Press Release 14 November 2007
IMMELT: BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN 2030
Rome, 14 november 2007 - "Higher investments in technologies, global coordination to curb costs and policies to create new markets". These are the challenges that the energy sector must face in order to guarantee sustainable growth, according to Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric who launched this proposal during his special address at the 20th World Energy Congress.
To meet the rise in energy demand from now until 2030, price increases and differences among rich and poor countries, Immelt pointed out the objectives to be pursued in order to guarantee sustainable development: "a more cost-effective and differentiated energy supply and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions". In order to meet this challenge, it is necessary to improve productivity, innovation and the role of politics.
New resources must be invested to guarantee more efficient products, to improve energy storage technologies and to find new sites or to exploit better existing deposits.
"Coal and nuclear account for 50 percent of energy sources," explained Immelt. We must work to improve technology and reduce costs, but both carbon and civil nuclear power have to be part of the solution of sustainability, he continued.
The other challenge is interdependence. "There can't be energy independence, there must be a global market," said the CEO of General Electric. Companies must invest in emerging markets such as India, China and Southeast Asia where the raw materials and technology are and they must also find economic agreements with governments to guarantee supply, Immelt continued.
"The energy challenge can't be resolved without the collaboration of governments that must have a role in defining the market dynamics," said Immelt. "Decisions, certifications and authorizations must be modernized and harmonized".
Only through the collaboration between industries, politicians and non-governmental organizations can we improve the environment while guaranteeing the supply of energy and having a positive economic impact, Immelt 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 >