Genesis Morocco: The Desertec Industrial Initiative and The Union for the Mediterranean Sign a Memorandum of Understanding after MENAREC5

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Sunday, May 20, 2012    <<Home

The Desertec Industrial Initiative and The Union for the Mediterranean Sign a Memorandum of Understanding after MENAREC5

Personal Notes: The MENAREC5 conference which wrapped up in Marrakech this past Thursday, the 16th of May, has brought a lot of focus to renewable energy projects underway in the region and especially those in Morocco. With Paul Van Son, CEO of the Desertec Initiative, and Fathallah Sijilmassi, the Moroccan Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean, both in attendance, it is not surprising to see something like this memorandum of understanding for further collaboration between the two organizations emerge from the conference -- indeed it is mostly just an official recognition of a fact which is integral to both organizations. Desertec will need large regional institutions to work with it to help realize its vision, and the UfM will need large companies such as Desertec to help it realize its mandated goal of increased solar power capacity in the region.

What will be interesting in the next few months and years is not that Dii and the UfM are collaborating, but rather the way in which they collaborate. The working methods they develop could hold a number of lessons for how to make such grand visions a reality, not just in the mediterranean but across the world.

In Marrakech yesterday the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the industrial initiative Dii have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for future collaboration, as both institutions strive for the same long-term objective in fostering the use of renewable energy in the Mediterranean region. The UfM and Dii will work on enhancing and intensifying their cooperation in order to utilize existing synergies. UfM and Dii will develop their long-term strategies “Mediterranean Solar Plan” and “Desert Power 2050” for one common cause. In particular, both organisations will cooperate in the fields of policy and regulatory frameworks, assessment of transmission and storage infrastructures, EUMENA interconnections, financing tools and support schemes. A further crucial issue apparent in the Mediterranean Region will also be addressed, that being the socio-economic and industrial development and employment promotion. 

On this occasion the UfM Secretary General, Fathallah Sijilmassi: “I believe that the cooperation between the UfM and Dii, a large industrial consortium gathering major partners from the two rims of the Mediterranean, is a key step for the implementation of the Mediterranean Solar Plan, and for the development of economically and technically sound pilot projects.”
Paul van Son, CEO of Dii: "UfM and Dii augment each other perfectly. The Union for the Mediterranean is a fascinating network of countries that will be pivotal for creating a large interconnected energy supply system for MENA and Europe. Dii will work together with UfM and its members to establish a stable market place in which investments in desert energy projects will take place for the benefit of many countries and industries in MENA and Europe.”

Notes to the Editors:
About the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is a multilateral partnership bringing together 43 countries from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans.
It was launched on the 13th of July 2008 at the Paris Summit as a continuation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euro-Med), also known as the Barcelona Process, established at the Barcelona Conference in 1995. 

The UfM constitutes a framework for political, economic and social relations between the European Union and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries and is inspired by the goals set out in the Barcelona Declaration.

The Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) is a major UfM initiative that aims to develop renewable energy and improve the energy efficiency in the UfM member states through building 20GW of extra production capacities of renewable energy between now and 2020. 

The Paris Declaration has given the Secretariat of the UfM the mandate “to explore the feasibility, creation and development of the Mediterranean Solar Plan”. As such the UfM is actively working with all relevant partners, to develop a master plan of the MSP that will be a joint and concise political reference paper that will be submitted to political approval by the Member States.

About Dii, the industrial initiative bringing the Desertec vision into reality
Together with its 56 industrial partners across 15 countries, Dii aims to bring the Desertec Vision into reality. The initiative is focused on creating a market for renewable energy from North Africa and the Middle East on an industrial scale by the year 2050. This also includes the development of integrated energy markets and the identification of suitable technologies for producing and transmitting energy.
Dii´s long-term strategy “Desert Power 2050” points out which technological and geographical mix of renewable energy is best suited to provide the EUMENA region with a sustainable, reliable and affordable power system.


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