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The Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) is one of six key initiatives of the Union for the Mediterranean that aims to meet the major energy and climate challenges confronting the European Union and the larger Mediterranean region in the coming decades. In order to achieve these objectives, the MSP has set itself two complementary targets: developing 20 GW of new renewable energy production capacities, and achieving significant energy savings around the Mediterranean by 2020, thereby addressing both supply and demand.

The MSP aims to complement existing Euro-Mediterranean activities and to work within existing renewable energy structures and associated grid infrastructure development projects, and will focus on creating an adequate regulatory, economic and organizational environment to enable the development and large-scale deployment of solar energy and other renewable energy technologies in the Mediterranean region, with the ultimate goal of helping the European Union meet its energy and climate goals for 2020 and beyond.

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New facilities launched at the European Solar Test Installation (ESTI) will allow it to assess the performance of new and improved photovoltaic (PV) devices, to perform pre-normative research and to help develop international standards for the industry. The new EUR 3-million facilities were officially inaugurated on June 24 by JRC Director General Dominique Ristori in the presence...

Highlighting the key role Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is expected to play in the European renewable energy mix, four CSP projects received a combined award of over €203 million from the €1.2 billion earmarked for 23 renewable energy demonstration projects by the European Commission in December 2012, under the first call for proposals for the NER300 funding programme.

Fifteen years ago solar photovoltaic (PV) energy was mostly used to power small off-grid installations such as roadside signage systems. Today, it provides a significant share of Europe’s electricity mix, covering 2% of demand and roughly 4% of peak demand. In 15 regions in the EU 27...

As the European Union strives to achieve its 2020 renewable energy targets, solar heating and cooling technologies could potentially play an important role, not least because of their adaptability - solar heating technologies are compatible with almost all conventional heat back-up sources and have the potential...