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The MED-GEM’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) is Launched!

'MED-GEM’s Charting the Future of RE & GH2 in the Mediterranean Region,' the MED-GEM’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) is Launched !

With the title: Empowering Tomorrow: Charting the Future of Renewable Energies & Green Hydrogen in the Mediterranean Region, the MED-GEM’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) was launched on December 20, 2023, at Maison Grand Place, Brussels and gathered Chambers of industries, Renewable Energy Unions, Energy Industry Associations and Confederations, Power-To-X and Green hydrogen clusters from both shores of the Mediterranean, National Focal Points and members of the Steering Committee of MED-GEM, Officers and Managers from DG NEAR and DG ENER, IFIs with presentations from the OECD and World Bank partners.

This MED-GEM’s inaugural Industry Advisory Board (IAB) meeting provided crucial insights into priority areas and collaborative actions for the sustainable growth of the GEM industry across partner countries. 

Moderated by Frank Wouters (Med-GEM director), the workshop participants identified key themes demanding attention:

  • Infrastructure for Efficiency: Participants stressed the need for a common infrastructure to enhance efficiency in the energy sector.
  • Financing and Cost of Capital: Financing challenges and cost implications were highlighted, emphasizing the importance of addressing financial barriers.
  • Certification (Import/Export with EU): Certification complexities, especially related to energy source verification and compliance with EU regulations (REDII, CBAM), emerged as a significant concern.
  • HR Element – Jobs, Skills, and Capacity Building: Focus on workforce development, skills enhancement, and capacity building to meet the demands of the evolving GEM industry landscape.
  • Local Value Creation and Nearshoring: Emphasis on deepening and widening the value chain, encouraging local production, and nearshoring activities.
  • Policies (Permitting/Land): Regulatory frameworks, permitting processes, and land policies were identified as critical drivers for industry transformation.
  • Zones/Valleys (Structured Approach): A structured approach to developing zones and valleys for GEM industry development was discussed.
  • Business Models – Off-Takers: The importance of long-term commitments from off-takers in shaping sustainable business models.
  • Export Potential and Foreign Exchange Effects: Exploring export potential and understanding its impact on foreign exchange reserves.
  • Local Use Potential and Import: Balancing local use potential and import dynamics for sustainable development.

The participants selected four focal topics for the upcoming period: “Local Value”, “Certification”, “Jobs, Skills, and Capacity Building”, and “Infrastructure”.

Outcomes on Local Value Creation

  • An overview of existing local manufacturing capabilities in partner countries; consideration to financial challenges such as factory closures and product quality concerns.
  • Opportunities include leveraging local industries, EU initiatives, R&D capabilities, and the commitment of partner countries to self-sufficiency.
  • Action: Each partner country to provide a baseline for local manufacturing, facilitated by MED-GEM support.

Outcomes on Certification

  • Certification and standards support trade by providing transparency on quality of products and compliance with regulation.
  • Challenges in certifying energy sources for GH2 production.
  • Action: The International PtX Hub to offer training and workshops as well as the implementation of pilot projects to navigate certification complexities.

Outcomes on Jobs, Skills, and Capacity Building

  • Challenges in defining required training and capacity building.
  • Opportunities lie in existing skilled labor and educational institutions.
  • Action: Partner countries to provide a baseline for skills and capacity building, with MED-GEM support if needed.

Outcomes on Infrastructure

  • Challenges in the complexity and cost of new infrastructure.
  • Opportunities include utilizing and expanding existing infrastructure.
  • Action: MED-GEM to develop a comprehensive document on infrastructure activities and potential outcomes.

The 1st IAB meeting laid a foundation for collaborative efforts, addressing key challenges and leveraging opportunities for sustainable growth of the GEM industry across partner countries. The formation of working groups ensures ongoing engagement and progress between IAB meetings.

The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) will meet every 6 months. However, the MED-GEM team will support the creation of working groups (WGs), one for each topic discussed and will draft a ToR for each WG. These ToRs will be shared with the participants who will be asked if they would like to join these WGs. These WGs will be smaller groups and will have their own rhythm where they will meet several times in between the IAB meetings and share interim results.