The Association of Mediterranean Energy Regulators, MEDREG, can play a crucial role in downstream activities including transportation, storage or distribution of energy, as well as power and gas trade in the region, the institution's newly-elected head said Friday.
The remarks of Gulefsan Demirbas, who is also the head of the Strategy Development Department at the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), came during an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
Demirbas, who was elected the institution's new president on Thursday, said the Mediterranean was a challenging region and MEDREG was one of the foremost actors in the Mediterranean energy market as it 'gains more and more recognition as a powerful instrument for regulatory cooperation'.
'MEDREG, as the organization of regulators, has no role in upstream issues but it can still play a crucial role in establishing suitable regulatory frameworks conducive to downstream investments and electricity and gas trade,' she said.
'MEDREG is moving towards being a key institution in utilization of energy for the benefit of all countries and consumers in the Mediterranean,' she added.
Co-funded by the European Union, MEDREG brings together 25 regulators from 21 countries, spanning the EU, the Balkans and North Africa. These Mediterranean regulators work together to promote greater compatibility of regional energy markets and legislation, and seek progressive market integration in the Euro-Mediterranean basin, according to their official website.
The EU financially supports MEDREG and the union explicitly acknowledges it as one of the key institutions for regional cooperation in the Mediterranean energy sector.
Demirbas also listed her priorities in the new presidential term, adding she would focus on further enhancing regulatory independence and competence.
'To do this, I will prioritize increasing the inclusiveness and enhancing the reputation of MEDREG through progressing dialogue with key stakeholders, such as the EU, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, Union for the Mediterranean, Mediterranean Transmission System Operators, Mediterranean Energy Observatory and international financial institutions,' she said.
Demirbas also thanked EMRA President Mustafa Yilmaz, and the Board members for their confidence in her, adding 'EMRA’s reputation, well-acknowledged expertise and long-standing experience' contributed to her election as the new head of MEDREG.
'Due to its capacity and knowledge base, and central role of Turkey in energy issues, EMRA organizes global and regional regulatory events in Turkey and exchanges its experiences with other regulators all over the world,' she said.
A public corporation with administrative and financial autonomy, EMRA is the sole regulator of electricity, gas, and fuel and lubricant markets in Turkey.
Demirbas will act as MEDREG president for a term of two years.
By Muhsin Baris Tiryakioglu