Capacity Building:a Key Resource for Renewables in the Mediterranean

Published on Friday, 27 November 2015

Participants come from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon and Turkey. Specifically, they come from power companies such as Algeria’s Sonelgaz, Tunisia’s STEG, and Morocco’s ONEE, as well as research centres, such as RCREEE representing the Arab League, and several government ministries.

The second edition of the Advanced Training Course (ATC), organised by RES4MED in partnership with Enel Foundation and supported by the Polytechnic University of Milan and the Union for the Mediterranean, started on November 23rd. The aim of RES4MED partner companies like Enel Green Power is to increase the involvement of local concerns in the process of developing renewables. The course – which includes lessons at the Polytechnic University of Milan, field trips and events – will be attended by more than fifty representatives of electric companies and renewable energy sector institutions in major southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, as well as PhD students from major Italian universities and professionals from RES4MED’s partner companies.

The objective of the two-week course is to create a network of experts in the Mediterranean, offering an opportunity for dialogue to a group of high-profile middle managers, selected from the most crucial areas of the renewable energy sector. The course also aims to offer a complete picture of the sector in different countries, while analysing the possibilities for an effective integration within their electric power systems. The topics covered include storage, technological solutions for wind, photovoltaic solar and concentrated solar power, the role of mini-grids and the regulatory framework and financial conditions necessary for the development and integration of renewables.
‘The course is based on a bottom-up approach,’ declared Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4MED: ‘Capacity building promotes sharing skills and expertise, while creating a valuable opportunity for dialogue across borders. It is key to the spread of renewables in the Mediterranean Basin, one of the most important resources for the region’s economic and political stability.’

‘The impact of renewables spans numerous sectors,’ Vigotti added, ‘and, unlike traditional power generation systems, they are able to meet the growing energy needs of North African countries and the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Renewable energy is a driving force for the energy transition of countries that have already advanced in this direction, as well as for those that are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. As far as the latter are concerned, renewables are more labour-intensive, and represent a significant opportunity to create jobs,’ Vigotti concluded.

The course, which is running for the second time, has garnered particular interest this year, receiving more than twice as many applications as last year from ten Mediterranean countries. Res4Med and Enel Foundation have responded by allocating 24 full scholarships (60% more than last year) and launching parallel initiatives, including an online networking platform for alumni and a publication that will gather all the expertise and contents offered during the course. Presentations will also be published on the website starting from the middle of December, followed by video recordings of the classes.