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Foster in Med project organized the 1st Mediterranean Solar Forum in Barcelona

The event was organized in the framework of a capitalisation event of the FOSTEr in Med project. The forum took place in the framework of the VIII Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders.

• The forum took place in the framework of the VIII Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders.

• The event was organized in the framework of a capitalisation event of the FOSTEr in Med project.

• New opportunities in the Mediterranean region were discussed during the forum. 

• Technology and partnerships are key factors for achieving a local economic benefit.

• 25M of € of investment in solar energy in the Mediterranean, from the 6 European confinanced projects involved in the forum.

In the framework of the 8th edition of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders that was held from the 26th to the 28th of November, ASCAME and the Chamber of Commerce of Industry and Navigation of Barcelona organized the 1st Mediterranean Solar Forum, which analyzed the challenges and opportunities that the Solar Energy Market represents in the Mediterranean basin.

This VIII edition of the Mediterranean Week of Economic leaders, focused on key aspects essential to the sustainable and inclusive development of the Mediterranean region such as renewable energies and eco-efficiency. This year the focus will be made on Green Economy as a main driving force for the economic and social growth of the region.

The event was organized in the framework of a capitalization event of the FOSTEr in Med project, whose objective is to transfer the know how in the solar energy field, to implement and promote a share design methodology and to promote innovative Solar Energy technologies at civil society level. The PV Building Integration (BIPV) is a practice that allows the use of PV modules as architectural elements. The main outputs of the project are the 5 PV plants that will be installed public buildings in 5 of the regions involved which are: Alexandria (Egypt), Beirut (Lebanon), Aqaba (Jordan), Tunis (Tunisia) and Cagliari (Italy).

The Mediterranean Solar Forum focus on social impact, training, policy impact and the challenges in the solar sector.

The event gathered, for the first time, 6 strategic projects of the “ENPI CBC MED Solar cluster” established in Amman, Jordan in October 2013 and composed of all the ENPI CBC MED Strategic Projects promoting the growth of the Mediterranean Solar sector: FOSTEr in MED; SHAAMS; MED SOLAR; DIDSOLITPB; STS-MED and MED DESIRE.

These projects from the European Union Neighborhood Policy financing instrument (ENPI), included European Union members and partner countries regions located along the both shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and are working on the promotion and the development of the solar energy sector in the Mediterranean basin.

The Mediterranean Solar Forum was inaugurated by Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President, European Investment Bank (EIB); Teresa Ribeiro, Deputy Secretary General for Energy of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM); Abdelmalik Aadiati, representing the Chamber of Tangiers and ASCAME’s Renewable Energy Commission, and Alaa Ezz, in representation of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and responsible for leading both ASCAME’s Environment Commission and the ENPI CBC MED Solar Projects Cluster.

During the inauguration it was discussed the importance of promoting a Mediterranean platform of solar energy in order to establish an economic and strategic alliance.

During the session, the need of creating more projects was also highlighted as well as the need of using new opportunity tools to boost the development of the solar energy.

The session about leveraging investment in the Mediterranean Solar Market, counted on the participation of Xavier Valvé, Director of Trama Medioambiental, Giles Dickson, Vice-president of Environmental Policies and Global Advocacy, Alstom Group and Ionannis Vourdoubas, Professor of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete and Mariano Vizcaino, Director of International Development, Abengoa Solar, and it was moderated by Caty Arévalo, Environment Correspondent of EFE Agency.

The importance of choosing wisely how to invest in solar energy was one of the issues discussed during the session. Beside this, it was highlighted the new opportunities in the North and South Mediterranean, as well as the differences between both shores.

Of particular discussion in the session were the main reasons for using solar energy, in particular for the technical and local economic development of each of the regions and also the affordable cost and positive macroeconomic impact.

It was also highly remarked that technology and partnerships are key factors for boosting local economy benefits.

In relation to solar energy investment, the state of the art in Greece was presented as an example of a country which has very attractive feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic systems, as well as large investment from European Funds.

The session on Regional Cooperation for the Promotion of the Solar Sector counted on expert presentation and in depth dialogue between the ENPI CBC Med Solar Cluster on the state of policy and legislation, education and training, infrastructures.

The debate was moderated by Luca Palazzo, Joint Managing Authority of ENPI CBC MED and involved the participation of Guiseppe Desogus from the University of Cagliari as a spokesman for the FOSTEr in MED project; Cristian Bardaji from Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, as representative of the SHAAMS project; Antonie Graillot from TramaAmbiental as a representative of MED SOLAR project; Álex Parella from the Autonomous University of Barcelona representing DIDSOLIT-PB; Fabio Maria Montangnino, Managing Director of ARCA Constortium and a representative of STS-MED project and Juan Pablo Jiménez from Andalusian Institute of Technology on behalf of the MED DESIRE project.

During the debate, 4 main themes were discussed related to challenges and opportunities of solar infrastructures (on-grid PV systems, off-grid PV systems, back-up PV systems); programs and necessities of education and training on solar energy; the impact and involvement of society in the implementation of solar energy; and policy and legislation on the solar sector.

All 6 solar projects have common objectives such as raising public awareness on energy efficiency through the transferability and implementation of good practices in legal, regulatory, economic and organizational issues including the promotion of new financing mechanisms to facilitate the take up of solar technologies: opportunities and potentialities of solar energy solutions, collaborative activities by public and private stakeholders, common MED long-term approach towards solar energy and encouraging informed debates.

During the debate, features of on-grid Photovoltaic System were presented. It was highlighted that it is a technical challenge that can be boosted by: simply policy, easy building integration, and a high importance for the development of the industry in the Mediterranean sector.

On the other hand, the features of back-up photovoltaic systems were presented, which among others are: more technological complexity, they offer energy management systems, reduce fuel consumption and increase employment.

The last session was related to the VI Medacity with a special edition of the future Mediterranean Cities: New energies for sustainability – the Era of solar energy.

The session count on the participation of Malek Kabariti, Former Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan; Enric Fuster, of Innopro and Expert in Regional Specialization; Guisepe Desogous from the Univesity of Cagliari; Farida Boukhtouche Cherfa, Reserch Officer form the Development Center of Renewable Energies; and Rosa Paradell, Director of the Smart City Business Institute, while it was moderated by Manel Manchón, Political correspondent on the financial daily Economía Digital.

During the session the integration of renewable energies in cities was the topic of debate, such as PV solar, wind energy, the use of numerical technology to manage energy and the energy independence with efficiency, in order to reduce the cost of living.

One of the presentations revealed that by the 2020 the 40% of the consumption of national energy will be from the renewable energy. Nowadays more than 50% of the world population lives in urban areas. These cities are responsible for 70% of the worldwide energy consumption, and at the same time they are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gases emissions. By 2050 almost 70% of the world’s population is projected to be urban based, highlighting the need for debate on the integration of more sustainable energy solutions in our cities.

The Mediterranean Solar Forum was also held in the framework of the SHAAMS project, which has the goal of promoting the development of common strategies in the solar energy sector in the Mediterranean in close collaboration between public and private actors. The main outputs of the project are 24 multilateral exchange missions, 8 capacity building actions and 3 technology transfer and brokerage events (Jordan, Lebanon and Spain) and STS-MED project that focus on the development, implementation and diffusion of pioneering technologies to improve energy efficiency in public buildings. These 3 projects belong to the network of ASCAME, which is the main representative Association of private sector in the Mediterranean and it is currently represented in the consortia of 22 projects in the Mediterranean basin.

The forum will also count on the collaboration of the MED-SOLAR project that is building 4 solar plants models on the roof of hospitals and universities in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan with the intention of promoting and transferring occidental know-how technology while solving structural energy problems in these countries. The DIDSOLITPB project’s objective, which was also in the forum, is to promote the sustainable and harmonious cooperation process at the Mediterranean Basin level by dealing with the common challenges and enhancing its endogenous potential. It finances cooperation projects as a contribution to the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of the Mediterranean region.

The last project that takes part of the Med Solar cluster is MED DESIRE project that works to facilitate the take up of distributed solar energy and energy efficiency in the target regions, by achieving effective cross-border cooperation and by raising public awareness on the related benefits for the environment and for sustainable local development.

For further information about Foster in Med please don't hesitate to visit www.fosterinmed.eu

ASCAME and other institutions draw a new roadmap for the Mediterranean integration

More than 1300 experts have participated in the Medaweek 2014 and in the 10 thematic forums including more than 60 sessions and business meetings

• A bet has been launched to develop a strategy of Business Intelligence specific to the Mediterranean region.

• A call has been made on a better economic integration for the Maghreb region. 

• The creation of a Mediterranean Tourism Agency and a Mediterranean brand have been encouraged. 

• The green economy has been described as essential to foster the sustainable development of the region. 

• The launch of support programs addressed to the Mediterranean young entrepreneurs has been announced. 

The 8th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders ended on Friday 28th of November after three days during which 10 thematic forums and more than 60 working sessions haven taken place. With more than 1.300 participants, this event has brought together representatives from the private sector, political authorities and international organizations, making this event the main meeting of Mediterranean leaders.

The Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders, organized by the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, has also counted on the collaboration of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), with which ASCAME has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding through which the common interest between both organizations to promote the Mediterranean has been renewed.

“A need for change” has been the main theme of this edition. The proposals that have been highlighted during the different sessions organized in the framework of the forums, have been the following:

During the NABDF forum, the economic integration of the Maghreb has been presented as the best way to enable the region to be listed among the main economic blocs of the world.

The costs of the “disunity” between the Maghreb countries are estimated to 8000 million euros per year while the benefits of a better integration between these countries should lead to a growth of 30% of the GDP over 10 years.

The integration should allow a better exploitation of the existing complementarities between the Maghreb countries in the sectors of energy, agriculture, tourism and mines. It would also help to use better the existing human resources and to get closer to Europe and Africa.

The need of the Maghreb region are becoming opportunities for their European neighbors, confirming thus the potential and the synergies between Europe and the North of Africa.

In the field of Economic Intelligence, it has been underlined the existence of factors essentials to enable the Mediterranean to recover its role of economic power. In this regard, the implementation of a strategy of business intelligence specific to the Mediterranean, as an alternative of the Anglo-Saxon world, has been described as vital and has been decided to exploit more in depth this concept for the coming editions of the Mediterranean Week.

The Mediterranean forum on Free Zones and Special Economic Zones has allowed the consolidation of an action plan in order to increase the absorption of the foreign investment and create a safe scenario for the future projects in the region.

The MEDITOUR forum, whose sixth edition has spotlighted Lebanon, has encouraged the creation of a Mediterranean Tourism Agency, as a main tool for the efficient development of a brand specific to the Mediterranean. This initiative will allow reaching a better profitability of the planned investment in the sector for the coming years, already estimated to more than a billion dollars.

The forum on entrepreneurs has brought together the experts of the business world, governments, banks, universities, associations of entrepreneurs and multilateral organizations. During the session, it has been highlighted that the high percentage of 50% of unemployed graduates prevents the sustainable economic development of the Mediterranean region. In order to address this shortfall, it has been discussed the implementation of programs, counting on the support of the universities, and financial and technical support organizations, which offer to the graduates the opportunity to become entrepreneurs.

The 2nd edition of the Islamic Finances Summit has called on the regional governments to implement changes and to adopt the legal frameworks essential to welcome this booming financial sector. The Islamic finances, with an annual growth of 20%, represent today 4% of the international finances.

Regarding the initiatives to be launched in the field of the green economy, the countries of the region have been called on taking the following measures in order to capture the economic flows planned for the investment, estimated to 100.000 million dollars until 2030 at the world scale:

• Raising the awareness of the businessmen and businesswomen to encourage them to adopt measures of sustainable development within their companies.

• Suggesting to the governments to support the concept of green industries with the objective of improving the industrial development and increasing the competitiveness in this field.

• Promoting to the multilateral and international organizations, the need to dedicate budgets and lines of technical supports for the implementation of programs in favor of the green industry in the Mediterranean.

• Encouraging the green bank, as a tool for social responsibility, in favor of the sustainable development.

The participants have described these initiatives as essential to allow the green economy sector to grow faster and to create jobs in the following fields: clean technologies, solar energy, water supply, green transport, eco-tourism, green edification and agriculture.

ASCAME has announced the creation of a representative office in Saudi Arabia, in agreement with its ambition to promote the Mediterranean worldwide. This bureau will play a role of technical support and will help the members of ASCAME as well as the Mediterranean and Gulf companies.

ASCAME, as a catalyst for the Mediterranean integration from the civil society and promoter of the Mediterranean association, has signed 4 memoranda of understanding with the Union for the Mediterranean, MedCruise, BusinessMed and the ICC/WCF.

ASCAME has also launched its first Mediterranean awards which, for this edition, have been given to UNESCO, VUELING and the Union for the Mediterranean. In parallel with the Mediterranean Week, it was held the XXIII ASCAME General Assembly to which the main Chambers of Commerce of the region have participated, following the meeting of the Executive Committee held the day before. During the Assembly, the members have ratified the lines of action of ASCAME as well as the new initiatives, including the 23 projects in which ASCAME and its network participate. The members have been invited to be involved in those projects.

For more information about ASCAME and the different forums which took place during the Mediterranean week of Economic leaders, do not hesitate to contact us by mail : communication@ascame.org or visit our webpage : www.medaeconomicweek.org

ASCAME has launched the new web site of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders

The Association of the Mediterranean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce organize together since 2006, the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders. This year will take place the 8th edition from the 26th to 28th of November in Barcelona, in Casa Llotja del Mar. The focus of this 8th edition will be made on Green Economy as a main driving force for the economic and social growth of the Mediterranean region. 

This event for the Mediterranean plays a vital role in line with the latest regional developments, offering again a unique platform for thought exchanges of experiences, addressing critical issues like the integration of the Maghreb region (NABDF); the solar and sustainable energy in the Mediterranean region; Mediterranean city values (Medacity); the opportunities of the Islamic Finance; the entrepreneurship as a vital element in economic development by sharing best practices, proposing concrete projects and creating new business opportunities.

This year, in the framework of the Mediterranean Week, will be held the VI Edition of Mediterranean Tourism Event (Meditour), which will be focusing on Lebanon as one of the jewels in the Mediterranean crown and especially on Beirut.

The participants can now register directly on the web page www.medaeconomicweek.org/register

You can also follow us on twitter using the hashtag #MedaWeek2014.

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