Energy efficiency is not only the quickest and lowest-cost way to address the security and environmental issues that plague many countries; it is also one of the best ways for an economy to meet surging energy demand.
With energy consumption growing over 5 per cent a year in many Arab countries including the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, the International Energy Agency (IEA) joined by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and regional partners: the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) and the League of Arab States (LAS), developed its first tailored regional Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations.
Drawing on the 2011 IEA 25 Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations and proposals from other groups such as the World Energy Council, experts from 10 economies in the Arab region gathered in April 2013 at a roundtable in Amman, Jordan, to identify the key challenges and barriers facing energy efficiency in the region across the different sectors.
Challenges included the rapid growth in energy demand and highly subsidised energy prices. In the meantime the capacity of implementing regulatory policies remains very low.
The experts developed 20 energy efficiency policies to address the obstacles and realise the region's potential for significant energy savings. The policies are cross-sectoral and focus on the minimum energy performance requirements, while highlighting the role of governments in drawing up and implementing strategies. The participants also called for close cooperation with other regional and international partners in the energy efficiency domain.
The new IEA publication: the “Regional Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations: Arab-Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Region” has been supported by the EBRD’s SEMED Cooperation Funds Account.
The SEMED is the latest region in which the Bank is working to support economic change. To date the EBRD has invested €944 million in 34 projects across various sectors.