World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


The international political economy of energy in the wider Mediterranean region (183) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED date: WED 21, 9.00-11.00 am

· NOT_DEFINED institution: UNED, Spanish Open University (Spain)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Beatriz Muñoz Delgado

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Panel Summary: The aim of the panel is to discuss economic and political interactions at the energy and energy policy levels in the wider Mediterranean area, including the Gulf and Central Asia. The focus is openly multidisciplinary, intending to put together different approaches on energy relations from different disciplines and diverse regional perspectives. Contributors to this panel will analyse, either theoretically or empirically, the following issues: -energy security, at a policy and analytical level, and how it is affecting the emergence of a closer producer-consumer dialogue; for instance the emergence of a EU's energy security policy. -energy relations and alliances between countries and regions, and its influence over the whole set of external policies within the region.-energy policies in the region, its objectives and results, and how they interact with other policies.-energy and development, including both economic and political development; this will include the role of energy in the political and economic modernization of producer countries, but also the problems of consumer countries facing increased energy import bills.-energy and sustainability, including the role of renewables and the deployment of new technologies, and how it could affect the current energy scenario; this will include an analysis of current policies regarding renewable energy and the potential for green electricity integrating a wider euro-Mediterranean energy system.-the geo-economics and geopolitics of energy within the wider Euro-Mediterranean region

Chair: Gonzalo Escribano Francés (UNED, Spanish Open University)

Paper Prersenter: Luigi Carafa (Toulouse University of Social Sciences / University of Catania), "How Far Does the European Union Influence Energy Sector Reform in Turkey?"
This article investigates the extent and the conditions under which the European Union (EU) is capable to influence domestic energy reform in Turkey. It builds on a comparative study of the three subfields within EU energy cooperation (sustainability, competitiveness and security) with Turkey (1995-2010) to argue that the more strongly EC energy principles are codified in the acquis, the more these rules are institutionalised in transnational networks and are internationalised, the more their adoption is facilitated at domestic level. Interestingly, however, key domestic factors (the necessity to cope with country-specific energy problems, the willingness and state capacity to formulate and adopt reform) ultimately constrain the extent of sub-sector reform. Zooming out, EC energy sustainability principles and rules hit in Turkey. Regulatory harmonisation takes the shape of a rather selective but progressive alignment with the acquis.

Paper Presenter: Beatriz Muñoz (UNED, Spanish Open University), "The Trans-European Energy Networks and the Turkish Accession Process: Neither with You nor without You"
Turkey, as EU’s neighbour and candidate country, takes part in some trans-European energy networks - projects. This is not a controversial issue at European spheres, given the EU’s geostrategic interests. What is not so obvious is the Turkish accession to the European club. The energy infrastructures have become more and more important as the accession process was progressing. The opening of the trans-European networks, in December 2007, means recognition for the harmonization in this subject. The point is that it is more than just the Community acquis - transposition of a candidate country at stake, in this field. In fact, what is at stake is the involvement of a geostrategically key country in the European energy networks’ planning; a country who can contribute in an essential way to the EU’s energy diversification and security. But, despite of the fact that Turkey has some kind of power in this sphere, its relation to the UE is clearly asymmetric. If EU wants Turkey to take full part in this initiative, it should keep a valuable incentive and commitment from Turkish perspective, what means to meet the candidate’s full accession aspirations. However, both processes are developing at different times and rhythms, so the accession process will probably keep delaying, while the evolution of the energy infrastructures will take its own course. Trans-European energy networks do not wait to the Turkish accession process.

Paper Presenters: M.ª Ángeles Fernández (U. Católica de Ávila), "Europe Energy Policy and Mediterranean Countries: an Opportunity to Collaborate"
Europe is trying to create a single energy market within its boundaries, basically a gas and electricity market. At the same time, security of supply is one of the basic pillars of its energy and climate change policy. Nevertheless, it has to be said that every EU country has individual energy policies so that to achieve unified market integration is far from coming true. Middle East countries can offer great opportunities of collaboration with Europe in this issue, in a non-zero sum game. On the one hand, from the point of view of security of supply, to look for alternative and stable energy sources is needed. And the role of this region is under no discussion. On the other hand, the possibility of a transfer of technology may improve the economic growth in the incumbent countries. Finally, the creation of a single market with wider frontiers would make the market more competitive, although this point depends on certain technical requirements which are strictly necessary. The aim of this paper is to carry out, from a theoretical point of view, a cost-benefit analysis for: a) Establishing a common energy policy for the EU, as far as energy supply and security of supply are concerned. b) Creating an electricity ring with other countries in the Mediterranean area, making possible a broader and more competitive energy (electricity)

Paper Presenter: Gonzalo Escribano (UNED (Spanish Open University), "Shadows under the Sunshine?: The Union for the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean Solar Plan"
The Mediterranean Solar Plan, included in the Union for the Mediterranean, calls for the mobilisation of all alternative energies to export the electricity produced in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) to the EU. The EU MPCs have shown their interest in exploiting their important solar and, in some cases, wind resources. The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council are also showing increasing interest in renewable technologies. Renewable energies can boost the economies in the southern Mediterranean through FDI, the generation of new local energy sources, the exportation of green energy, the creation of employment and the fostering of R&D and technology transfer. Moreover, in those countries without hydrocarbons, renewable energies can be a solution for their economic and energy vulnerability. However, the development of renewable energies in the MPCs requires adapting their institutional and regulatory framework. It may well be, therefore, a factor of modernisation of its energy systems. In their turn, these reforms involve a certain regulatory convergence in order to foster regional integration, at least of electricity, at both the Euro-Mediterranean and South-South level. The promotion of renewable energies may be, therefore, a key vector of economic, physical and regulatory integration of the Euro-Mediterranean space, but it is not free from economic and regulatory problems. This paper will address such a problems and the socio-economic impact the Mediterranean Solar Plan may have in the economic development of MPCs.

Paper Presenter: Nicolas Depetris (Dubai School of Government), "Impact of Climate Change Policy on Fossil Fuel Investment and on the Gulf Economies"
Climate change is a reality that will shape the policy agenda in the years to come. This article aims to study the impact such a policies may have in the Gulf economies and in particular in the development of the fossil fuel sector. The analysis in the paper is based on fourth observations. First, carbon content varies across fossil fuels. Secondly, fossil fuels have very different forward looking demands. Thirdly, fossil fuels producers have widely different production costs and face different break-even prices. The last observation is that the reserves of oil and gas, and the importance of these sectors in the economy greatly vary across GCC economies. These four observations mean that that the burden of climate change-related abatement measures will fall unevenly on different fossil fuels, and on different fossil fuel producers. Overall, the future does not look overly gloomy for crude oil producers in the GCC region. In the short run, Gulf concerns about security of energy demand may have an impact on fossil fuel investment what may drive up the price oil. The case for compensation for oil producing countries is unlikely to be met. We expect the economic diversification process to continue and deepen for reasons that have little to do with climate change policies. The paper concludes with some appropriate policy responses for GCC oil producing countries.

Paper Presenter: Enrique San Martín (UNED, Spanish Open University), "Socioeconomic Risk for EU Energy Supply: Between Russia and Middle East. A Quantitative Analysis"
Since the fall of the Berlin wall and the Soviet Union collapse, the Russian share in the EU energy supply has grown steadily, while the share of MENA countries, the main European energy partners until this moment, has declined in a very similar amount. In the last years, the EU is focusing its efforts on security of supply. So, we think it would be interesting to analyze how this ‘eastward turn’ looking for energy supplies has affected this goal from the point of view of political and socio-economic risk. We will focus specially on the contributions to energy risk of Russia and MENA countries, as they are the main external European energy suppliers. This analysis will have five parts. First, we will analyze the ‘eastward turn’ that has happened in the energy imports scheme of the EU between 1995 and 2005. Second, we will explain the energy risk concept used in the paper and its main components. In this part we will also explain the construction process that allows us to calculate an energy risk index for the energy exporting countries from a political and socio-economic perspective. Third, we will calculate an energy risk index for the EU-27 and its member states. Fourth, we will analyze the results, trying to determine if the substitution of MENA imports by Russian ones has led to an increase or a decrease of the security of European energy supply from a political and socioeconomic point of view. Finally, we will make some policy recommendations taking into account results obtained in previous parts.