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Visit of a delegation of the International Agency for Renewable Energy

IRENA : A Pan-Arab initiative on clean energies, focus on Maghreb countries

A delegation of the International Agency for Renewable Energy (IRENA) led by Mister Mustapha Toumi, Head of the IRENA’s Programme in Northern Africa and Middle East, was at the Solar Equipment Developemnt Unit (UDES), part of the Renewable Energy Development Center (CDER), in presence of the CDER’s director, Prof. Noureddine Yassaa, of the UDES’s Director and officials of the Ministry of Foreighn Affairs and the Ministry of Energy. The objective of the visit is to present the Pan-Arab clean energy initiative (PACE) in the region of the Maghreb and recommendations and the action plan proposed in this context.

The PACE is part of the carrying out of the «Pan-Arab strategy for renewable energy development over the period 2010-2030 » adapted by the Arab Summit for Economical and Social Development in January and recommendations has been expressed in a study co-sponsored by IRENA, the League of Arab States and RCREEE, entitled «  the 2030 Pan-Arab Renewable Energy Strategy : roadmap of actions to be made ». this initiative aims to , particularly, integrate the biggest amount of electricity from renewable sources in electric grid in the Arab countries and to creat an Arabe market of renewable electricity».

Within the settlement of this initiative and as a first step, IRENA launched in co-operation with the RCREEE an analytical study of challenges in in the Arab Maghreb especially in terms of development and integration of renewable energy nationally and sub-regionally. This study aims to stand a global view the global approach for a better integration of renewable energy into the energy mix of each country and going to view an approach of a sub-regional integration.

The adopted methodology based itself on the analysis, at the level of every country and at the level of the sub-region of the conditions of entrance of renewable energy in the energy sector of and more particularly the sector of electricity. To this end, the study focused on an evaluation of the current situation of the countries of the Maghreb on the basis of five pillars of the initiative:

- Develop renewable energy and the electrical infrastructures associated and in particular the use of interconnexions between different countries ; 
- Zoning and capacities of evaluation of resources; 
- Planning process at the national and regional level; 
- Financing mechanism and promotion of investments and integration of renewables at the national and sub-regional level ;
- Level of human capacities and the knowledge transfer.

This analyze allowed the identification of strength and weaknesses of each countries in using and integrating these renewables in their energy systems and to propose recommendations and a maproad for a better integration of renewable energy at the sub-regional level.

Among the conclusions of the preliminary report which is not validated by Algeria yet, it is advisable to quote that the countries of the Maghreb set up in different dates, ambitious programs for the development of renewable energy, that it is necessary to undertake statutory and institutional reforms for the deployment of renewable energy at the national and regional level.

The report quotes that Algeria is moved forward well in this domain, in particular after the implementation of the guaranteed feed-in tariff. The report also indicated the absence of an integrated process for regional planning of the Maghreb and the harmonization of programs of electrical infrastructures. It quotes that the electrical interconnexions between Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, are devoted to systems security and are rarely used for transactions between the countries.

The report recommends, in the short term, to launch studies of precise and detailed zoning of sites of high renewable energy potential; to lead the studies to determine the maximal capacities of integration of the interconnected regional network and to develop modules and specific training programs for the various participants. For the middle term; it is recommended to establish regulations which facilitate the access to lands (public and private) for project developers, to lead studies on the opportunity of big exchanges of electricity between countries to reduce investments on the production and to harmonize the national regulations regarding renewable energy, grid code. For the long term; it is necessary to create a regional entity for market regulation of electricity, to create a regional entity for the promotion of the renewable energy projects and the launch regional projects aiming to renewable electricity exchanges between the countries of the Maghreb.

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