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The Cyprus Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change and Solar Energy

From 29th November to 1st of December 2018, The Cyprus Institute hosted the International Conference “The Decarbonisation of the Energy Sector in the Mediterranean and Middle East – The Role of CSP” ( The conference was organized under the auspices of the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, within the context of the ‘Cyprus Solar Thermal Energy Chair for the Eastern Mediterranean (CySTEM – Chair)’ and the ‘Networking for Excellence in Solar Thermal Energy Research (NESTER)’ projects of the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

With the organization of this conference, The Cyprus Institute has broken new ground both regarding the topic – it is the first time a conference is devoted to bringing together the Climate Change and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) communities, and the format - it is the first time the Institute organizes a conference that combines in-person and teleparticipation of speakers and attendees.  More than 70 participants from 15 countries attended the conference in person, while 190 participants from 40 different countries participated the via telelinkage.

At the conference, Climate change experts presented the latest finding on this topic. They made clear that Climate Change is manifesting itself in an especially threatening manner for the Eastern Mediterranean - Middle East region.  Robust model predictions forecast extreme climate stresses for this area, home to a population in excess of 350 million. Extreme weather events, desertification and health risks pose a serious risk to the well being, or even the survival of human beings in the region.  

Energy  experts, mostly specialists in solar thermal technologies, presented and discussed the main characteristics of solar energy and in particular of Concentrated Solar Power technologies and debated how these technologies can be engaged to play an enabling role in the necessary transition towards a much more Renewable Energy world energy system, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean region and Middle East where direct solar radiation is abundant.

Prof. Costas Papanicolas, President of The Cyprus Institute, in his closing remarks stated that the success of the conference was largely due to the fact that Cyprus, with its strategic location and good relations with all the countries in the region, is the most suitable place for cooperation between the countries of the region.  He highlighted the significance of the initiative of the President of Cyprus to spearhead the coordination of the Governements of the region; in conjunction to this initiative he  announced that The Cyprus Institute will proceed with a series of follow up conferences on the subject of Climate Change and Solar Thermal Technologies.

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