Energy and Environmental Challenges. The EU Approach and the Case of the Mediterranean Solar Plan

  • Abstract:

    The present energy challenge the EU is trying to meet up, is getting the right balance between the increasing demand for affordable, reliable and sufficiently supplied energy sources and the need of tackling climate change maintaining environmental sustainability in the long term. Thus, the EU energy policy priorities are shaped around this nexus of supply security and energy efficiency within the operation of competitive energy markets both in its internal and external environment. The European Commission’s (EC) Directive 2009/ 28/EC, which include the first mandatory national targets aiming at the further integration of renewable energies (RWE) in the gross final energy consumption, and the recently published EC Communication (COM 2012, 271) entitled ‘Renewable Energy: a major player in the European energy’ show EU’s commitment to shift to a more energy-efficient economy that would improve EU’s energy supply by decreasing hydrocarbon imports; reduce the greenhouse gas emission thus mitigating climate change; improve energy sector’s competiveness ; boost economic growth and job creation Scope of Research Paper This research paper proposal has three main aims 1. To offer a brief summary of the EU energy policy evolution, with emphasis at the 20-20-20 objectives (‘An Energy Policy for Europe ‘ COM 2007,1) and the promotion of RWE in the member – states energy mix ; 2. To identify the place of RWE promotion in the EU’s external energy and environmental governance initiatives and the pivotal role of environmental considerations in EU?s energy cooperation initiatives with its energy partners ; 3. To discuss the case study of the Mediterranean Solar Plan, as an example of external EU initiative to meet its major energy and climate challenges.
    Case study. The Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP)
    The MSP is one of six key initiatives of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), launched on July, 2008. The MSP has two main complementary targets: to develop 20 GW of renewable energy production (electricity), in order to address the growing energy demand, and to achieve significant energy efficiency initiatives & savings around the Mediterranean by 2020. The MPS should, also, support an integrated renewable market for the EU-MED region, based on a modern regulatory framework, aiming at the establishment of better RWE infrastructures and demand-supply networks whilst addressing the common environmental threats of the EU-MED region.