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Global, Regional and National Challenges Reviewed at IENE’s Annual “Energy & Development” Conference

Global, Regional and National Challenges Reviewed at IENE’s Annual “Energy & Development” ConferenceWith more 250 participants and 42 speakers and panelists IENE’s annual national energy conference, “Energy & Development 2018” which was held in Athens last week (November 22/23), provided once again a most useful platform for reviewing key issues of the current energy agenda but also in addressing the future challenges of the energy sector.

With more 250 participants and 42 speakers and panelists IENE’s annual national energy conference, "Energy & Development 2018” which was held in Athens last week (November 22/23), provided once again a most useful platform for reviewing key issues of the current energy agenda but also in addressing the future challenges of the energy sector.

As usual the conference was backed by Greece’s major energy companies and was organized under the auspices of Greece’s Ministry of Environment and Energy and with the support of international organisations. The special topic of this year’s event was "Strategic Planning and Energy Markets Development”, which was meant to underline the important challenges faced by both governments and companies and the efforts required in order to further develop and diversity energy markets. A strategic planning which involves technology advancement in the new digital environment, and a stricter energy security framework capable in dealing with the multiple geopolitical threats but also with the constraints posed by Climate Change mitigation goals.

A highlight of IENE’s conference this year was the presentation of the World Energy Outlook 2018, published by the Paris based International Energy Agency. WEO 2018 was presented by IEA’s energy analyst Mr. Kieran McNamara. This year’s WEO message included mixed signals about the pace and direction of change in global energy as oil markets are entering a period of renewed uncertainty and volatility and natural gas is on the rise and China’s rapid demand growth is erasing talk of a gas glut. In addition Solar PV has the momentum while other key technologies and efficiency policies need a push IEA’s assessment points to energy-related Co2emissions reaching a historic high in 2018 while for the first time, the global population without access to electricity fell below 1billion. In presenting WEO 2018 Mr. McNamara pointed out that electricity is carrying great expectations, but questions remain over the extent of its reach in meeting demand and how the power systems of the future will operate. He also said that policy makers need well -grounded insights about different possible futures and how these come about. Hence, WEO provides two key scenarios, the New Policies Scenario and the Sustainable Development Scenario.

Addressing the outlook for oil in the medium term, up to 2020, Dr. Leo Drollas, a well known UK based independent energy analyst and longstanding Senior Associate of IENE focused on the sudden drop of the oil price over the past weeks in view of rising commercial stocks, especially, in the USA, Leo Drollas wondered if this weakness is likely to continue and for how long. It will all depend, he said, on the continuation of accelerated US oil production, the state of global stocks and the outlook of demand. As he pointed out forecasting is a dark art rather than a science.

The energy market integration goal in the EU was presented by Ms. Paula Ceballos-Coloma, a Policy Officer at DG Energy in Brussels. In her presentation, the emphasis was placed in market system functionality and the regulatory framework. Also the special role of Iran in the Middle East and Persian Gulf energy play was fully analyzed by the Secretary of the Committee on Environment and Energy of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Tehran, and longstanding IENE Senior Associate, Dr. Narsi Ghorban. Among other points, Dr. Ghorban described Iran's plans to continue its economic relationship with Europe, as part of the JCPOA agreement. 

Greece’s just completed long term energy planning, and the challenges posed in meeting EU targets, for 2030 and 2040 for renewables, energy efficiency and decarbonisation was the main topic in the address delivered by Greece’s Minister for Environment and Energy Mr. George Stathakis and elaborated further in a presentation by Mr. Michael Verroiopoulos, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy. Besides the Minister’s address the chairmen and the CEO’s from most of the major Greek energy companies including the Public Power Corporation, Hellenic Petroleum, the Electric Transmission Operator (IPTO), the Hellenic Energy Exchange, the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), Mytilineos Group, the Hydrocarbons Agency (HHRM), and Energean Oil & Gas, made major statements with each one contributing useful comments in discussing the country’s energy situation. Top of the agenda in this discussion was the need for continuing investment in Greece’s energy sector where more than€40 billion of energy related investments are earmarked for the Greek market over the next 10 years. This figure nears €250 billion when it comes to SE Europe as it covers investments in the region’s 15 country group, until 2028.

The major sponsor of the conference was Hellenic Petroleum, while the strategic sponsor was IPTO. Other sponsors included the Public Power Corporation (PPC), The Hellenic Energy Exchange, Terna Energy and the Mytilineos Group, while among the supporters were Energean Oil & Gas, KG Law Firm, the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), Gastrade, Heron S.A. and MAS.

EVENTS Energy Transitions 2019

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COOPERATING ORGANISATIONS IEA WEC Energy Community Eurelectric BBSPA AERS ROEC BPIE