MED-ENEC - Energy Efficiency in the Construction Sector in the Mediterranean


External cooperation programmes - European Commission


EU Energy InitiativeThe MED-ENEC project results from initiatives taken under the European Union Energy Initiative (EU-EI) "after Kyoto", for which GIZ provides the Project Management Unit for the Partnership Dialogue Facility.

The MED-ENEC Project on Energy Efficiency in the Construction Sector is considered as a major element in designing and implementing cooperation efforts between the EU and ENPI South Countries and between ENPI South countries themselves, in response to such global initiatives.

EUROMEDThe EU's proximity policy towards the Mediterranean region is governed by the global and comprehensive Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, launched at the 1995 Barcelona Conference between the European Union and its Mediterranean Partners (called the Barcelona Process).

The Lisbon Treaty commits the EU to the “development of a special relationship with neighbouring countries aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation”. For that purpose “the EU may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned” (art. 8 TEU).

The European Neighbourhood Policy is all about working together with states that share a land or sea border with the EU, to increase the prosperity, stability and security of the EU’s neighbours in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and the South shore of the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean Satellite MapMost of the ENPI South countries are characterised by a strongly contrasted situation with, on the one hand urban and industrialised centres consuming a lot of energy and on the other hand, rural areas where the energy consumption rate is extremely limited and access to energy is often very low. This situation will subsist or even escalate, since most ENPI South countries are facing high growth in population. According to the United Nations and the International Energy Agency, it is expected that the population will increase from 240 million in 2000 to 323 million in 2020. Moreover, the urban populations are expected to increase from 150 million in 2000 to 250 million in 2020. Taking into account the economic growth, it is considered that the energy consumption in this period will be more than doubled. Hence, the growth in population and economy as well as the urbanisation puts pressure on the existing energy infrastructure competing with other infrastructure needs such as health, education, etc.

In this context the building stock is one of the principal consumers, since it is responsible for about 25-45% of the final energy consumption with ascending tendency.

The largest potential for improvements exists especially in urban areas: Since twenty years the urban style of living in the ENPI South region has changed and has been accompanied by a massive increase in the use of electrical equipment. All these equipments are more and more widespread in "affluent" families, although their diffusion rate is far below the level known in the northern Mediterranean countries. Thus, a growing increase in domestic electricity use is likely to remain steady in the future. Especially the reduction of the cooling demand calls for a holistic approach, to integrate demand side management and energy efficiency in the planning process of buildings.

During the first phase (2006 – 2009), the MED-ENEC project supported 10 low-energy-buildings as pilot projects in all partner countries from which six received the prestigeous “National Energy Globe Award”. In addition, two International Symposia, fifteen Regional Workshops, twenty seven National Consultations, five Investors Meetings and three Energy Days realised on fairs served for awareness raising, exchange of good practices and networking.

Cairo buildingsThe second phase of the MED-ENEC project started its activities in January 2010 and is planned for a period of four years. It aims at effective and sustainable implementation of EE and RE measures in the building sector using an integrated, holistic approach. Therefore, the project will work in parallel on the regulatory and policy framework, business development, support to large building programs, capacity building and information dissemination. A clear focus is put on strengthening business services and supporting markets. Support to large building programmes will be carried out in the form of providing expertise and training. This aims at achieving a multiplier effect since these large scale developers often set the standards for other contractors. Established dissemination structures will ensure documentation and knowledge transfer.

The capacity building approach combines national and regional workshops and consulting events. Best practices will be presented; experiences and information exchanged and implementation plans for the large building programmes established.