A potential of renewable forms of energy and energy efficiency

Renewable energy and energy efficiency are an opportunity to redirect whole sections of the economy and create jobs.

Major energy challenges in the Mediterranean basin

  • A widespread trend towards energy dependence, even for energy-producing countries
  • Poor penetration of renewable energies in the electricity generation mix
  • Significant potential for improving energy efficiency in the region
  • Intensity of electricity consumption is increasing rapidly
  • Significant economic and financial issues relating to energy consumption, with energy costs varying between 5 and 20% of GDP from country to country. In some cases, fuel subsidies may be as high as 12% of GDP.

Three strategic pillars: security of supply, development of energy efficiency and renewable energies

Large-scale renewable energy projects must not, however, obscure the fact that the primary vector for changing energy balances resides in wide-ranging actions which modify the structure of energy demand: energy efficiency, optimisation of existing infrastructure, especially at city planning level, construction and transport. Renewable energy production and energy efficiency projects must also be seen as major contributors to the balance of supply and demand for the energy system, and for electricity in particular.

Programme 2009-2012

The “Climate Change and Energy in the Mediterranean” study carried out in 2008 by Plan Bleu allowed to identify six key challenges for further examination:

  • Adapting the water-energy system to climate change
  • Adapting buildings
  • There is a clear need for business-as-usual or “reference” and alternative scenarios for 2030 and/or 2050
  • The employment impacts of energy policies
  • Energy efficiency measures play a key role
  • The rise in sea level, as induced by climate change

Key figures

A fossil fuel consumption rate of 80% in the SEMCs
A penetration rate of renewable energies in electricity generation3 of approximately 6% if hydroelectric power is included, and less than 0.5% for all other renewables
Between 2000 and 2025, total demand for primary commercial energy could rise by 65% throughout the Mediterranean region
A nearly 42 million need in additional housing units compared to today in SEMCs in 2030
A more efficient use of energy, using currently available technologies, could bring savings of approximately 20% to 25% in total energy demand by 2025


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