario, 42 Mtoe, or 29% less than the baseline scenario that the Plan Bleu had also worked on. Electricity savings in buildings should be close to 158 TWh in 2030, if there is widespread use of “sustainable” buildings.
Should this “Departure Scenario” adhere to the reality of 2030, the planet could expect some good news. C02 emissions in MENA countries would, in fact, drop by nearly one third (31%) compared to the baseline scenario, which, still for 2030, only focuses on a 10% ENR share in the energy mix.
The scenario outlined by Mr. El Andaloussi could find a place in the European project “Paving the Way”, from the Mediterranean Solar Plan, supported by the Union for the Mediterranean, as this is indeed one of the UfM’s (UPM) six priorities.

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