Energy efficiency in the construction sector in the Mediterranean (MED-ENEC)

Solar panels on the roof of a building

Energy prices are rising dramatically on the world market. Through the MED-ENEC project GIZ IS provides advisory services to the building sector on energy efficiency measures and the use of solar energy.

Title: Energy efficiency in the construction sector in the Mediterranean (MED-ENEC)
Commissioned by: European Commission (MEDA programme)
Country: 9 MEDA countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria (currently suspended), Tunisia, and Turkey until 2010
Lead executing agency: Energy ministries and energy agencies in the nine partner countries
Project volume: EUR 6.5 million
Overall term: 2006 to 2015

Energy efficiency and renewable energies now play a key role in the sustainable development of a country, a community or a company as a result of the dramatic rise in energy prices on the world market. In global terms, buildings consume over 40% of all energy produced. In the MENA region, air conditioning systems for buildings have become one of the biggest factors in energy consumption. However, the construction sector also offers considerable potential to save energy, which would have a positive impact both at macroeconomic level and at the level of the energy sector.

On behalf of the European Union, the MED-ENEC project promotes energy efficiency measures and renewable energies in the buildings sector in countries in the Mediterranean region. Energy supplies are to become more secure and the negative impacts of the dramatic increase in energy consumption on the environment and climate should be reduced.

Energy Efficiency in the Construction Sector in the Mediterranean (MED-ENEC) supports national MEDA partners in their efforts to put in place a more enabling environment for energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies in buildings. It also embraces further training, pilot projects and the promotion of company joint ventures and technology transfers. MED-ENEC supports demand-driven energy efficiency measures and the use of solar energy in the construction sector with a view to making energy supplies more secure and reducing the negative impacts on the environment and climate of the dramatic increase in energy consumption.


  • Active promotion, among state institutions in particular, of the introduction of new technologies and services concerning all aspects of energy efficiency in buildings (‘ESCO business’)
  • Political dialogue and policy advising on planning, regulatory development and the implementation of low-energy building standards in target countries
  • Institution building services for ministries, energy agencies and network organisations in the form of advisory and training services
  • Knowledge transfer, including workshops, presentations, seminars and brochures 
  • Implementation and promotion of conference events 
  • Preparation of studies with the aim of reducing dependence on fossil fuels 
  • Organisation of PR work, including updates of an internet-supported database of companies, organisation of trade fair presentations, events and press conferences


Results achieved so far

  • Political dialogue. Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Jordan have received support to help them develop National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAPs). The NEEAPs for Lebanon and the Palestinian territories have been adopted by the government and are now the benchmark for energy policy for the next ten years. MED-ENEC is now supporting the development of implementation plans or ‘roadmaps’ and ‘NAMAs’ (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions).
  • Project and market promotion. Energy Audit Training and ESCO Business Workshops have been conducted in Algeria, the Palestinian territories and Israel. Feasibility studies have also supported project development and urban planning issues in Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Tunisia.
  • Know-how transfer and training. A total of nine international conferences and 18 regional workshops have been organised since the launch of MED-ENEC II in 2010, attracting over 1100 experts. In addition there have been numerous presentations hosted by international donors and regional partners, and the project has been presented at trade fairs. An additional focus was on the publication of key documents, in particular the EE Guidelines of the Arab League, which provide a legal framework for NEEAPS.
  • Website. The website attracts over 14,000 visitors a year, with numbers rising. The MED-ENEC company database now lists 200 companies, which help each other identify appropriate business partners.
  • PR work: MED-ENEC won the EuropeAid 2008 Communication Award as the project of the year in the Eastern Europe and Mediterranean Countries region.
  • Pilot projects (MED-ENEC I). Low-energy buildings have been supported in all 10 partner countries. These buildings save around 600 tonnes of CO2 annually compared with conventional buildings. MED-ENEC experience is being applied to major construction programmes in Algeria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. Of the 10 MED-ENEC pilot projects, 6 have received the prestigious National Energy Globe Award.