Press Release 05 October 2007
SHAREF: SUPPLIERS IN A POSITION TO MEET
POWER DEMANDS WHILE CUTTING EMISSIONS
Rome, 14 November 2007 - Siemens Executive Vice President Uriel Sharef sounded a positive note on the future of the energy sector today saying that suppliers are in a position to meet power demands with solutions that also address environmental concerns.
"Technically we already have everything we need to ensure sustainable power supplies and at the same time dramatically reduce burdens on the environment", said Sharef addressing the 20th World Energy Congress.
The biggest problem, Sharef explained, is to lure investors to the energy sector.
"This is the main obstacle to progress", he said.
The Siemens vice president focused his speech on Asia, where he thinks the toughest energy challenge will be in the next 20 years.
"The region has experienced enormous growth rates and this fueled demand for primary energy and electricity", he said. "Experts forecast annual growth of 4 percent all the way up to 2030. And by then, Asia will account for nearly half of the world's total consumption".
Sharef believes there is great potential for power plant efficiency improvement and expects efficiency of lignite-fired plants to grow from 43 percent today to 50 percent by 2020, and of coal-fired plants even higher. Combined cycle power can improve as well from the present efficiency rate of 58 percent.
"This can even be raised to well over 60 percent", he said.
But increasing efficiency is just one approach. Another crucial one towards CO2 reduction is carbon capture and storage (CCS), particularly for coal-fired plants, which Sharef believes will be a strategic pillar of the global energy mix for a very long time.
"The most promising CCS processes are well known and understood: pre-combustion, post combustion and oxyfuel. It is at present not possible to forecast which of these three technologies will ultimately prevail".
Finally, a correct balance in the energy mix will be fundamental for meeting Asia's thirst for energy. And this, Sharef said, is a low-emission base-load power supply - provided by coal-fired, nuclear and hydro power plants - combined with renewable sources and highly efficient gas-fired plants able to compensate for fluctuations in power from renewable.
"Such a technology mix … would substantially reduce CO2 emissions from today's level. And it would provide a realistic, balanced and reliable power supply", he said.
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 >