PhD Candidate, University of Piraeus – Department of Maritime Studies
Professor of Economics, University of Piraeus – Department of Maritime Studies, Deputy Governor – Bank of Greece, Tpelagidis@bankofgreece.gr
It is a matter of fact that COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes in political, economic and social level worldwide. The aim of this paper is to examine the potential impact of the pandemic on the launching of large scale energy projects in Southeast Mediterranean region, and in particular the construction of EastMed Pipeline. During 2020, many energy projects across the globe were postponed and that trend is mainly attributed to: a) the economic recession brought by COVID-19, b) a lack of investment appetite by major energy companies whose financial position was severely hit by the pandemic and the volatile energy prices and c) the switching to the use of alternative energy sources (mainly renewables and hydrogen) in an attempt to minimize the global share of fossil fuels and their emissions, the so-called “energy transition” process. This paper takes into account whether all the above exogenous factors create serious implications to the development of the most important mega energy project of Southeast Mediterranean in terms of energy geopolitics, the EastMed Pipeline. Finally, the paper examines the conflicted geopolitical interests of regional players such as Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Turkey and Egypt, as well as the role of European Union and the United States in the energy equation of Southeast Mediterranean.
Keywords: COVID-19, Economic recession, EastMed pipeline, Alternative energy sources, Southeast Mediterranean, Investments
JEL classification: F10, F51, R41, R42, R48