The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy to Greece and in strategic partnership with the Atlantic Council and the Global Energy Institute of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce organizes for the sixth consecutive year the Southeast Europe Energy Forum (SEEF2022) on Friday, September 9, 2022, at the MET Hotel in Thessaloniki, Greece. The Forum will take place, as per every year, one day before the official opening of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) in hybrid form (digital participation and physical presence).
In recent months, and especially after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the energy sector has become a cornerstone in the world economy and of major concern for both state governments and international fora, as well as for every citizen. This is mainly due to rising energy costs, which, in addition to the rising inflation, have already caused social upheavals in many countries, causing a rising conversation on the policies concerning energy security and energy transition. For Greece, the need to utilize all available energy sources with a strong emphasis on RES is imperative in combination with the strengthening of our electricity networks and the development of appropriate energy storage systems.
At the same time at the European level, it is a fact that the structural problem Europe is facing, in terms of its energy dependence on cross-border energy producers and its consequent inability to ensure the desired self-sufficiency and to remain unaffected by fluctuations in international energy prices, cannot be treated in a short time. Therefore, solutions must be sought, and measures be taken to limit the energy and economic impact of this global crisis while insisting on the green energy policy that has been adopted and avoiding potential environmental burdens.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States is ready to make a decisive contribution to Europe’s energy dependence and to meet medium- and long-term energy needs by exporting American liquefied natural gas (LNG). Concurrently, as the recent study shows, conducted by the Atlantic Council in collaboration with our Chamber, the case of East Med can, under certain conditions and variations, be an alternative source of supply for the EU, with gas from the countries of SE Europe (countries of the Israel-Cyprus-Egypt-Greece axis) in parallel with the promotion of the electrical connection between Greece and Egypt.
At this point, it should be noted that the above geopolitical developments are taking place at a time when Greek-American relations are at a particularly excellent level. This fact, in combination with the appropriate collaborations and synergies with the neighboring countries that are in progress, can make Greece a protagonist in the energy planning of the wider region of SE Europe and beyond.
Given the energy crisis and the efforts for Europe’s aim for independent energy supply, it is vitally important that countries of SE Europe and East Med enhance their collaboration in developing and constructing the necessary infrastructure for efficient supply and distribution and for storage as well. In parallel, the transition to green energy should be accelerated not only for environmental purposes but also for accomplishing energy independence the soonest as possible. Finally, alternative sources such as hydrogen and nuclear power should be put on the table for discussion and exploration of their capabilities.
SEEF2022 is expected to bring together the energy elite of the SE Europe region, major policy makers, think-tanks and opinion makers, market leaders, bankers, analysts, and energy experts from the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Med countries to present and discuss all latest geopolitical developments as well as the prospects of the dynamic energy sector in the wider region of SE Europe.
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