GCC and EU Furthering Energy Cooperation during High-level Meeting at WFES 2013

September 21, 2018
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 19 January, 2013 – Fruitful discussions have taken place during the annual EU-GCC Energy Cooperation Conference that was held from 16 – 17 January, as a side event of the World Future Energy Summit-WFES 2013. The meeting organized by the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network in co-operation with the SHARAKA EU funded project and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology aims to advance the common interest between the EU and the GCC for strategic energy cooperation.
It also seeks to promote EU-GCC cooperation in the field of clean energy, and enhance inter-regional knowledge dissemination and information exchange on energy topics, including research, technology and policy aspects.
The opening ceremony was honored by the presence of distinguished EU and GCC officials including Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, Adam Kulach, EU Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of European Investment Bank (EIB), and Hamza Kazim, Vice-President, Operations & Finance, Masdar Institute and Representative of UAE and the GCC in EU-GCC Clean Energy Network.
In her opening speech, Connie Hedegaardhighlighted the importance that the EU places on international clean energy cooperation instruments to mitigate the climate change effects towards a sustainable energy future. The GCC region is a strategic partner for the EU towards this direction.
Philippe de Fontaine Viveaddressed in his speech the financing priorities and mechanisms for supporting clean energy initiatives and invited the GCC and the EU energy stakeholders to develop relevant cooperation projects.
Hamza Kazimsaid that the GCC already possesses the resources and a high degree of renewable energy expertise as can be gathered from the number of the new projects and initiatives being implemented at present. The annual EU-GCC Clean Energy Network conference at the WFES 2013 provided a platform for the region’s industry to come together for knowledge sharing and exchange of views. Kazim added that the region’s commitment and enthusiasm to adopt renewable sources is overwhelming and the events at WFES will provide a fresh stimulus to implementing additional green measures across the GCC member states.
The presentation by the high-level team of attendees from the GCC and Europe highlighted the achievements in areas of mutual interest for the two regions including renewables, energy efficiency and demand side management, electricity interconnections, carbon capture and storage, as well as natural gas.
Following the opening ceremony, the agenda of the first day included a workshop on GCC – EU renewable energy cooperation that discussed ‘Challenges and opportunities in EU-GCC renewables energy cooperation’. Experts elaborated on a recent initiative – the GCC Renewable Energy Readiness Assessment Report being developed with Network partners across the GCC.
Distinguished GCC experts who participated in the sessions included Hamza Kazim- Masdar Institute, Dr. Ibrahim Abdel Gelil Said Abdula – Arabian Gulf University (AGU), Dr. Hussam Khonkar – King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Dr. Saad Jandal – Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Dr. Sgouris Sgouridis, Associate Professor, Engineering Systems and Management – Masdar Institute, Dr. Abdullah Al Badi – Sultan Qaboos University, Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Dr. Scott Kennedy, Dean of Research, Masdar Institute, and Dr Rabia Ferroukhi – IRENA.
John Psarras, Director of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, underlined the fact that climate change is a key driver for the promotion of both clean energy and international cooperation. The EU-GCC Clean Energy Network can thus be an important asset towards the achievement of these objectives.
Experts from Europe included John Psarras, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems – National Technical University of Athens (ICCS-NTUA), Project Director – EU, Emanuela Menichetti – Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie (OME), Silvia Colombo – Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Juergen Kern – DLR, Koukouzas Nikolaos CERTH/ CPERI, Giacomo Luciani – Gulf Research Centre Foundation, Marcelino Sanchez- CENER, Mohsen Assadi – University of Stavanger, Dr. J. Scowcroft, Global CCS Institute, Frank Ellingsen, Director, Technology Center Mongstad.
Some of the concrete outcomes that were summarized during the sessions include publications, research work/papers, established partnerships between the GCC and EU, co-operation project ideas, targeted working meetings and training workshops.
Events on the second day included round–table discussion sessions and papers presentations on enhancing GCC-EU cooperation in the fields of EU-GCC energy cooperation; technical paper presentation, co-ordinated by the SHARAKA project; Maritime Transport/security; technical paper presentation, co-ordinated by the SHARAKA project; and Discussion Groups (DGs) on Clean Natural Gas Technologies and Carbon Capture and Storage; co-ordinated by the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network as well as a technical site visit at Masdar City.