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Highlights from the 2013 International Energy Workshop

The annual International Energy Workshop (IEW) is a leading event for the international energy modeling community and presents an opportunity for scholars and researchers to compare quantitative energy projections, to understand the reasons for diverging views of future energy developments, and to observe new trends in global energy production and consumption.

During the the 32nd Edition of the IEW, which was held in Paris on 19-21 June, 2013, Re3 interviewed keynote speakers Carlo Carraro, Jos Delbeke, David Hobbs, Jiang Kejun, Leena Srivastava and Jorge Vasconcelos.

Jos Delbeke, European Commission, Climate Actions

Delbeke explains how the EC is reacting to the fact that, realistically, it will take a long time for future climate agreements to become global. He points out the interesting novelty of voluntary commitments (the so-called pledges) by individual countries, but also underlines the need to monitor them, and make sure they are effective towards achieving climate targets.

Carlo Carraro, Università Ca’ Foscari Venice and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)

Carraro points out the divergence, in the European Energy sector, between policy objectives aiming towards decabornisation, and what is actually happening on the ground with the surge of coal and the decline of gas. The principal cause of this dichotomy is the low carbon price, which is a consequence of several factors he details in the interview. Projecting towards 2020, Carraro stresses that a central European authority should be set up to properly regulate the carbon price and give the right message to the markets.

David Hobbs, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center

Hobbs explains how KAPSARC, the newly founded Saudi Arabian Energy Research Institution focuses on three major energy challenges. The first is energy transitions, and how these occur in the real world with respect to simulated projections. His second point focuses on the differences between consumers’ preferences and policies that aim to influence behaviors. His third and last point regards free riders: it is of no importance who is responsible for what, as this is too often a justification for not taking action.
Jian Kejun, Energy Research Institute (ERI) and National Development and Reform Commission, China

Kejun starts from the scenarios prepared for AR5. He states that China’s emissions have to peak before 2025, but that the 2°C target is still within reach. Going further into detail, he points out the role of energy intensive industries in this transition phase, while he forecasts that China will continue its steep path towards energy efficiency. Progress in buildings construction will be important, but managing the transport revolution will be the country’s greatest challenge in a low carbon perspective.
Leena Srivastava, TERI University

In her keynote speech, Srivastava identifies shortages, both physical and financial, as the main energy challenges India is facing today. Such shortages have obvious consequences on economic growth, but also entail coping strategies with very high costs for the population involved. Furthermore, these energy shortages are exacerbating the important development issues India still has to face, such as water management, unavailability of adequate storage and transport facilities, all having an impact on food security. As for energy access, she stresses that old strategies aiming to simply extend the grid have largely failed, and that it is time to rely on the new decentralised energy facilities supported by the rising communication technologies and infrastructures.
Jorge Vasconcelos, New Energy Solutions

Vasconcelos indicates that today policy focus should be on the decarbonisation of our economies, particularly in the transport sector where electricity will play a key role. He highlights the importance of new IT facilities that will need three elements to act as a true revolution: technologies, legal and regulatory frameworks and behaviours. Technologies have multiple advantages: they will allow demand to play a role in the market, revealing new information that will benefit all the actors in the market, and will also provide a cost effective way to deal with the intermittency of renewables.

This article appeared first on Re3: http://re3.feem.it/getpage.aspx?id=5693

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