WEC's Bi-Monthly Commentary on Energy Issues 1 October 2007
Change to Executive Assembly schedule
Due to the likely involvement of the US Secretary of Energy and the Secretary General of the United Nations in the final afternoon of the Rome Congress, there will be no final session of the Executive Assembly on Thursday, 15 November, We will handle all agenda items during the EA session on Sunday, 11 November. You will have an opportunity after the Congress to review and comment on any WEC Declaration we issue from the Congress.
The schedule for the final afternoon sessions of the Congress will now begin at 14.00 hrs instead of at 14.30 hrs, with the Special Address by Fulvio Conti of ENEL. The Keynote Speech by Pascal Lamy will follow. The one-hour Congress Review Session chaired by incoming Chair Pierre Gadonneix will begin at 15.15 hrs. At 16.15 hrs, delegates will take a break while the final Congress press conference takes place. The Closing Ceremony will begin at 17.00 hrs.
For full details and the complete revised timetable for Thursday, 15 November, please visit the Congress website: www.rome2007.it.
Member Committee registration information available
A number of our Member Committees have asked how they can obtain the most up-to-date lists of who will attend the Rome Congress from their country. I am pleased to announce that we can now provide this information to you. If you wish to request the list of those registered from your country, please contact Paul Benfield at the London office.
Trade Unions at Rome Congress
We have received a number of requests from national trade unions which represent workers in the energy sector to attend the Rome Congress. The Italian Organising Committee and WEC want the Congress to be inclusive, so just as WEC has included a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations, trade unionists are very welcome to register and attend the Congress.
There are no waivers for trade unions for the Congress, but they will be encouraged to register and to participate in all discussions. It is up to the WEC Member Committees and the individual companies concerned to decide whether they wish to assist the national trade unions to attend the Congress. However, the Italian Organising Committee has confirmed that it will grant the special company discount to unions which register more than 25 delegates (see special notice sent to all Member Committees on 18 September.
2007 Survey of Energy Resources launched and now available on line
On 19 September, the 2007 Survey of Energy Resources was launched during a press conference at the Foreign Press Association in London. James Kanter of the International Herald Tribune moderated the session. Professor Nada Zupanc (Slovenia), who chaired the SER Study Group, opened the session by highlighting major developments in the availability of global energy resources since the previous Survey was published in 2004, noting that according to the 2007 findings, there are sufficient resources available to meet the predicted doubling of energy demand by 2050, although these resources may not always be physically located in the place where they are needed.
Fulvio Conti, CEO of Enel (Italy) and I also commented on the impacts of the Survey findings. This was followed by a lively discussion involving an audience comprised of 60 representatives from the media and the energy industry.
All delegates to the Rome Congress will receive a DVD of the full 2007 SER report which, along with an executive summary, is also available to download for free from WEC's website.
It is also possible to browse the full report online by chapter.
uestions about the SER online should be sent to Paul Benfield.
Namibian Member Committee hosts PGP Workshop in Windhoek
WEC and UPDEA (Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa) held a joint workshop on the Performance of Generating Plant (PGP) in Windhoek, Namibia on 12-13 September. The workshop was hosted by the WEC Namibian Member Committee and was attended by more than 100 representatives from 16 countries. The participants shared their experiences and case studies of power plant performance improvement programmes. The tutorial part of the workshop demonstrated how to collect, analyse and use power plant performance data for benchmarking and other availability and reliability enhancing activities.
Improving the performance of the existing power generation facilities could provide significant benefits to African countries. The total installed generating capacity on the continent is approximately 120 GW, and demand for electricity is growing rapidly, by far outstripping the rate of capacity additions. The investment need is enormous, but attracting investors to fund such projects in Africa is a challenge. Improving the availability and performance of the existing power generation plants across the continent could bring online additional supplies of electricity corresponding to the output of 10-15 new 1000MW plants. This would save billions of dollars for African utilities, reduce emissions and make the additional capacity available in the shortest time possible.
At the end of the workshop, the participants adopted the WEC/UPDEA Namibia Declaration, agreeing to set up performance improvement programmes at their utilities and power plants. WEC, in collaboration with UPDEA, will assist them by conducting company-specific workshops and tutorials, training power plant operators in data collection and use and designing performance improvement activities. WEC and UPDEA will also work together to identify possible sources of funding for such programmes. This Declaration is available on the WEC website.
An Africa Regional meeting for the attending WEC members was held after the workshop. The meeting agenda included a review of the WEC activities in Africa, the 2008-2010 Business Plan, the ICOLD Draft Declaration on Dams and Hydropower for Africa's Sustainable Development and an initial discussion of the Africa Regional Action Plan for the next three years. A representative of WEF (World Economic Forum) presented a pilot project for rural electrification in Lesotho (grid extension and PV panels installation) which, along with WEC's own Niger energisation project, could underpin WEC/WEF cooperation on the Energy Poverty Action initiative. More on this after Rome.
Growing energy import dependence is of primary concern to Macedonia
At the invitation of the WEC Macedonian Member Committee, Slav Slavov, Regional Coordinator for Europe, visited Macedonia, which is a candidate to enter the European Union. Slav's visit was linked to a national Conference on Energy held in Bitola on 18-19 September, at which he gave a keynote speech on the main findings of WEC's global and regional studies for the 2005-2007 work cycle. The conference attracted a large delegation from Ukraine, as Macedonia has have a letter of agreement with Ukraine for cooperation in the energy sector. Topics of discussion focused on energy market regulations, clean technologies, efficiency and potential for renewables.
Macedonia is a small country of less than 2 million people and is a net importer of electricity and energy resources. The only local energy resource is low-grade lignite in the region of Bitola; this will likely be exhausted in 20-25 years. To cover its present electricity demand, Macedonia imports about 20% of its consumption from Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria at a price three times higher than locally-produced electricity, which is subsidised and whose price is controlled by the state. No new generating capacity has been built over the last 20 years, and investments are seriously lacking despite government efforts to ensure a favourable climate. There is currently no long-term national strategy for the energy sector, but the government has launched a tender to initiate one.
Be sure to register for the Congress before 11 October to pay the lowest registration. On 11 October, the registration fee increases from €1,800 to €2,100 for WEC members. If you have questions about Congress registration, please contact Emily Melton in the London office, who will be happy to refer you to the appropriate person at Micromegas.
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