The formation of a common Mediterranean market for natural gas or electricity is achievable, said Alexandre Santos, the newly-elected president of the Mediterranean Energy Regulators, MEDREG on Wednesday.
"The creation of a common market in the Mediterranean for electricity and gas is a long-term, but achievable scenario. We have to remember that the current fragmentation of Mediterranean energy requires that we work at national and sub-regional levels to support the development of the energy sector," Santos said in a special interview with Anadolu Agency.
According to Santos, governments play a key role to ensure energy legislation is adequate for growing demand and to achieve the ambitious renewables targets that Mediterranean countries and institutions, such as the Union for the Mediterranean, have set.
The task of combining the countries’ different targets needs to be carried out in a way that favors harmonization, he said.
"This is the outcome regulators expect from the work performed in the Union for Mediterranean (UfM) Energy Platforms," Santos said.
The UfM is an intergovernmental organization bringing together the 28 EU member states and 15 countries from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean to enhance regional cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Santos explained that MEDREG is the only organization to bring together public authorities that regulate electricity and gas in the Mediterranean region.
"We can provide considerable technical expertise to policymakers and thus support policy decisions that are consistent with the characteristics and needs of the Mediterranean basin. We also have an important role to play in informing policy makers, investors and energy stakeholders on the importance of regulation to develop markets, attract investment and ensure fair prices, and most importantly protect our energy consumers," Santos said.
Santos, a commissioner in Portugal's Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE), was elected as the new president of MEDREG at the 22nd General Assembly of the association on Wednesday in Rome.
Santos laid out goals for the next two years when he will preside over the MEDREG:-
- Reaffirming our partnership with the European Commission through a third framework contract to allow the association to continue to successfully perform its activities in the short and medium term.
- Promoting a tailor-made approach for MEDREG’s technical contribution to members. MEDREG should focus on the topics that can properly support regulatory developments at national level.
- Increasing interactions with other organizations and projects active in the region: In cooperation with other public institutions in the region, MEDREG aims to facilitate dialogue and address challenges related to the implementation of regulatory provisions.
MEDREG was inaugurated in 2007 under Italian law and currently convenes 24 energy regulators from 21 Mediterranean countries including, Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Greek Cypriot administration, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.
By Muhsin Baris Tiryakioglu in Rome