WEC's Bi-Monthly Commentary on Energy Issues, 15 March 2009
2009 Executive Assembly Registration Now Open
Registration for the 2009 Executive Assembly is now open. The dates are 16-19 September, and all meetings will take place at the Hilton (Nordica) Hotel in Reykjavik. There is a link to the EA registration site from the WEC website homepage, or go directly to the WEC Icelandic Member Committee website (http://www.worldenergy.org/icewec/), where there is a link to the registration page. If you have questions about the 2009 EA, please contact Emily Melton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Future Energy Leaders Workshop a Success
The World Energy Council (WEC) organised a Future Energy Leaders workshop in London on 6 March with the theme: World in Crisis and Energy at a Crossroads - How to Attract and Retain the Future Energy Leaders. WEC welcomed many international speakers from leading energy companies, including E.ON, ABB and Royal Dutch Shell, and from leading business schools, such as the London Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management (MIT) and Chicago Booth School of Business. During the three roundtables, participants debated what "culture" changes were necessary within the energy industry and discussed ways to attract and retain the decision-makers of tomorrow.
Professor Abubakar Sambo, WEC Vice Chair, Africa, gave an overview of WEC's forthcoming study on Human Resource Availability; this study is part of the Assessment and Vulnerabilities work and will examine the vulnerabilities to shortages of skilled workers and the effect on the achievement of WEC's 3 A's. Randy Gossen, Nexen's Vice President for Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility, said "…50% of the oil industry's workforce will retire in 10 years" and that youth engagement and development should therefore be a top priority. Kristen Herde, Head of Human Resource at E.ON Climate & Renewables, stressed that "the energy industry must make itself look 'attractive' for the younger generation". Supporting this view, Jackie Wilbur (MIT) added that the next generation "wants to work on big issues, wants to leave fingerprints and is frightened of being bored professionally."
The workshop also attracted representatives of WEC's Future Energy Leaders Community from Nigeria, Russia, Poland and Italy. The half-day event ended with a networking lunch where graduates and senior experts were given an opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives.
Given the excellent turn-out and the positive comments on the quality of the discussions, WEC plans to continue the initiative by taking it out to the WEC regions.
Also featured at the workshop was the WEC World Energy Careers service, an online recruitment platform for employers and jobseekers in the energy industry. WEC member companies are welcome to post job vacancies on this site and will benefit from a significant discount on the usual fee. Please see http://www.worldenergy.org/world_energy_careers/ for further information.
Albania and Kazakhstan are WEC's Newest Members
I am pleased to tell you that the membership applications of Albania and Kazakhstan have been approved. This means WEC now has a total of 93 Member Committees. We will extend a special invitation to representatives from our two newest member countries to attend the Reykjavik Executive Assembly, where we will officially welcome them.
WEC Contributions to Energy and Mobility
The second Geneva International Motor Show and its scientific "International Advanced Mobility Forum" took place from 10-12 March in Geneva, and during the conference, a special session was dedicated to the work which WEC and some of its European Member Committees have done on the topic. The session, which attracted over 60 attendees, was chaired by Jürg E. Bartlome, Secretary General of the Swiss Energy Council.
As you will recall, one of the main studies in WEC's 2005-2007 work programme was "Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050", which was featured at the 2007 World Energy Congress in Rome and comprised a "sub-study" on transport technologies.
As a follow-up action to the Rome Congress, the Austrian, German and Swiss Member Committees decided to undertake an initiative on energy and mobility. In 2008, a Conference on Mobility and Energy (COME) was held in Vienna with the support of OPEC. The Swiss, German and Austrian Member Committees also contributed to a study carried out by Timur Gül and Hal Turton, with support from the Competence Center on Energy and Mobility (ccem.ch) at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. The conclusions of this study were presented at the International Advanced Mobility Forum in Geneva. The main conclusions of the study were:
Alternative technologies should be multifaceted and should address numerous issues, such as affordability, climate change, and energy security.
Scenario analysis offers important perspectives about future technology choices, but it offers general concepts rather than future forecasts.
Any move into alternative transport technologies should consider regional circumstances, such as the availability of low-cost biomass, CO2 emissions from the power sector, etc.
Most new transport options require holistic approaches to technology and energy supply infrastructure, including forward planning and early efforts.
More analysis is required to assess the potential of different technology options in transport on a regional scale (e.g. Europe), and in particular for electric vehicles.
The German Member Committee undertook in parallel a study on energy and mobility, executed by the "Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft" in Cologne. The results of this study were presented by Thomas Puls during the Geneva event and will likely be included in the annual German Member Committee publication. His presentation ended with some policy recommendations:
Political favoritism of specific technologies should be avoided. Focus should be on the regulatory framework.
Public support should concentrate on the development of future technologies, such as second generation biofuels or high performance batteries. Subsidies to increase sales of certain fuels should be avoided.
Infrastructure has enormous potential to reduce fuel consumption and therefore to reduce CO2 emissions. Public spending to increase efficiency of the transport infrastructure is beneficial both in economic and environmental terms.
Prof. Günther Brauner from the Technical University in Vienna presented the Austrian Member Committee's contribution on the infrastructure for electrical vehicles and emphasized the following:
o Small electric vehicles have an important role to play, especially in suburban traffic.
o Sustainable traffic is possible (8-12% of energy demand).
o Small electrical cars are technically mature.
o Long distance traffic needs new batteries with short charging times.
o For long distance journeys, cars in the midterm will be either CNG using biomass or fossil sources or hybrid fully electric vehicles.
The results of the studies undertaken by Germany, Switzerland and Austria show that WEC's work on transport (as part of the Scenarios study) is still valid and does not need updating. There are, however, numerous topics that have not yet been considered, such as maritime transport, reduction of mobility needs and freight transport by rail. Further work on these issues should be considered.
Representatives from the Greek Member Committee who could not participate in the Forum are doing work on energy and mobility in Greece, with a life cycle analysis comparison of biodiesel and diesel for transportation.
The Austrian, German and Swiss Member Committees suggest that, to follow up this successful start-up initiative, the issue of energy and mobility should be considered for the 2011-2013 Business Plan. A proposal will be developed for consideration at the Reykjavik Executive Assembly.
The slides presented in the WEC session in Geneva and the full paper of Timur Gül and Hal Turton are posted on the homepage of the Swiss Energy Council (www.worldenergy.ch).
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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 >