WEC's Bi-Monthly Commentary on Energy Issues, 15 June 2008
2008 EA WEBSITE
We announced in an earlier EnergyFax that the website for the 2008 Executive Assembly in Mexico City would open on 1 March so that WEC members could register to attend. Apparently, some members have experienced problems accessing the registration page on the site. This problem has now been resolved, and all members should be able to register, book hotels, see the EA meeting schedule, view the accompanying person and social programmes, select technical tours, etc.
The general EA website address is: http://wec2008mexico.com, and the link to the registration page is http://wec2008mexico.com/index.php?leng=eng&link=registration. Both pages may be accessed via the WEC website. On the homepage, click on "News and Events" at the top; the first item under "WEC News" on the following page is the link to the 2008 EA website.
ASSESSMENT STUDY AUTHORISED BY OFFICERS COUNCIL
As I mentioned at the Rome EA, our Chairman, Mr. Gadonneix, proposed an additional study for the 2008-2010 work programme - a periodic report assessing practises, by country and by selected policy or programme, which achieve results in terms of WEC's three As. The objective of this study is to ensure WEC's impact on the Bali process culminating in COP-15 in Copenhagen in December 2009. Mr. Gadonneix believes WEC can play a strong role in this debate and occupy a landscape which no other organisation currently occupies.
The Studies Committee discussed Mr. Gadonneix' proposal at length and agreed that, although the EA had already approved the 2008-2010 Business Plan in Rome, this new study is important and can be integrated into WEC's existing studies for 2008-2010. The Studies Committee agreed there is synergy between the already approved Vulnerabilities work and this Assessment and that the skill shortages, manufacturing bottlenecks, water and logistics proposed as sub-topics for the vulnerabilities work can be incorporated into the metrics for the Assessment. While Vulnerabilities will now be folded into the Assessment work, it is possible that special reports on certain Vulnerabilities aspects could be published as stand alone reports.
The Studies Committee also agreed that the Assessment study must be a WEC study which fully involves WEC members. Thulani Gcabasche, who previously agreed to chair Vulnerabilities, will play a prominent role in the Assessment and will sit on its Steering Committee. The 70+ WEC members who were nominated to the Vulnerabilities Study Group will now become the Study Group for the Assessment, while a Committee of Experts selected from among global leaders will review the Assessment results.
At the 16 May meeting of the Officers Council, Studies Committee Chair C.P. Jain presented the summary of the Studies Committee's deliberations and recommended that the Officers authorise incorporating the Assessment into a revised 2008-2010 Business Plan which the Executive Assembly will be asked to approve in Mexico City. A copy of the revised Business Plan is available on GEIS but will also be distributed as part of the printed EA agenda in September.
Plans are to prepare an Assessment White Paper for the FT-WEC Energy Leaders Forum in September that lays out the methodology. A preliminary report would drafted for the COP-14 meeting in Poland in December, with a full report for COP-15 in Copenhagen in 2009 and a presentation and discussion at the 2010 Montreal Congress. After the EA this November, the Studies Committee will assess this plan and the work to date.
WEC AND E8 WORKING TOGETHER
I had the pleasure of moderating a session on 4 June in Canada on "Challenging Our Vision of Tomorrow," with the largest utilities in the G8 countries, which collaborate under the E8 nomenclature.
E8 attracts the CEOs of AEP and Duke from the US (along with EPRI and EEI for good measure), Hydro Québec and Ontario Power Corporation from Canada, EdF from France, ENEL from Italy, RWE from Germany, RusHydro from Russia (one of the five spin-off companies from the unbundling of RAO UES) and TEPCO and KANSAI from Japan. They finance and work together on a series of access and carbon mitigation projects in a dozen or so developing countries.
All E8 utilities are members of WEC, and several are also WEC Patrons. About half of these utilities are state-owned, while the others are partially or wholly privatised. The contrast of views on climate change technologies is remarkable, but they seem to agree with the WEC view that:
" carbon emissions will worsen to roughly 2030 before they get better;
" we are in a major adaptation phase which could be more important in the long run than mitigation. An increase in nuclear power and large hydro will help, but it will also be necessary to get serious regulatory recognition for energy efficiency measures that allow a benefit to the cost base of the companies which achieve demand-side reductions;
" we have moved from a cheaper energy world into a world which, not only for primary production such as oil and gas but also for electricity, will experience higher and more volatile prices;
" generally speaking, the targets of governments, such as the EU 20-20-20 programme to cut CO2 by 20% by 2030 while raising renewables' share of electricity generation to 20% and cutting demand by 20%, are simply unrealistic;
" there are best practise energy policies and programmes around the world which need to be evaluated and applied in a wide range of countries. The new WEC study on "Assessment of Energy Policies and Practises" was well received when Pierre Gadonneix described it as a critical means of influencing both the COP work in Poland in December and the post-Bali debate of the UNFCCC culminating in the Copenhagen meeting in December 2009.
Marie-José Nadeau and Hydro Québec did a fine job of organising this E8 encounter on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Québec City by Samuel de Champlain. Ms. Nadeau and the Montreal 2010 Congress organising team are very experienced and well on target with sponsors, exhibition space and the programme, which we hope to present to you at the EA in November.
SECOND SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN ENERGY
The Second South East European Energy Dialogue was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 21-22 May. This annual event, held for the second consecutive year, brought together major regional policy and industry leaders to discuss the agenda of long-term energy strategy for the South East European region. The Dialogue was organised by the Greek Energy Institute for South East Europe (IENE) and WEC, with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Development and WEC's Greek Committee. Minister Christos Folias and Ministry Secretary General Constantinos Mousouroulis inaugurated the event.
The Dialogue aims to identify key regional energy issues and suggest reliable solutions to policy-makers and market players, focusing on improvements to the regional energy infrastructure and new projects for supplying hydrocarbons from the Caspian Basin and from Russia to Europe. Over 70 speakers and panellists from twenty countries took part, along with representatives from seven international organisations including the European Commission, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency and the Energy Charter Treaty Organization.
WEC held a separate Round Table to present the global studies and the European regional studies which were produced for the 2005-2007 work cycle. The Round Table was chaired by WEC's Regional Manager for Europe, Slav Slavov.
Our thanks to Mr. Maniatopoulos, IENE Chairman, and Mr. Stamboilis, IENE Executive Director, for their excellent cooperation with WEC in organising the Dialogue.
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The World Energy Council in partnership with Oliver Wyman (global consulting firm) has over the past year worked on its third Assessment of country energy and climate policy aiming to identify key areas for policy improvements and to understand how successful policies can be transferred from one country to another. more >