About the REMEA Action
With the Renewable Energy directive (RED), Europe has committed itself to a very ambitious challenge: the 2020 EU-27 energy final consumption mix has to contain at least 20% of energy of renewable origin. In the Renewable Energy Action Plans presented by the member states to the European Commission, each member state has developed its own strategy for the individuals target to be reached.
In last two years several scientists form the different actions of the Renewable Energy Unit have worked together to analyse the National Renewable Energy Action Plans received by the European Commission from the Member States in order to provide technical comments and advice. The first group of progress reports due by member states at the end of 2011 were also analyzed and put into comparison with the planned developments.
Expanding the former experience on bioenergy resources, the REMM action has started in 2012 to collect, harmonize and disseminate EU-wide data on renewable energies availability, with a special focus on geographically referenced data of raw resources, and to use such knowledge as a basis for studying the actual exploitability of resources.
During 2012 REMM has been also deeply involved in collecting, organizing and providing similar information for the African continent in support to DG DEVCO.
This experience has shown very clearly how the methodologies and tools being developed in REMM could be of common use in both the regions of Europe and Africa, provided that a suitable tuning to the different data availability is performed. Furthermore, it is very important to take advantage of the competence acquired during the implementation of the RENAF (RENewable energies in AFrica) project together with DG DEVCO, and also to further develop the unique network of contacts with African research bodies.
Therefore, in 2013, the REMM Action has been transformed into REMEA following the addition of the work on renewable energies in Africa to the institutional programme.
Reasons for this choice are at least twofold. Firstly, such a successful scientific activity has to be continued. Even more importantly, a relevant amount of policy support analysis is expected to be needed for the coming years related to the already cited "Renewable energy for all" strategy and several African countries have already taken the challenge to develop their own National Renewable energy Action Plans.
In this context of rapid progresses in the still difficult and imperfectly known African context a relevant amount of policy support analysis is expected to be needed in the coming years.
Obviously the European angle will not be abandoned and will continue to allow the action to both fast react to policy requests, like e.g., support to Danube strategy, and to produce sound scientific work on the different facets of the general problem of availability, exploitability and sustainability of renewable energies.
Summary of the project:
1. Mapping renewable energy raw resources in Europe and Africa
The development of spatial databases on renewable resources availability will be continuously consolidated and extended following the direction of a more and more realistic assessment. Exploitability and sustainability constraints will progressively integrate the pure availability issues and the current multi-layer database will be extended and consolidated for the both regions of Europe and Africa, at an initially different level of detail reflecting also the different quality of available data. Complementarity among different kinds of renewable energies is also expected to be considered in order to provide suggestions for an optimally integrated use of resources.
2. Monitoring renewable energy deployment in Europe and in Africa
Monitoring the actual deployment of renewable energies will continue to have a central role in the REMEA action, with the continuous exploitation of the experience gained in last two years analysing the NREAPs and the first progress reports. The traditional and well known analysis reports of the series "Photovoltaic Status Report" and "Renewable energy snapshots" are expected to continue in 2013, together with the contribution to SETIS technology databases. Specific analyses for the African region deployment opportunities for renewables are also expected, possibly also in connection with the key threats for the region like e.g., climate change.
3. International scientific cooperation and networking
REMEA staff will be involved in a relevant activity of international scientific networking e.g. through the cooperation with the TF " Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Markets" of IEA Bioenergy initiative and the maintenance of the unique network of African renewable energy research bodies set up in the AFRETEP context. Other key issues for 2013 will include, like in the previous years, the technical support to the European Biomass Conference and the European PV Conference. In 2013 an Enlargement and Integration workshop on bioenergy in Russia and Ukraine is also expected to take place under REMEA coordination.