Renewable energy: Huge development potential in the Middle East and North Africa
Flasbarth: Sun and wind can become basis of economic development in Mediterranean region
“More wind and solar energy can support economic development in North Africa and the Middle East and also secure climate-neutral access to energy for its population,” explains Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). He and Morocco’s Minister of Environment and Energy, Fouad Douiri, opened a two-day international conference on renewable energy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENAREC - Middle East and North African Renewable Energy Conference) on Tuesday, 15 May 2012, in Marrakesh. In addition to clean energy, renewables could also provide long-term jobs in the region. According to UBA, wind and solar energy in particular hold huge development potential in the countries of North Africa. This potential is on a scale such that - in addition to supplying energy urgently needed to the region - cooperation on energy supply to countries in the European energy area is also possible. Such a cooperation effort between the European energy area and North Africa could move the vast area ahead towards meeting all its demand for energy from renewable sources in the long term. “Renewable energy provides North Africa and the Middle East with excellent opportunities to develop a green economy. In places where people do not yet have access to clean energy, wind and solar energy can become the backbone of safe and climate-friendly energy supply while creating local jobs and value added”, said Flasbarth.