World energy leaders gather in Turkey to address key concerns affecting the energy sector

In one month’s time, on 20 April, around 100 energy leaders from the World Energy Council (WEC) will gather at the World Energy Leaders’ Summit in Istanbul to explore solutions for delivering tomorrow’s energy in a context of high uncertainty.

The Summit is organised by the WEC, the global network of energy leaders and practitioners, under the patronage of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, and Taner Yildiz, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

This will be the fourth World Energy Leaders’ Summit following successful forums organised by the WEC in China, Canada and Brazil in previous years.  The Summit will take place on 20 April at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul, acknowledging the strategic role played by Turkey in today’s regional and global energy security.

Taner Yildiz, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, says:

“Turkey is fast becoming a regional centre for Asia and Europe, and this means that the impact of its energy policies will directly affect global energy security. This is why it is so significant for Turkey to be co-hosting the World Energy Leaders’ Summit. We look forward to welcoming energy leaders to Turkey for an open dialogue to secure prosperity.”

The Summit, organised with the WEC’s Turkish National Member Committee, will be around the theme “delivering tomorrow’s energy in a context of high uncertainty”. It will offer 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.

The Summit will be timely as energy leaders are operating in an increasingly uncertain environment, including the political instability in the MENA region, the effects of the financial and economic crisis, the lack of a clear climate framework, and the post-Fukushima debate around the policy choices defining a country’s energy mix.

Süreyya Yücel Özden, Chair of the WEC Turkish Committee, comments:

“We are delighted to welcome the WELS to Istanbul, a deeply historic city where two continents meet. As energy leaders consider the prevailing circumstances in world energy markets and the issues of price volatility and supply security, they will be well informed about Turkey’s importance and strategic role. The commitment we have received from Turkey’s government, through the participation of our Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, is a strong signal of Turkey’s willingness to take part into the global energy debate.”

Leading energy decision-makers at the forum will include: 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.

Informal and closed roundtable sessions will guide the high-level dialogue around the five topics on top of energy leaders’ concerns:

  • How to overcome the “energy policy trilemma”: balancing the trade-offs between energy security, social equity and environmental impact mitigation
  • Natural gas markets and geopolitics: a map in transition
    Turkey’s potential as a regional energy hub
  • Financing low-carbon infrastructure: long journey ahead?
  • Energy storage: a key to unlocking Turkey’s potential as a renewable energy hub?

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, explains:

“Turkey plays a pivotal role in the energy markets thanks to its crucial geopolitical position as a main link between source countries and consumer markets. Its fast growing economy and demand makes it an attractive energy market and one of those countries that will hold the future of energy development. By hosting our 4th World Energy Leaders’ Summit in Istanbul, we will be creating a unique platform for energy leaders from over 30 countries to exchange critical insights to help them make the right choices in securing long-term energy solutions and investments”.

Energy leaders gathering in Istanbul will also provide their insights into the “WEC Global Energy Scenarios 2050” workshop. In addition, they will contribute to the analysis of effective energy policies worldwide by sharing their knowledge with the study team behind WEC’s Annual “Assessment of Country Energy and Climate Policies”, due to be published in November this year.