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6th Forum on Economic Co-operation: Alternative Energy in the Middle East 13th to 17th July 2008

The Middle East ranks among the regions that receive the biggest amount of annual solar radiation world-wide.

This provides ideal conditions for running photovoltaic or heat engine power plants. Nevertheless, Israel and Jordan's output generated from renewable energies is lower than 10 percent. This is due to the fact that both states so far have not provided sufficient incentives for investors who are looking for long-term stability.

The world's biggest solar plant is based near Leipzig, Germany. Participants of the Forum visited the complex and were briefed on the technologies by a representative of the operating company Juri. The group also paid a visit to enviaTHERM, a modern biogas power plant in Ostrau. Speakers from the Daimler Group, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Wittenberg Center and members of both delegations stipulated talks by giving presentations.

In the course of the discussions it became clear that renewable energies have a great potential for building cooperation for mutual advantage. On the one hand, Isreal has hyper-modern technological solutions for the production of liquid biofuels while lacking sufficient biomass. Jordan, on the other hand, produces biomass without having access to technology allowing for their recycling. It is these unused potentials that were targeted by Israeli and Jordanian representatives. They agreed on establishing a joint venture. The firm is to be a trustworthy and reliable partner for investors while fostering production and use of renewable energies in the region.

Initial negotiations for the launch started in Wittenberg already and are scheduled to be continued in the upcoming weeks. "This project is the fruit of a six-year long phase of trust-building", comments Professor Andreas Suchanek, Chairman of the Wittenberg Center. According to his views, the Middle East Forum exemplifies the Center's philosophy: Invest in the conditions of cooperation for mutual advantage. The fact that the conversations were of a collaborative nature shows that the investments have already begun to yield returns.

Declaration for the 6th Joint Economic Forum (PDF)