World Energy Leaders' Summit

World Energy Leaders’ Summit (WELS) is a high-level, invitation-only exclusive event organised twice a year by the World Energy Council for the global energy leaders’ community. The summits are generally held in countries critical to global energy interests.

Participation is by invitation only to Ministers, the Council’s Patron and Global Partner CEOs, officials and selected high-level guests.

Experts and decision makers come together in an informal and interactive setting to discuss the latest topics of the global energy agenda.

The summits provide an important milestone and build on the World Energy Council’s unique ability to convene this powerful community to facilitate on-going dialogue on critical issues impacting the energy world.


Please click on the image to download a presentation about the World Energy Leaders’ Summit (PDF):


Upcoming World Energy Leaders’ events will take place in:

  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 10-11 September 2019, during the 24th World Energy Congress.


Previous World Energy Leaders’ Summits include:

WELS, 13-14 June 2018, Bariloche, Argentina

In a series of high-level dialogues, more than 100 Ministers and CEOs from across the world convened to address topics and trends to deepen understanding of the grand energy transition at a critical time for the energy sector.

The Council’s World Energy Leaders’ Summit, held within the margins of the 2018 G20 Energy Transitions Ministerial meeting on 15 June, Bariloche, explored top issues on the G20 energy agenda such as access to affordable sustainable energy and preparing for disruptive technologies and innovative business models.

The event, Grand Energy Transition – The Latin American Context, was opened by H.E Juan Jose Aranguren, former Minister of Energy, Argentina, who addressed participants with a keynote speech, in which he highlighted the diverse nature of the energy mix among G20 member states.

“Each G20 country has its own mix of energy, culture and challenges, but can collectively work together on mutual decisions to advance our quest for a sustainable energy future for all”, Minister Aranguren commented.

Speaking at the session ‘Tracking Energy Trends – What’s keeping energy leaders up at night?’ Canadian Minister for Energy, Jim Carr, said: “As the lead of the G7 we are working together on oceans and clean energy growth and support for the energy transition. We are moving away from talking about national or even regional policies, in some cases, to talking about global ones. Pollution has no interest in national boundaries.”

Minister Carr also pointed out that Canada wants to no longer solely export to the US, but more widely to Asian and European markets. Currently over 90% of fuel markets go to the US. “Our aspiration is to move to a global agenda.”

As the energy mix continues to change and policies begin to favour and enable renewables and low emission energy sources, the role of gas, nuclear and unconventional sources become a matter of great debate.

In the session ‘The Grand Transition: Regional Pathways to a New and Better Energy Future’ led by Andrew Heering, Managing Director, Marsh Inc, UK, Ana Carolina Cosse Garrido, Minister of Energy and Mines, Uruguay, among other prominent energy leaders, debated where the LAC Region, abundant in energy resources and constrained infrastructures, currently stands in The Grand Energy Transition.

World Energy Council Secretary General, Christoph Frei, commented: “The Latin American continent is making irreversible progress on the energy transition path with varying priorities and economic contexts across the region. A long-term strategic vision that is in line with global targets and commitments, as well as short term roadmaps to achieve the targets are equally important for driving the energy transition in the region and globally.

“Most countries view regional integration critical to sharing resources, enhance system resilience and create opportunities to increase energy access. Agendas of sector reform and sunsetting subsidies to attract capital and enable technology are in advanced stages in many countries throughout the region. In a smaller number of countries, the focus has turned to accelerating digitalisation and promoting innovation.”

The principal regional energy event in South America, the Latin American Energy Forum, also took place also took place in Bariloche, ahead of the Leader’s Summit. Organised in partnership with the Council’s Argentine member committee and national government, the Forum programme included discussion panels on renewable energy, energy efficiency, unconventional hydrocarbons, and an interactive workshop on transparency initiatives in the extractive industry.

The Latin American countries represented at the forum all promoted the idea of integrating to optimise renewable resources, reduce costs and have a greater, efficient market. Argentina is aiming to reach 30% renewables by 2030.

Other points of interest during the forum included the importance of long-term political stability. Currently, the political environment within LAC remains highly relevant to ensuring the energy transition in the region is smooth.

There was some difference in opinion on what should take precedence: regulation or innovation. Should innovation come first and be regulated, or regulation, allowing for innovation? The other points of discussion were the role of the diverse actors in the energy sector and whether Latin America can innovate and be a leader in the energy transition or follow in the footsteps of global trends?

Finally, there was strong debate among participants on the role of the state within the energy sector. Is the private sector more efficient through the privatisation of large corporations in the sector, or should the state have a relevant role in the control of those companies?

The World Energy Leaders’ Summits (WELS) are exclusive high-level events organised by the World Energy Council to support the global energy leaders’ community in on-going dialogue on important energy matters, including energy transition and transformation.

Additional key speakers

Leonardo Beltran, Deputy Secretary of Energy Planning and Transition, Mexico; Susana Jiménez, Minister of Energy, Chile; and Mauricio Bejarano, Vice Minister, Paraguay. Ivan Dybov, President, Rosatom Latin America, Russian Federation Jorge Bacher, Chair, CACME, Argentina; Claudia Cronenbold, Chair of the Board, Bolivian Chamber of Hydrocarbons & Energy (CHBE), Bolivia, Pierre Devillers, Chief Marketing and Customer Solutions Officer, ENGIE Latin America, Chile; Marzia Zafar, Director for Innovation and World Issues Monitor, World Energy Council, U.K;  Manlio Coviello, Chief Natural Resources and Energy, CEPAL, Chile; Marcos F. Meireles, CEO, Rio Energy LLC, Brazil; Marcelo Tokman, General Manager, Empresa Nacional del Petróleo ENAP, Chile; Ricardo Torres, President, Edenor, Argentina.

WELS, 11-12 October 2016, Istanbul, Turkey

The Istanbul WELS took place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 11-12 October 2016, as part of the 23rd World Energy Congress. Co-hosted by the Government of Turkey, the WELS included a CEO Roundtable and a Trilemma Ministerial Roundtable reserved to Ministers, World Energy Council’s Patron and Global Partner CEOs and selected high-level guests.

Under the themes “A climate of innovation” and “Balancing the energy policy trilemma at a time of transition”, the agenda was built around the issues that keep global energy leaders most awake at night, as identified with the World Energy Council’s Issues Monitor with input from over 1,000 energy leaders. Key insights from the Council’s studies were shared and the takeaways from the dialogue feedback were kept into the Council’s studies.

WELS, 28-29 October 2015, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Under the theme of “The Africa Energy Trilemma: Unleashing the power of regional market creation”, the WELS was held between 28 – 29 October 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the World Energy Council Executive Assembly week. Co-hosted with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the WELS consisted of a private CEO Roundtable and Trilemma Ministerial Roundtable, as well as a joint lunch with the Ethiopian government.

The Addis Ababa WELS took place at a time of key importance for the region. The world’s energy consumption and demand is increasing exponentially. This global development presents many challenges and opportunities to Africa. Africa’s energy sector is in transition and has long been working to widen energy access to unlock the region’s potential. If successful, Africa can be a global player in the production and the supply of energy for the greater good of all.

Some of the key issues addressed at the WELS included the next steps towards regional integration, new business models and renewable energy development, as well as the role of natural gas & LNG in the region.

WELS, 17-18 June 2015, Manila, Philippines

All room 4

Exclusive roundtable discussion

The Summit, which took place at the Asia Clean Energy Forum, was co-hosted by the Asian Development Bank at their Headquarters in Manila, was attended by more than 50 delegates from over 30 countries, included six government ministers and senior officials in attendance from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines and China. The World Energy Council was once again please to be a co-organiser of the Asia Clean Energy Forum, which was addressed by our Co-Chair, Younghoon David Kim, our Secretary General, Christoph Frei and fellow World Energy Council leaders and members.

The agenda build upon insights gained from the World Energy Council’s on-going studies, including the Jazz and Symphony World Energy Scenarios, the policy Trilemma rating for countries and from the Issues Monitor. The Manila WELS also featured the Trilemma Ministerial Roundtable for the World Energy Council’s Ministerial and Patron CEO community.

WELS, 22-23 October 2014, Cartagena, Colombia


Invitation-only panel discussion

The Cartagena WELS , co-hosted by the President of Colombia, Mr Juan Manuel Santos was attended by over 190 participants from 64 countries including 17 Ministers.

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia welcomed energy ministers and energy department officials from Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Ministers from Algeria, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Russia, the UAE, and the USA also joined the talks.

Ecopetrol, Pemex, EDF, E.ON, Russian Grids, CAF, Alstom, Glencore, Enel, Fluor, Siemens, and Eletrobras were among the organisations sending senior leadership representation to the Summit.

Some of the key issues included the implications of the shale gas revolution on the region, next steps towards regional integration, the broader long-term scenarios and renewables outlook for the region, as well as the relevant policy implications.

WELS, 21-22 May 2014, Astana, Kazakhstan

Marie-José Nadeau, Chair, World Energy Council

This high-level private event was co-hosted by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and the World Energy Council. Held in margins of the
Astana Economic Forum (AEF), the summit brought together energy leaders from 26 countries, including 10 prime ministers and senior government officials from 8 countries.

The ministers were joined by CEOs and heads of energy companies from 14 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Italy, India, Kazakhstan, Korea, Russia, Switzerland, UAE, UK and the USA.

Key topics included the implications of the shale gas revolution on the region, next steps in energy storage technology, the opportunities in regional energy infrastructure development, as well as the relevant policy implications.

WELS, 5-6 February 2013, New Delhi, India

WEC World Energy Issues Monitor press conference photo2

World Energy Issues Monitor press conference

The WELS was co-hosted by the Minister of State for Power, the Union Secretary of Power and the Chair of the World Energy Council. Over 80 energy leaders and ministers from 30 countries met with representatives of the Government of India to exchange views with the WEC’s energy leaders’ community on critical and emerging issues facing the energy industry.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) addressed the Summit by video.  She told delegates: “The trilemma identified by the WEC is synonymous with addressing the challenge of climate change… The only way to address this triple challenge is to interlink the three parts of the solution: the international regulatory framework, national policy development, and private sector investment.”

Attendees were also given an exclusive preview of the results of the World Energy Issues Monitor 2012, the key findings of the World Energy Trilemma 2012 report and the World Energy Scenarios.

WELS, 19-20 April 2012, Istanbul, Turkey


Interactive discussion at the CEO Roundtable

The event was co-hosted by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, Taner Yildiz and WEC’s Turkish National Member Committee, chaired by Süreyya Yücel Özden.

Under the theme “delivering tomorrow’s energy in a context of high uncertainty”,  the Summit offered a high-level platform for energy leaders from 33 countries, representing all energies and governments, to discuss the key issues and explore solutions to overcome the “energy trilemma” and to secure stable, affordable and environmentally sensitive systems.

Leading energy decision-makers at the forum included: Farooq Abdullah, India’s Minister for New and Renewable Energy; Fabrizio Barbaso, the European Commission’s Deputy Director General for Energy; Ala Alizadeh, Senior Vice President of Candu Energy from Canada; Kirill Komarov, Deputy General Director of Global Business Development for Rosatom in Russia; and Johannes Teyssen, Chairman and CEO of E.ON and Vice Chair of WEC Europe.

WELS, 14-15 September 2011, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The plenary session in Rio 2011

Organised in partnership with the WEC Brazilian Member Committee and supported by Eletrobras and Petrobras, the event saw Global Energy
Leaders engaging in high-level dialogue on the current and emerging issues affecting the energy world under the theme: “2011, A Year of Change for the Energy Industry?”.

Co-hosted by Edison Lobão, Minister of Mines and Energy for Brazil, and Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro together with Pierre Gadonneix, Chairman of WEC, and Dr Christoph Frei, Secretary General of WEC, the forum took place in the symbolic Rio City Hall, Palacio da Cidade.

Nearly 100 energy leaders from over 26 countries, including Youcef Yousfi, the Algerian Minister of Energy and Mining, joined their Brazilian pairs during a series of round tables, held under “Chatham House rule” to encourage freer discussions and openness.