While the European Union (EU) has tried to promote renewable energy sources (RES) abroad, the contribution of RES has remained marginal in the European neighbourhood, and its contribution to economic and human development in those countries remains largely unexplored. This picture started to change at the turn of the century with the advent of new transmission and solar technologies, which inspired the vision for an integrated Euro-Mediterranean RES market. Industrial initiatives such as Desertec and the European-led Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) tried to offer an industrial, economic and institutional foundation, while the EU directive 2009/28 on RES explicitly contemplates renewable electricity imports from third countries. The financial crisis and European RES support fatigue turned RES into a too-soft energy power when compared with the hard narrative of United States unconventional resources, shrinking the appeal of RES in the European neighbourhood; the Desertec Initiative was abandoned and the MSP was blocked. This chapter analyses directive 2009/28 and the (failed) MSP, as well as their impact on economic development and energy security. The chapter concludes with the need to revamp the MSP to fit it to the new regional realities, pointing to some pre-requisites for the outward Europeanization of RES for electricity in the Mediterranean. Keywords: Desertec, Europeanization, EU external governance, Mediterranean Solar Plan, renewable electricity policy, renewable energy policy
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