The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

Mediterranean Energy Forum: Stable countries will enjoy cheap and clean energy

18 May 2010 / 16:05:21  GRReporter
3792 reads

Victoria Mindova

If the state puts the right incentives, constraints and price levels this will move the gears of the natural-friendly energy production and green economy as a whole. This was the conclusion from the first day of the annual International Mediterranean Energy Forum, organized by Financial Times this week in Athens. Forum participants agreed that a general global system should be made for the action in the fields of environment, producing natural and appropriate utilization of energy and alternative energy sources. To achieve these objectives countries have to develop better cooperation between public and private sectors on a regional scale. State must ensure effective and sound legal basis on which the private sector can develop its capabilities in the field of investment, technology and science of creating efficient energy and clean production. 

Minister of environment, energy and climate changes Tina Birbili talked about the possibility of cooperation between public and private sectors in implementing appropriate new natural ways to produce energy. According to the Minister moving towards low carbon energy production and economy is inevitable. This means that Greece is turning towards investments in alternative energy sources. Minister Birbili stressed that the government is directed to a new type of economy based on new technologies, which will help spare the environment and enhance the quality of life. The Ministry has committed itself to facilitate the heavy administrative procedures, which will help the development and implementation of new projects related to the green economy. The Ministry of Environment plans to create an office-type One-Stop-Shop, through which companies can register and make applications for the development of new investment projects related to the development of alternative energy sources. 

Forum host Fiona Harvey, who is the Environment Correspondent for the Financial Times, asked minister Birbili how Greece, which is rich in natural resources, can utilize them efficiently. Tina Birbili answered that the regulatory framework must change and improve and it must be proceed to more effective cooperation between the government and the private sector. She stressed that the new law on utilization of renewable energy will enter into force soon, which will provide the basis for attracting new investments in alternative energy. 

Vice-President of European Investment Bank Ploutarhos Sakelarios said from the rostrum of the Forum that new investors are always looking for strong legal base in the country's energy policy that creates good conditions for doing business. Energy investments in most cases are long term and distributed for a long period of time, which requires stable energy policy in the country. The vice-President of the EIB pointed out that the system must be transparent, stable and effective in order to be able to attract the so-called ‘energy investments’. Ploutarhos Sakelarios talked about the main objectives of the Bank in the development of natural and appropriate ways to produce energy. He also presented problems in the development and use of renewable energy sources. A major activity of the European Investment Bank is investing in construction and energy production from renewable sources. He stressed that the energy industry is responsible for 85 percent of the emission of pollutants into the atmosphere, but the main problem with this is that the energy needs of Earth will increase in the future by about 1.5 percent each year. Ploutarhos Sakelarios stressed the need to replace fossil fuels, which today cover 80% of total energy production with alternative energy sources. He stressed that this is a difficult and long process in which the policies of different countries must be synchronized to achieve effective results. The Euro banker stressed that the main problem remains the regional mismatch between needs and energy resources of different countries, given that oil and gas will be the main sources of energy in upcoming decades. This energy gap leads to uncertainty in some areas and deterioration in the competitiveness of others. 

European Investment Bank has invested over €14 billion in 2009 for the development of renewable energy, which is over 4 times the investment allocated five years ago. The Bank also invests in countries candidates for EU membership and participates in the development of advanced systems that meet the requirements of the European Union. Sakelarios also spoke of the "energy poverty”, which affects about 1.5 billion people - people who do not use electricity either because it does not exist or because of malfunctioning system for manufacturing and energy redistribution in different parts of the world. Through its programs, the European Investment Bank has set itself the objective to provide access for these countries to efficient sources of energy, which at the same time are energy-relevant. 

Tags: Economy Financial Times Mediterranean Energy Forum renewable energy fossil fuels
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus