Starting on 13 February 2012 and for a period of two years, ADEME is holding the presidency of the MEDENER association. Here is a review of its main energy management actions.
Created in 1997, the Mediterranean Association of National Agencies for Energy Conservation – MEDENER – groups together twelve Mediterranean Basin organisations responsible for energy efficiency and renewable energy development policies. “This means that the agencies in Algeria, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Portugal, Syria*, and Tunisia are represented in this association”, points out Christelle Bedes, responsible for Mediterranean Mission at ADEME’s International Affairs Department. “Through MEDENER, they are all focused on encouraging the exchange of energy efficiency experience and best practices.” While the promotion of renewable energy is of course one of MEDENER’s priorities, it is not the only one. “The association is above all particularly focussed on energy efficiency, which naturally leads into the development of renewable energy. In this context, MEDENER’s work obviously concentrates on three major energy-consuming sectors: buildings, industry and transport.”
TRIPLE THE PRODUCTION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
Among other international programmes, MEDENER actively supports the Mediterranean Solar Plan, one of the six projects initiated under the Union for the Mediterranean launched in 2008. “This project specifically concentrates on renewable energy and energy efficiency. It aims to triple production from renewable energy in these countries by 2020 in order to reach a capacity of 20 gigawatt hours.” Morocco is one of the pioneers: its first solar plant, designed to generate 500 MWh (or the equivalent of a city of 250,000 people), is under construction in the Ouarzazate region.
Numerous workshops run in 2012-2013 have led to the compilation of a very comprehensive document that determines the fields of action for the various potential public and private stakeholders in this area. “The results of this work will be adopted at a ministerial conference attended next December by all the member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean”, explains Christelle Bedes. “Its adoption will be a decisive turning point. It will provide these countries with the keys to rationalise their approaches by implementing actions to manage energy demand, and an ambitious energy production policy based solely on renewable energy. It will also help them to achieve the targets set.” Against this backdrop, MEDENER is involved in the preparation of a Mediterranean energy transition conference that will be held on 18 September in Tunis (Tunisia) by ANME, and which will provide an opportunity to bring together all the region’s stakeholders.
ENVISIONING THE SUSTAINABLE CITY
While the adoption of the Mediterranean Solar Plan is an undeniable “plus”, there is also no escaping the fact that the MEDENER network member states have already made significant progress in these areas. “The building industry has been the focus of considerable attention. We know that a well-insulated, well-oriented and well-built building in an appropriate urban environment is a guarantee for real thermal comfort and well-managed energy consumption. Among other projects, MEDENER is currently involved in rolling out ambitious programmes in this sector to encourage the use of locally manufactured material.”
Significant progress has been made by the industry sector, particularly in Tunisia, where ANME, with the support of the MEDENER network, has implemented a vast energy audit. “Progress in the transport sector is more recent. Among other difficulties, south and east Mediterranean countries are having to deal with an ageing fleet of less energy-efficient vehicles.” Innovative solutions have been implemented in Algeria where a programme has been introduced to convert over 4,000 vehicles a year to LPG (also called autogas). Additionally, many of the region’s large conurbations are committed to developing urban transit by improving infrastructure and the way transport is organised, for example in Morocco with the development of the Urban Transport Sector Plans. “These examples show that MEDENER adopts a global approach”, concludes Christelle Bedes. “And, more than in any other sector, it is committed to ensuring consultation about the ambitious topic of the sustainable city in its entirety.”
*Cooperation curtailed at present.
A project specifically for energy indicators
The project on energy efficiency indicators is one of MEDENER’s flagship projects. It closely examines energy consumption in the zone’s countries in order to compile a detailed image of the situation and to determine the impact of their energy strategies so that they can be fine-tuned if necessary. Four countries – Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon – have already completed this analysis. Among other findings, the studies have revealed that air conditioning accounts for a growing percentage of household energy consumption and so each country’s energy bill. The issue of building energy performance will be discussed in the near future. This project on energy efficiency indicators should gradually be extended to include all the other MEDENER member States.