Ministers and energy executives from Arab and South American countries vowed to invest more in each others’ energy sectors and share technology at a Summit of South American-Arab Countries (Aspa).
A joint declaration included sharing data on the cost of renewables, “noting the essential value of robust exploration, production and distribution to all Aspa economies”.
Although ministers did not put a dollar figure on investment at their first energy meeting, they listed other areas for work including academic collaboration, sharing lessons in energy efficiency policy and opening power sector bids to partner regions.
At the meeting on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit, leaders described their vision for the flow of cooperation: South American technology to the GCC in exchange for billions of dollars in investments.
Mariangela Rebua, the director general of the Brazilian foreign ministry’s department of energy, expressed her hope that Arab countries could give a boost to Light for All, an ambitious project that has brought electricity to 2.8 million families.
On the GCC side, Bahrain is one of many countries seeking technology and experience in bringing renewables on to the power grid. A tender for a 3 megawatt to 5MW solar array is planned for this year. Promising wind measurements have also encouraged plans to launch a pilot turbine project.
“Bahrain was the first country [in the Middle East] to have oil,” said Abdul Hussain Ali Mirza, the minister of electricity and water. “But we don’t have much of it, so we need to look at the next stage.”
Separately, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar and the International Peace Institute, a think tank based in New York and Vienna, launched a task force to look at the nexus of energy and conflict.
“Energy should be a motor for development and cooperation, not a source of conflict,” said Terje Roed-Larsen, the president of the institute, listing Sudan and Iraq among the regional examples of instability stemming from oil. The task force will harness the private sector and examine the Arctic, the Caspian and Central Asia besides the Middle East.
From | The National
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