European Investment Bank and IRENA to promote Southern Mediterranean renewable energy manufacturing


The European Investment Bank (EIB) will cooperate with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to promote renewable energy (RE) manufacturing in the Middle East and North Africa, starting with a study of investment potential in the southern Mediterranean countries this year. The EIB and IRENA affirmed in Abu Dhabi on 16 January that they would jointly assess the region’s capability to attract foreign investments to develop local renewable energy industries.

Southern Mediterranean countries face enormous energy challenges because of rising demand and concerns about supply security and environmental sustainability. Energy demand is expected to rise exponentially as populations increase. The Mediterranean, meanwhile, is seen as especially vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, the southern Mediterranean region suffers from high unemployment, especially among educated youth, with a World Bank report, MENA Recovers from the crisis (2011), saying these countries will need to create at least 20 million jobs over the next 20 years.

In this context, RE technologies could help to increase competitiveness and create much-needed employment opportunities in the region, IRENA and EIB officials said. Manufacturing in the RE sector could help to transform southern Mediterranean economies and ensure their future sustainability.

The EIB and IRENA will work together with the following objectives:

  • Analysing and formulating a detailed presentation on the supply chains for RE manufacturing in the region.
  • Mapping the gaps identified in the region, in terms of the development of local RE manufacturing capacity.
  • Making recommendations for international institutions to support the development of RE manufacturing in the region.

Joint study results are expected before the end of 2013.

For additional details see the EIB website here.