ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY: SUSTAINING WORLD DEVELOPMENT INTO THE NEXT MILLENNIUM
WORLD ENERGY CONGRESS
13-18 September 1998
While acknowledging the need for the energy industries to help deal with the effects of current economic and financial turbulence, the Congress focused on the role of technology in meeting the challenges of energy provision and use for the next 50 years. Delegates to this, the final WEC Congress of the Twentieth Century, considered ways in which energy technologies could:
- Advance energy supply for those currently without commercial energy services;
- Raise efficiency both in energy provision and use so as to mitigate adverse environmental impacts, including potential climate change, to move toward a sustainable world and to improve the competitiveness of economies;
- Reduce local and regional pollution through the wider use of currently available and emerging technologies in transport and power generation, and efficient end-use equipment; and,
- Address climate change concerns by deploying more efficient fossil fuel technologies and by using non-fossil fuel energy resources.
The debate confirmed that technologies cannot of themselves fix all problems. Institutional and policy changes will be required. Finance must be attracted to the right places. Public attitudes and behavior will need to shift.
Participants outlined current and expected progress in the development of energy technologies and considered the direction energy markets could take in the next 50 years. There was recognition that old certainties and paradigms are giving way to new markets, challenges, organizations and ways of doing things.
As the Exhibition incorporated into the Congress also revealed, the pace of technological development in the energy sector has recently been increasing. Solutions to persistent problems are beginning to emerge with an increased rate of innovative change, encouraged by the current political and business environment of market liberalization, transparent regulation, corporate restructuring and new ways of thinking and working.
The following statement records the issues discussed at the Congress, the Conclusions the WEC has drawn from these discussions and what needs to be done by the WEC and others to increase the availability of sustainable energy for the world's population, and to use this resource with care and efficiency.