The Embassy of Sweden alongside the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt hosted an energy inter-connectivity event on Tuesday.
The event brought together Ambassador of Sweden to Egypt Håkan Emsgård and Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Egypt Christian Berger who delivered speeches alongside Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Tarek al-Molla and a video call by Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat.
The first panel of the event, titled “Interconnectivity: Financing Renewable Energy”, discussed renewable energy, green hydrogen and electricity interconnection while the second panel, “Working together to resolve the energy crisis”, discussed ways Egypt and Europe can work together regarding the energy crisis.
European and Egyptian policymakers also held panel discussions alongside business representatives such as the Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg Gelsomina Vigliotti.
There they discussed policies and financial instruments in order to support energy transition and link Egypt and Europe together in this sector.
And on the sidelines of the event, a loan deal was signed between the EIB and ALEXBANK under the first Green Economy Financing Facility.
Emsgård stated in his speech during the event that “The demand for sustainable energy is increasing in Europe. Egypt is well positioned to supply such energy. To connect Egypt and Europe is therefore the obvious way forward. This will benefit the economy of Egypt and Europe alike, but it will also benefit the climate since the energy can be used in a more efficient and sustainable way”.
Molla said in his speech that the European Union is one of Egypt’s most prominent partners in the energy sector and plays a vital role in gas and oil concerns.
He noted that since the signing of an MoU in 2018 for Strategic Cooperation in Energy between Egypt and the EU, both sides have benefited from a long and fruitful partnership with the EU becoming one of Egypt’s strongest partners in trade.
“The geopolitical tensions and energy market fluctuations that the world is currently witnessing are motivating countries to further diversify their energy sources in order to achieve energy security, stressing that energy security and energy neutrality are complementary goals and that Egypt’s vision is to play a key role in the flow of global energy trade and promote a Better Business Link environment to ensure continued cooperation,” the minister said.
He added that “Egypt has proved that it holds the keys to being a regional hub for gas and oil through its strategic location, a well-established energy industry and a strong infrastructure that helps to monetize all the potentials in the eastern Mediterranean region.”
Mashat stated that “Our relations are historical and close with the European Union, and in light of the country’s priorities and its Sustainable Energy Strategy 2035, strengthening partnerships in the field of renewable energy, green hydrogen and achieving interconnection is a priority at this time based on the great potential that Egypt has and its quest to stimulate green transformation and expansion of renewable energy sources.
Her speech added that “During the COP27 climate conference, we witnessed the signing of the agreements of the ‘Nowafi’ program, which stimulates green investment in the fields of water, food and energy, as well as the Mediterranean hydrogen partnership funded by a European Grant, and many agreements that reflect Egypt’s commitment to move from pledges to implementation.”
Berger’s speech meanwhile highlighted that the EU has vast troves of knowledge it is more than willing to share, and the means to help as “The world’s greatest donor to climate financing, providing over 40 percent of global public climate money through our Member States.”
“In many countries, we deploy technical support, investment grants, capacity building, and guarantees to manage risks and leverage private investments.”
“If we are to deliver a Green Deal for Europe, making the EU the model for a just and sustainable transition, we believe we must have the legitimacy to press and assist others in doing the same. Then we will be able to truly impact the future of our world,” he added.
Vigliotti said that The European Investment Bank “Welcomes the strong partnership demonstrated today between governments and businesses to unlock new investment to strengthen clean energy interconnections between Egypt and Europe, crucial to increase sustainable and affordable energy use and deliver sustainable development.”
“The European Investment Bank stands ready to enhance financial and technical support for clean energy investment in Egypt, including interconnections, to enable this country to transition to a low-carbon economy, increase access to affordable clean energy and contribute to the fight against climate change. Today’s Egypt Europe Interconnectivity discussions are a key step to further strengthen Egypt and Europe’s shared clean energy and climate goals,” she concluded.