The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) launched a joint programme today aimed at the development of private renewable energy markets in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
The programme will help the region reduce its heavy dependence on imports of hydrocarbons. It aims to mobilise additional investment from other parties, including the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), of up to €834 million. Financing will be accompanied by targeted technical cooperation support for the implementation of renewable energy projects in the region that aim to avoid 780,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
SPREF falls under the umbrella of the UfM Regional Dialogue Platform on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, launched today with the aim of promoting the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in energy generation, transmission, distribution and end use. This platform will foster sustainable socio-economic development, promote job creation, and help ensure that all consumers and industries in the region have access to secure, affordable and reliable energy services. It will also support energy efficient economies and mitigation and adaptation to climate change in Europe and the Mediterranean region. This initiative follows the launch earlier in 2016 of the UfM Regional Electricity Market Platform and the UfM Gas Platform.
During the launch the UfM Secretary General, Fathallah Sijilmassi, commented: “These two major Mediterranean initiatives illustrate UfM’s active efforts to achieve deeper regional cooperation and economic integration incorporating a climate dimension, and based on a methodology that can turn our political mandate into concrete projects through multi-partner dialogue in the region.”
EBRD Director of Power and Energy Utilities, Nandita Parshad, said: “The EBRD has placed a priority on climate finance in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, where we have invested in 44 green projects worth over €1 billion since 2012. Green investments account for roughly one-third of the EBRD’s total investments in the region, and we hope that will continue to grow.”
The first project under the SPREF programme is the 120 MW Khalladi windfarm near Tangiers, in Morocco, one of the first private renewable energy projects in the country. In order to encourage other private businesses to use the SPREF financing mechanism, a conference will be held tomorrow together with COP22’s Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) committee, the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency Management (AMEE) and the Confédération Générale des entreprises du Maroc (CGEM).
Today’s event was attended by high-level participants, including the EU Commissioner of Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete; the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan, Ibrahim Saif; and the Deputy Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt, Osama Assran.