EU, GCC energy authorities conclude study tour in Belgium, Germany

Twenty five representatives of utilities and energy authorities from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states participated in a four-day EU Study tour on “Electricity Interconnections and Markets” in Belgium and Germany.

The EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network in cooperation with the GCC Interconnection Authority organized the tour, which began Monday and concluded will Thursday.

The Network in a press release said the study tour aims to facilitate the exchange of experiences and know how among EU and GCC stakeholders.

“Cooperation between the EU and the GCC has been strong and long standing since 1988.

The two regions face common challenges in the context of the clean energy transition, Massimo Lombardini, Policy Officer at the Directorate General for Energy, said in the European Commission in his address to the introductory workshop.

“In this context there are many opportunities for concrete partnerships and for exchange of knowledge and lessons learnt aiming to meet our energy targets,” Lombardini added.

“We welcome the distinguished delegation of GCC energy experts in Europe for this technical study tour and we hope that the next four days will highlight cooperation prospects and will prepare future partnerships,” he said.

On his part, Dr. Nasser Al-Shahrani, Chief Operations Office of the GCC Interconnection Authority said the GCC member-states have set ambitious renewable energy targets aiming to reduce their dependence on traditional fossil fuels with clean and renewable energy.

The GCC states perceive that its Power Grid could be expanded beyond the GCC region to exchange and trade energy with other interconnected regions aligned with the economic strategy of the GCC to interlink the electricity systems of the six member states, Al-Shahrani stated.

“It also strives to expand this interconnection to other regions around the world. In this process, we consider that sharing lessons learnt and best practices with the EU on interconnections and electricity markets is valuable” he added.

For his part, Frank Wouters, Director of the Network, said “We are honored to cooperate with the GCC Interconnection Authority for the organization of this study tour bringing in Europe such a high level delegation of experts.” “The study tour is a very interactive and fruitful experience where we learn from each other and have the opportunity to discuss on future concrete partnerships,” Wouters added.

The GCC delegation includes representatives from Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water, OMANGRID, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, TRANSCO UAE, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, Saudi Electricity Company, National Grid of Saudi Arabia, Electricity and Water Authority of Bahrain, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation “KAHRAMAA”, and the GCC Interconnection Authority.

The agenda of the study tour included a number of training workshops, high-level exchanges, as well as visits to EU organizations and industries in Belgium and Germany, noted the press release.

Source: Kuwait News Agency