Towards a Mediterranean Energy Community

Aware of the interdependence and of the energy complementarity binding all Mediterranean countries, IPEMED was in favour, as soon as 2010, of “making energy the first Euro-Mediterranean common policy”. This recommendation is based on several notes, published in 2009, especially on “The energy ring and the Euro-Mediterranean electricity market“ (Abdenour Keramane, Les Notes d’IPEMED Collection).

The goal of the study “Towards a Euro-Mediterranean Energy Community”, launched in 2012 and published the following year, is to show that the implementation of a regional partnership in the energy sector will drive growth in all Mediterranean countries and bring about innovative strategies, favouring the development of new industrial sectors and thus creating employment. Ten companies were interviewed between June and October 2013 in order to highlight the benefits of an industrial and economic approach of the Mediterranean energy partnership, besides its institutional and political angle. A synthesis of these “interviews of the Mediterranean Energy Community” was published on-line on IPEMED’s website and shows that operators rather agree with IPEMED’s recommendations.
The current dynamics call for the definition of a new regional energy partnership. This new partnership approach, based on a shared vision of regional energy challenges and on the will to foster added-value strategies on both shores, must lead to the creation of a Mediterranean Energy Community. To do so, several structural actions can be carried out:
- leading of a common strategy: gathering North and South to lead a common strategy via an equal consultation body between actors from both shores;
- standardising norms: standardisation of regulations and technical norms to favour the partnership logic and support the cooperation of gas and electricity regulators (MEDREG network);
- promoting energy efficiency policies: developing common norms and reinforcing the Mediterranean Network of Energy Efficiency Agencies (MEDENER);
- reinforcing interconnections to move towards a common space and ensure the network fluidity (support of Medgrid initiatives) and supporting the cooperation between managers of Mediterranean electricity transport networks (support of Med-TSO network);
- suggesting new industrial cooperation in the energy sector via coproduction: creation of Euro-Mediterranean energy industries, strategic partnerships, transversal integrations of national and international companies in the region;
- building new partnerships between industries, universities and research centres: encouraging more interactions between these actors in new sectors and in innovative technologies research (clusters, competitive clusters).

For IPEMED, Western Mediterranean appears to be, in the short term, the relevant geographic space to launch the first phase of the EMEC project.
“The interviews of the Mediterranean Energy Community”, carried out in 2013 by Caroline Orjebin-Yousfaoui and Marjorie Cessac, in collaboration with Dr. Mourad Preure, enabled to give companies a voice in the debate for the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean energy partnership. This innovative approach consisted in carrying out on-site interviews and exchanging e-mails, between June and October 2013, with the following operators: Abengoa (Spain), Areva (France), Gas Natural (Spain), GDF Suez (France), Medgrid (France), Office national de l’électricité et de l’eau potable (ONEE – Morocco), Repsol (Spain), Siemens (Germany), Sonelgaz (Algeria) and Teias (Turkey).


Associate Expert

PhD in Energy Economics from French Petroleum Institute, IFP School (IFP Energies Nouvelles). Mourad Preure has occupied different positions of responsibility in Sonatrach before being appointed as special strategy advisor to the President of Sonatrach. International expert in oil and gas, he now presides a International Strategic Consulting, Cabinet Emergy, and teaches strategy and geopolitics in the field of energy in Algiers.