Secretary General’s Update

September 2018 

Dear Members,

Since my last update to you in April, we have had a busy period working with the Council community to deliver progress on the implementation of the Council’s strategy and work programme worldwide across insights development, network engagement, events and platforms.

I look forward to seeing you in Milan at World Energy Week, where we will be able to provide an update on the delivery of the Council’s programme around the world, to seek your input to our insights and tools development, and to drive forward our thought leadership of the energy transition. It promises to be an exciting and packed agenda, with superb hosting by our Italian member committee.


In May, with the support of our partner Arup, we launched our Issues Monitor tool bringing our data to life, enabling users to interact and use this data based on time, geography and communities. As we finalise our 2018 edition, deepening the Issues Monitor continues to be a major strand of our strategy as we focus on impact and usage of our Insights. We have sought also to improve the data gathering process for members and your support in driving responses, enhancing the reach and effectiveness of this important tool has been greatly appreciated.


Figure 1 – Selection of Global Energy Issues for over period 2015-2017

I was delighted that many members were able to join the European Regional Scenarios workshop held in Paris this month. Hosted by the French member committee, more than 35 participants contributed their expertise to the bottom up regional approach to understanding what the critical drivers and disruptors are to the energy transition, as we develop our scenarios out to 2040. The team will be working towards affirming these narratives over the coming months, along with scenarios workshops across other regions including in the Gulf, Africa, North America and Asia. If your member committee is willing to consider hosting a workshop, please get in touch with the Insights team.

The Start-up Energy Transition, our innovation platform with dena the German Energy Agency, and our annual competition to identify the top 100 innovators worldwide is about to launch our 2019 edition. We had a great input from members identifying possible entrants and working with us on the jury panel last year. As we continue to take this to the next level, the SET will help deepen understanding of the dynamic energy innovation horizon at national and global levels, promote domestic energy innovation ecosystems working directly with individual countries, and connect members with innovators. We will be launching our 2019 competition in Milan where members will also hear insights from previous winners at the Energy Transition Summit on Wednesday 10th October.

World Energy Leaders’ Summit Argentina

In partnership with our Argentinian Member Committee, CACME, we welcomed energy leaders to a World Energy Leaders’ Summit in Carlos San Bariloche in June alongside the G20 energy meetings. With ministerial participation from six countries and a broad energy representation from around the world, discussions highlighted that in spite of varying regional priorities and economic contexts, the Latin American continent is making irreversible progress on the energy transition path, and that the political and policy environment remains highly relevant to the pace and ease of the energy transition. I was also able to represent the Council at part of the G20 Ministerial meetings. This year’s theme was “Energy Transitions Towards Cleaner, More Flexible and Transparent Systems”, and it was clear from my discussions that participants have a keen eye on innovation to help navigate the Grand Transition.

Figure 2  MC and Ministerial delegation from Chile. Minister Susana Jiménez Schuster, Paula Estevez, her Chief of Staff and member of WEC Chile Board, and Javiera Aldunate, the new Executive Director of WEC Chile.

Figure 3 – Future Energy Leaders enjoying the energy transition dialogue in Bariloche, Argentina.

World Energy Week

As mentioned, I hope you will be able to join other members in Milan for a packed and interactive World Energy Week. These opportunities that bring the World Energy Council community together help shape the organisation and our plans so that we can deliver our shared mission of sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all. I also look forward to having more detailed discussions with you in our internal meetings on our progress as the Council continues to evolve following our strategic reorganisation. Our Energy Transition Summit, World Energy Leaders’ Summit, and the Italian Energy Day will feature exciting speakers and perspectives from across the energy world.

World Energy Congress

Preparations for our 24th World Energy Congress are well underway, with over 35 top level speakers already confirmed and programme development supported by UAE and member input proposing stories and speakers under the four daily themes of “Vision for the Future”, “Business”, “Policy” and “Innovation”. I am also delighted by the exciting Congress registration package for members put together by the Organising Committee, that will really incentivise you to bring a strong representative delegation to Abu Dhabi next year.

With three great candidate proposals for our 25th World Energy Congress, it was always going to be difficult to see only one host emerge from the member vote. Our colleagues in Lisbon and Houston submitted impressive bids, and I convey once again my thanks to them for their superb efforts. I look forward to working with Minister Novak and the Organising Committee on shaping and developing the plans for an exciting Congress in St Petersburg in 2022.

Digital & Platforms

With our new Digital & Platforms plan approved in July by the Communications & Strategy Committee, the team is focusing on improved digital infrastructure, quick win capabilities that can be leveraged across all platforms, and interactive platforms for events, experts and collaboration to deliver new ways to communicate and engage with our communities.


I am pleased to update further on new and re-joining members of staff joining to strengthen our team. Jonathan Oxley joined us as Senior Director for Networks & Development in May to lead and grow engagement across members, partners and institutions. Cristina Morales has returned to the Council, in a new role as Senior Manager, Government Engagement, after successfully completing her Masters at Oxford University. We also welcome Paulina Padilla who has joined the Global Agenda team as Programme and Events Coordinator.

All of the team and I look forward to meeting with members in Milan. In the meantime, our Secretariat team in London and across the regions is ready to support you as together we seek to promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all people.