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MEDREG contributed, exchanged views and benefited from the latest regulatory developments at the seventh World Forum on Energy Regulation
23 March 2018
Cancùn, Mexico

Participating in the seventh World Forum on Energy Regulation (WFER) between 20 and 23 March 2018 in Cancùn, MEDREG contributed, exchanged views and benefited from the latest regulatory developments, and provided insights of the energy markets in the Mediterranean countries. We also benefited from the sessions on the opportunities and challenges faced by the energy sector around the themes of innovation, empowered consumers, dynamic markets and sustainable energy developments along with international fellow energy regulators.

The Forum, which is a leading international conference on energy regulation held every three years, were attended by more than 1,200 participants from 60 different countries.

As part of the various sessions addressing investment issues, technological innovation, energy storage, grid access, regulatory performance, decarbonisation and renewable energies, MEDREG provided insights of the regulatory developments in the Mediterranean countries.

In addition to the plenary and concurrent sessions, participants to the WFER benefited from a full training day on the basics of economic regulation of electricity and gas. The conference also saw an equal balance of women and men, vouching for the successful result of the Women in Energy initiative aimed at promoting and encouraging female presence in the energy sector.

More specifically, debating on the regulatory response to international oil and gas market volatility, Ms Gülefsan Demirbas, MEDREG Vice President and Head of the Strategy Development Department of the Turkish Regulator EMRA, stressed the importance of a fully liberalised market that offers third party access, good management of demand as well as bi-directional gas flow and storage; she also recalled the necessity to upgrade outdated gas infrastructure. In addition, she called for a closer cooperation between EU and Southern Mediterranean energy regulators and policy-makers to promote energy investment in the region.

Finally, Ms Demirbas invited regulators to pay particular attention to technological evolutions in electricity storage, which may have a significant impact on gas trade.

Moderating a different session on effective market signals that drive consumer behaviour, Mr Alexandre Santos, MEDREG President and Commissioner of the Portuguese regulator ERSE, noted that challenges awaiting energy regulators necessarily involve rethinking the role and needs of consumers, particularly in a region with burgeoning demand, such as the Mediterranean. He recommended to avoid providing too much information to consumers but rather to look at their needs. The beneficial role of the internet was underlined too as a way for consumers to more easily control their domestic consumption through devices. Energy efficiency was also mentioned as key to reduce the overall cost for consumers.

The 3 days Forum ended with a highly inspirational presentation of the Solar Impulse project given by his initiator, Bertrand Piccard, who performed the first round-the-world solar flight, free of fuel.

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