Background on EU GCC energy cooperation
The GCC countries comprise some of the world's largest producers of oil and gas. In the past few years countries in the GCC started a number of initiatives to diversify their economy and their energy mix. In particular GCC governments have put the emphasis on sustainable energy transition with the implementation of clean energy plans or the adoption of targets – mainly based on diversification strategies, energy efficiency and renewables.
The EU is seeking to establish a long term strategic relationship with the GCC countries. Current EU GCC relations are based on a Cooperation Agreement dating from 1988 which aims at broadening economic and technical cooperation, including in the fields of energy, industry, trade and services, agricultural, fisheries, investment, science, technology and environment. The Cooperation Agreement establishes an annual Joint Council/Ministerial Meeting between EU and the GCC foreign ministers, as well as a Joint Cooperation Committee between senior officials. A number of technical working groups exist inter alia in the fields of the energy, economic affairs, air and transport.
Notably, the joint GCC-EU Ministerial Council, at its 20th session held in Luxemburg on 14th June 2010, adopted the joint action program for the period 2010-2013. Within the framework of execution of the program, a number of joint actions were organized. Among these was also the "Establishment of European Union - GCC Network for clean energy".
Maintaining and strengthening the cooperation between the European Union and the GCC in the area of sustainable “clean” energy and energy efficiency is crucial: such cooperation could trigger mutual benefits - at the technological and political levels - and contribute to address both organisations interests. Furthermore, this cooperation should directly benefit implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change concluded in December 2015, in particular the economic diversification strategies in the Gulf region that form the basis for their GHG emissions reduction.
The EU-GCC Clean Energy Network (*), funded by the European Union, initiated its activities in 2010, as a response to the common EU GCC interest for strategic clean energy cooperation. The Network aims to act as a catalyst and element of coordination for the development of cooperation on clean energy, including the related policy and technology aspects among various stakeholders in the EU and GCC countries. At this stage, the activities of the Network need to be further developed and should aim to become sustainable over the mid-term.
With these objectives in mind, in December 2015 the European Union launched the “EU GCC Clean Energy Network II” (CENII) project. The overall objective of the CENII is to enhance EU-GCC energy relations by developing new appropriate structures and instruments and by maintaining existing ones for practical cooperation activities of mutual interest in the area of clean energy. Hence, building on the achievements of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network since 2010, the project is necessary to further the cooperation opportunities in the energy sector.
An important operational element of the Network is the working groups (*) that are established to examine opportunities and further develop cooperation in the areas of:
- Renewable Energy Sources;
- Energy Efficiency & Demand Side Management;
- Clean Natural Gas & related Clean Technologies;
- Electricity Interconnections & Market Integration;
- Carbon Capture & Storage.
Climate change aspects will be considered across all 5 topics.
Changes in Network identity
As of 28 February 2017, and following agreement of the European Commission (Service for Foreign Policy Instruments) and of the GCC Secretariat General-Energy Department, acting as the ‘parent’ stakeholders of the Network, the below changes are valid:
- The Network is changing its name to ΕU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network. This new name aims to highlight the importance of addressing technology aspects in meeting clean energy targets and in creating relevant EU GCC partnerships.
- The Working Groups are renamed to Working Areas to emphasize the inclusive stakeholders’ approach of the Network activities in each of the 5 clean energy fields identified.
- The changes will be gradually reflected in the Network website and collateral.
Scope of Work and Services
The ΕU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network(*) provides a wide variety of services and offering to its Members. Networking and fostering of partnership between EU and GCC institutions are the key services that are provided.
In particular, the Network supports EU GCC cooperation in clean energy fields through:
- Networking and Partnership development, with a wide range of stakeholders, including policy-making bodies, research institutes and industry players.
- Organisation of experts events, thematic discussions, seminars, webinars, training sessions and high-level conferences.
- Operation of “clean energy” Working Groups to facilitate collaboration among EU and GCC experts.
- Dissemination of information on EU-GCC clean energy co-operation opportunities and policy framework:
- Increased knowledge and information exchange among the EU and GCC participants on possibilities for cooperation and joint projects in energy, including through the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.
- Detailed information and better understanding of EU and GCC policies and frameworks related to clean energy and climate change.
- Providing an information platform on clean energy regulatory frameworks, policy backgrounds, ongoing and planned initiatives and projects, funding possibilities etc.
- Advanced Web-Area to facilitate discussion, dialogue and collaboration among EU and GCC stakeholders on technology, research and policy aspects of clean energy and climate change.
- Promotion and facilitation of a number of joint demonstration and pilot projects, as well as research activities, being implemented with participation of EU and GCC entities in the area of clean energy and climate change.
- Support for the publication of articles in scientific journals on clean energy & climate change in EU, GCC regions.
- Coordination with existing and future networks / instruments, such as platforms for international scientific cooperation established under Horizon 2020.
- Closely liaising with initiatives in the region in related fields, e.g. water, environment, with a view to coordinating efforts and benefiting from synergies.
The stakeholders from both regions participating in the Network include, inter alia, energy-related research entities, universities, administrations, utilities, industry, policy makers and relevant stakeholders from the energy and climate change sectors as appropriate. Even if the dialogue is primarily established at a regional level, the Network will include exchanges at bilateral level in order to share best practices in a better and more efficient way and identify new fields of cooperation in the clean energy domain
The Key Experts of the CENII project supporting the operation of the Network are:
Working Areas Conveners
Introducing the Working Groups’ conveners:
Dr. Ana Rosa Lagunas, WA1 Renewable Energy Sources, About Ana
Andrew Parker, WA2 Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management, About Andrew
Dr. Jaap Vente, WA3 Clean Natural Gas and related technologies, About Jaap
Nicholas Carter, WA4 Electricity Interconnnections and Market Integration, About Nicholas
Daniel Jansen, WA5 Carbon Capture and Storage, About Daniel
Industrial collaboration coordinator
Florian Klumpp, About Florian
Research Collaboration Specialist
Haris Doukas, About Haris
Networking and Digital Marketing Expert
Alice Corovessi, About Alice
Short bios of the team
Mr Frank Wouters is the Director of the “EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network” project, since December 2015.
Mr. Frank Wouters has been leading renewable energy projects, transactions, and technology development for over 25 years. He has played a lead role in development of renewable generation projects valued at over $4.5 billion. These range from small scale PV solar electrification in Uganda to the 100MW Shams I Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) in the UAE, and strategic equity investment in the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind project. His transactions have received multiple project finance “Deal of the Year” awards.
Mr. Wouters’ management and leadership experience is unparalleled. As Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organisation dedicated to all renewables, he managed a US$350 million IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development project facility for RE. He appraised over 80 projects a year and recommended projects for funding, including solar PV projects in Africa.
Mr. Wouters has served on the board of several energy companies, including Torresol Energy SA, where he developed three solar plants with an overall budget of US$1.4 billion.
Mr. Wouters has a proven track record of advice to public power sector agencies. As Director of the Masdar Power Unit, a clean energy company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, he managed more than US$3 billion of power projects, including solar and wind power projects. He coordinated with government ministers and other stakeholders to promote private sector investment for RE projects as part of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor Initiative.
Qualified with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University, he is fluent in English and German, as well as Dutch.
Dr. Mustapha Taoumi is the Energy Technology Expert of the “EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network” project, since January 2016.
Dr. Taoumi has been leading Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency projects and technology deployment for over 30 years. He has worked with US AID, GIZ (Germany), JICA (Japan) and EU (DGXII) as Project and Programme Manager. He has conducted numerous feasibility and planning studies, building programs and has implemented projects on the ground. He assisted local institutions to develop strategic plans in sustainable energy. He managed numerous seminars and training workshops concerning the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Dr. Taoumi was also involved in several initiatives and projects with a regional scope particularly in MENA and Mediterranean regions including the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP).
As a Regional Programme Officer for North Africa and the Middle East region (MENA) within the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organisation dedicated to all renewables, Dr. Taoumi managed several projects and initiatives across MENA region including Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA), assessment of local manufacturing potential in the Arab region and recently the Pan Arab Clean Energy initiative (PACE).
Dr. Taoumi held several key positions including Secretary General and Interim Executive Director within the National Renewable Energy Centre (CDER) in Morocco - now transformed on a National dedicated Agency (ADEREE) as well as Executive Secretary of the Mediterranean Association of the National Agencies for Energy Conservation (MEDENER- Network). Before joining IRENA in 2010, he was nominated by the Ministry of Energy in Morocco as IRENA’s focal point and member of the IRENA’s Headquarters Selection Committee.
Among other positions, Dr. Taoumi is an active member on several organisations, conferences and networks around the world including the MENAREC Conference International Steering Committee.
Dr. Taoumi holds a PhD in Electrochemistry from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (INPG) in France and master's degrees in Electrochemical Engineering and Management Science, he is fluent in English, French, Spanish as well as Arabic.
Dr Ioanna Makarouni has been the Communications & Events Manager of the “EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network” since its creation in 2010.
She is a Senior Expert of ICCS/EPU-NTUA (National Technical University of Athens) with a professional record of more than 18 years in projects in the areas of: Decision Support Systems, Energy Policy & Energy Markets, Communication and Information Dissemination, Operations Research as well as Development & Management of Information Systems.
Ioanna Makarouni has extensive experience in developing the Communication-dissemination and ICT strategy of EC funded research and technical consultancy projects mainly in the energy sector but also in the ICT field (including for MEDA, ALTENER, SYNERGY, TACIS, Phare, EUROPEAID, FP7, H2020 projects). In this capacity, she has organized a large number of international events (i.e. conferences, high-level workshops, experts meetings and training seminars), publicity campaigns and networking initiatives. She is well acquainted with the GCC and MENA regions since she has been involved in the implementation and management of several energy related projects in these regions, since 2000 including the “Euro-Mediterranean Energy Policy Training Network”, the “Impact of Energy Projects in the Black Sea and in the Mediterranean”, the “EU-GCC cooperation through the promotion of hydrocarbon technology transfer – improving the EU security of supply”, the “Creation and operation of an EU GCC Clean Energy Network”, e.tc.
Moreover, she has held a key management position at “The Greek Interoperability Centre: Enabling Research in the Interoperability Domain”, a research initiative created through the support of the EC, Capacities Programme 2008 – 2012. The centre targets eGovernment and eBusiness Interoperability Research, thus forming a strong regional pole of research and technology in the South Eastern Europe.
Dr Ioanna Makarouni holds a diploma of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a MSc in Techno-Economic Systems and a PhD on Multicriteria Modelling for large scale production scheduling.
Short bios of the conveners here
Short bio of the Industrial collaboration coordinator
Dr. Florian Klumpp is senior consultant and project manager for Fichtner in the field of power economy, power plant technology, renewable energies and energy storage technologies.
Projects of Dr. Klumpp involve topics such as:
- Market studies: Analysis of the power and energy market (national and international)
- Expert in market modeling: future market price for energy, control energy, operation of generation assets etc.
- Storage technologies (feasibility studies, design, demand, economic evaluation etc.)
- Consultancy of utilities (power economy, power plant technology)
- Utilization and integration of renewable energies (capacity credit, effective load carrying capacity, loss of load expectation etc.)
Prior to his career at Fichtner, Dr. Klumpp accumulated around eight years of professional experience in a major German energy supply utility.
Being a graduate engineer his core qualifications comprise a solid technical foundation in conventional power plant and storage technologies as well as in renewable energies.
Short bio of the Research Collaboration Specialist
Dr. Haris Doukas is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). Dr. Doukas has a degree on Mechanical Engineering (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – AUTH, 2003), and a PhD on the decision support systems for the sustainable energy sector’s operation (NTUA, 2009). His areas of expertise include the development of models and decision support systems for energy and climate policy as well as energy management. In these fields, he has more than 80 scientific publications in international journals. Moreover, Dr. Doukas has more than 100 announcements in international conferences, chapters in books etc. Dr. Doukas has a working experience of 13 years as a project manager and senior expert in European and national energy and environmental policy and planning projects. Currently, Dr. Doukas is the research collaboration specialist of the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network, which aims to catalyze partnerships between clean energy stakeholders, both in the GCC and the EU.
Short bio of the Networking and Digital Marketing Expert
Ms Alice Corovessi is the Networking and Digital Marketing Expert of the “EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network” project, since September 2016. She has studied Business Administration, Marketing, and Computer Programming and she began her professional career in the field of Tourism and Real Estate. Since 2009 she is actively involved in the promotion of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in the building sector and the build environment, having a solid understanding of the aforementioned topics.
Her primary focus is the development of communication, marketing and dissemination strategies for new and existing energy efficiency and sustainability projects. She is working closely with EU Institutions, leading all actions related to planning, management, and dissemination of the mission and outcomes of Renovate Europe Campaign, of European Alliance to Save Energy and of the Coalition for Energy Savings in Greece. She has also worked in EU funded projects, developing communication, dissemination and stakeholders engagement strategies. She has also organised a number of training sessions both in Greece and Cyprus for energy efficiency standards, energy management and other related topics.
In 2010 she became a member of the TEDx family by giving a presentation at the TEDx Academy event in Athens, on the subject of energy efficiency and the upcoming energy standards in Europe. She is among the founding members of the Sustainable Building Council of Greece. She is a regular writer for high profile industry publications.