The European Parliament, under the patronage of its President, Martin Schulz, hosted the second 'Rendez vous on energy” meeting, part of the MEDGRID project, on the topic: 'European Union - Union for the Mediterranean: An energy axis in the Mediterranean region for the security of supply to the EU and southern and eastern Mediterranean countries'.
Focusing on energy links between Europe and Africa via the Mediterranean, representatives from the European Parliament and several Mediterranean-related institutions and organizations took part, including Dominique Ristori, Director General of energy for the European Commission (EC), Gilles Pargneaux, Member of the European Parliament, Mariya Gabriel, Member of the European Parliament and the Union for the Mediterranean, Nicole Fontaine, former President of the European Parliament, Lhou Lmarbouh, Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, and others.
Maria José Clara, the General Director of REN, spoke on the topic: “How do we give a new impetus to large-scale Euro-Mediterranean energy transmission projects in order to increase supply security to the EU and southern and eastern Mediterranean countries? Needs, opportunities and challenges.'
The conference also was attended by Artur Trindade, Secretary of State for Energy, and João Conceição, Executive Director of REN.
Key Portugal-Morocco Interconnection
The debate established that interconnections between the two continents establish value for both parties and create considerable economic benefits, strengthening the security of supply and optimising renewable resources on both sides.
The interconnection between Portugal and Morocco was mentioned by various speakers, and in particular by Morocco’s Minister for Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, Abdelkader Amara, as a possible alternative to strengthening Morocco's link to the Iberian Peninsula.
The Portugal-Morocco interconnection stands out because of the shallow depth of the sea (<500m). This interconnection which will be recouped as a result of overall economic benefits over 4-5 year period, enabling greater increases in the flexibility and security of electrical systems, to the benefit of consumers on both sides of the Mediterranean.
As well as the senior figures from Medgrid, the meeting was also attended by several ministers and company CEOs. In addition to the Moroccan Minister mentioned, Tunisia’s Minister for Industry, Mines and Energy, Kamel Ben Naceur, and Rachid Ben Daly, CEO of Tunisia’s transmission system operator, the Tunisian Company of Electricity (STEG), both of whom indicated their support and commitment to completing these interconnection projects.