Istanbul World Energy Leaders' Summit

Posted on 20 April 2012

Audience at the Istanbul WELS, 2012 More than 100 energy leaders from 41 countries met at the World Energy Leaders’ Summit on 20 April in Istanbul, Turkey to address the energy trilemma.

The forum provided a platform for the WEC’s community of global energy leaders to engage in an ongoing, high-level dialogue to address the critical issues affecting the energy world. The event, under the title “Delivering Tomorrow’s Energy in a Context of High Uncertainty”, enabled policymakers and industry leaders to discuss ways to overcome the energy policy trilemma. The high-level attendees included leading decision-makers from energy businesses and government officials including nine energy ministers and the finance community.

Taner Yildiz speaking at the WELS in IstanbulThe event, held at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski hotel, was opened by Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz, and WEC Chairman Pierre Gadonneix. The WEC co-hosted the event with Süreyya Yücel Özden, Chair of the WEC Turkish Committee, who read out a message from Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Prime Minister was unable to attend the Summit as he had to take part in last-minute talks on the current situation in Syria.

Pierre Gadonneix speaking at the WELS in IstanbulIn his opening remarks, Pierre Gadonneix said that, to balance the energy trilemma an “ongoing dialogue between energy leaders in all countries” was needed.

The forum explored topics including the transition of natural gas markets and their implications on geopolitics, financing a low-carbon infrastructure, and energy storage as a key to unlocking Turkey’s potential as a renewable energy hub.

Christoph Frei, WEC Secretary General, said investor participation at the event could help remove barriers holding back energy projects. “Today less than 1% of pension fund investment finds its way into energy projects. It’s obvious that getting the energy trilemma right in national energy policies will be the only way to secure the investment required for our future energy needs.”

Candu Energy and Turkish power generator EÜAS sign energy agreement during WELS IstanbulThe Summit also played host to significant energy agreements. The Turkish government used the event to announce a US$20billion energy arrangement with a consortium from Canadian company Candu Energy and Turkish power generator EÜAS which drew international media attention.

The occasion provided the opportunity for JK Kim, President and CEO of KEPCO, the South Korean electric utility, to officially renew the company’s patronage with the WEC for the third consecutive year. KEPCO has been a long-standing supporter of the WEC Korean Member Committee, and the firm will be the host sponsor of the WEC’s 2013 World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea.

JK Kim, Chairman & CEO of KEPCO and Christoph Frei, Secretary General WEC, sign patronage agreementThe forum attracted significant media interest. More than 40 print and broadcast journalists from top Turkish and international outlets attended the breakfast briefing session. The Summit itself has been covered in more than 130 different media outlets and was broadcast live on CNN.

The event followed two days of meetings for the WEC Standing Committees and Officers Council.

For the programme and a full list of delegates at the World Energy Leaders’ Summit, and to see highlights of press coverage, click on the links available on the right hand column.

A session summary of the Summit will be available soon.