WEC's Bi-Monthly Commentary on Energy Issues, 1 February 2009
Countdown to Montreal
The 21st World Energy Congress in Montreal is just 20 months away, so be sure to mark your calendars now for September, 2010. The Congress will take place from September 12-16 at the Palais des Congrès in the centre of Montreal, with the 2010 Executive Assembly preceding the Congress in the same venue from September 9-12.
The Congress theme is "Responding Now to Global Challenges - Energy in Transition for a Living Planet" ("Agir maintenant sur les enjeux planétaires - Pour un monde d'énergie en movement"), and the Congress Planning Group, consisting of representatives from the Congress organising team and WEC London, is hard at work developing an exciting Congress programme featuring a series of outstanding speakers.
The Call for Papers and Posters is due to go out on March 1, so watch for this important announcement. Also underway are plans for implementing a sustainable development policy for the Congress. Forty percent of the exhibition space has been sold, and a number of top sponsors have signed on.
I urge you to help promote the 2010 Congress to your members and others in your country's energy industry. You can do this by:
Encouraging your members and others to visit the Congress website: www.wecmontréal2010.ca
Encouraging your members and others to register for the Congress newsletter, which is distributed electronically and contains the most up-to-date information on the progress of the Congress preparations
Highlighting the Congress at meetings and events in your country or region - a PowerPoint presentation on the Congress is available from the organisers, who have also prepared promotional flyers in twelve different languages; copies of these are available electronically on the Congress website, or you may order printed copies free of charge from Marianne Poirier (Marianne.Poirier@wecmontreal2010.ca) for distribution at energy meetings and events in your country.
If you have questions or need further information about the 2010 World Energy Congress, please contact Marie Cloutier at the Montreal 2010 offices (email@example.com).
Update on Assessment and Vulnerabilities Work
At the 2008 Executive Assembly in Mexico City, a revised 2008-2010 Business Plan was approved by the WEC members; the revised Plan now includes the periodic assessment of energy policies which WEC Chair Pierre Gadonneix proposed at the Rome EA in 2007. The Vulnerabilities study that was part of the original Business Plan has been folded into the Assessment work.
The Studies Committee and the Officers Council recommended this change to WEC's global studies programme because they felt that WEC possessed a unique capability to look at issues from the perspective of the critical energy sector and from the bottom up. In addition, they felt that such an assessment could help solidify WEC's role as the "voice of the energy industry" and enhance its visibility, in particular in the UNFCCC process leading to COP-15 in Copenhagen later this year. Of course, with climate change and energy now firmly back on the US agenda, a study which examines effective energy policy and best practices is even more timely.
In order to achieve the ambitious timetable for the Assessment, preparatory work took place over the course of 2008. This included clarifying WEC's plans and settling on the methodology to be used, running a pilot assessment with considerable help from a cross section of twelve Member Committees and establishing a Study Group for the Assessment itself, under the leadership of Hajime Murata of the Japanese Member Committee. Assisted by a small Steering Group, the process and methodology for the Assessment were laid out in a series of papers, the first of which was presented at the FT-WEC Energy Leaders Summit last September, with another being featured at a well attended side event hosted by WEC at the COP-14 meeting in Poznan, Poland, in December.
The latter paper is available on WEC's website.
Another important action that WEC took in concert with the Studies Committee and Studies Chair C.P. Jain was to integrate the Vulnerabilities work into the Assessment process. A single Assessment and Vulnerabilities Study Group, consisting of roughly 70 WEC members, was formed last July; Thulani Gcabashe (South Africa) chairs this Study Group. Within the Study Group, there are five areas of specific activity, including Assessment of Policy and Practices (Chair: Hajime Murata - Japan), Human Resources Availability (Chair: Abubakar Sambo - Nigeria), Manufacturing Bottlenecks (Chair: Tom Griffiths - USA), Water for Energy (José Luis Fernandez - Mexico) and Logistics Capabilities (Chair: tbc). The members of each of these sub-groups are shown on the website, along with further specifics about the work each sub-group will carry out.
To complete the first Assessment, WEC London will be sending out a detailed questionnaire next week to obtain members' views on critical supports for energy policies in each country. Your response is obviously crucial to the success of this effort, so we have allowed eight weeks for members to seek the widest possible input within their country in order to obtain the most complete response possible.
The Assessment and Human Resources sub-groups have already met, and the chairs of the other sub-groups will convene meetings of their groups in the near future to finalize work plans. A white paper on Vulnerabilities and their integration with the Assessment, similar to an earlier Assessment white paper, is being prepared and will be available shortly.
These are challenging times that present an opportunity for dynamic change. We are excited about the anticipated results of our studies and about how, working together, we can help improve the way the world perceives the role of energy by implementing policies that will make a significant impact on the stability and sustainability of the world's key systems -- energy, economies, environmental and social.
WEC Interconnectivity Task Force Steams Ahead
Interconnectivity Task Force Chair Elías Velasco of Union Fenosa hosted the third meeting of the Task Force in Madrid on 16 January. The meeting was attended by Task Force members from eight countries, including Task Force Director Alessandro Clerici from Italy.
Considerable progress has been achieved over the past few months, with the ground work having been completed and the report beginning to shape up. In addition to an overview and analysis of current status and trends in electricity transmission in different parts of the world, the Task Force is covering a number of practical issues and topics, such as the role of current and emerging technologies, including "smart grids"; market, political, legal and regulatory aspects; economics, risks and finance; business models; environmental, social and sustainability considerations; human resources and technical expertise; and roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders.
WEC Organizes Future Energy Leaders Workshop
WEC is organizing a Future Energy Leaders workshop, themed "The World in Crisis and Energy at a Crossroads - How to Attract and Retain the Future Energy Leaders", to be held at the London Business School on 6 March from 09:00-14:00 hrs.
The workshop will debate the immediate and long-term skills shortage in the global energy industry and explore ways of meeting the challenge by attracting, developing and retaining best applicants. The audience will include representatives from the global energy industry, leading academic institutions and future graduates.
The event is by invitation only and is limited to 75 delegates. Please contact Stephanie Flinth (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the London office if you are interested in participating. Please also check the News and Events section of the WEC webpage for more detailed programme information
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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 >