Chair Kim opened a packed joint World Energy Leaders' Summit and Energy Trilemma plenary, which was an opportunity for global energy leaders from both the public and private sector to discuss critical issues and design a long-term energy policy under the framework of the Energy Trilemma.
Younghoon David Kim:
"I am very pleased to welcome all of you to the Opening Plenary of the joint session of the World Energy Leaders’ Summit and Energy Trilemma Summit. Before we begin, I would like to take a moment to express my condolences for the loss of life that occurred due to the terrible fires that prevented the Portuguese president and the Minister of Energy from joining us today.
"I also want to thank our host, the Portuguese Member Committee of the World Energy Council as well as the Portuguese government for their support for this event.
"Right now, we are seeing massive changes in the energy sector. Disruptive trends are emerging that will create a fundamentally new world for the future of energy, driven by radical new technologies and significant environmental challenges. These underlying drivers will re-shape the economics of energy. We call this uncertain journey into the new world of energy – The Grand Energy Transition.
"The Grand Transition within the energy sector has come about, at least in part, because of the dual need to address the issue of climate change and at the same time to develop ways to provide access to electricity to more than a billion people in the world currently without it. This has led to the development of new disruptive technologies aimed at reducing emissions and decarbonising energy supplies while delivering affordability and security for all.
"As a result, for more than a decade we have seen phenomenal growth in areas such as wind and solar, which have become increasingly competitive. We have also seen the emergence of new generation and storage technologies as well as smart grid and increasing convergence between energy and digital technologies. Markets are being transformed, as traditional business models are no longer fit for purpose in the new and emerging market environment. And new risks, such as cyber threats and extreme weather events are emerging that present the energy sector with increased investment and operating risk.
"Today’s discussions will focus on factors that will be part of the Grand Transition – from the evolution in the natural gas and LNG markets to new innovations, such as the energy blockchain, which have the potential to substantially reshape the energy landscape. Digitalisation is also a game-changer with the huge potential of disruptive technologies and out of the box thinking, which are indispensible for our sector – and indeed, the world – to overcome the challenges of today and tomorrow.
"We are indeed in the midst of a Grand Transition in which the energy sector is being transformed from a resource-based and capital-intensive industry to a knowledge-based and technology-intensive one.
"At one time in history, Portugal explored the whole world based on the knowledge that the world is round and equipped with the technology of sea navigation. Likewise, you can explore a whole new world of future energies if you can stay ahead of the steep learning curve demanded by this Grand Energy Transition and corner the global market not only of the energy sector but also beyond. That’s because we see the food and water sectors, the other two pillars of global economic infrastructure, becoming increasingly energy-intensive.
"May I wish you a bon voyage as you embark on an adventure toward future energies with cutting-edge technologies as your compass and the knowledge that the world is flat, as Thomas Friedman has suggested.
"I look forward with great excitement and enthusiasm to today’s discussions.
"Thank you very much.