Working paper / Energy
In Search of a 'Platform' for Mediterranean Renewables Exchange: 'EU-Style' System vs. a 'Corridor-by-Corridor' Approach
Recent years have seen increasing efforts in Europe to win the Southern Mediterranean countries as new suppliers of energy from renewable sources (RES-E). Massive amounts of green electricity that is generated in the Middle East and the North Africa (MENA) regions might someday be consumed in the EU. However, beyond the stark invocation of an Euro-Mediterranean RES-E exchange, less attention has been given to its actual implementation. This article takes stock of the applicable EU regime that governs the transfer of green electricity via Maghreb-EU corridors. In our investigation, centre stage is given to Article 9 of Directive 2009/28/EC (RES Directive), which introduced the opportunity for the EU Member States to receive credit towards their 2020 targets for clean power generated in third countries, provided that it is consumed inside the EU. We will argue that the EU, in practice, is moving towards a ‘corridor-by-corridor’ approach, rather than towards a fully-fledged ‘EU-style’ system.