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This year’s «Energy and Development» Conference Attracted Record Participation

More than 280 registered delegates participated in the annual "Energy and Development 2015” conference organized by IENE in Athens last week (November 11 and 12). Apart from its high participation, the conference proved a huge success as it attracted several high level speakers from Greece and abroad, from both government and industry but also from academia

More than 280 registered delegates participated in the annual "Energy and Development 2015” conference organized by IENE in Athens last week (November 11 and 12). Apart from its high participation, the conference proved a huge success as it attracted several high level speakers from Greece and abroad, from both government and industry but also from academia.

In view of Greece’s precarious financial situation with the country having narrowly escaped a Euro exit last summer, the central theme of this year’s was appropriately phrased as "The Role of the Energy Sector in Revitalizing Greece’s Economy”. The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and MP of the governing SYRIZA party, Mr. Dimitris Mardas, representing the government, opened the conference contributing introductory remarks, followed by Mr. Nikos Kaimakis, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Environment and Energy. Opposition speakers, as the Head of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Sector and MP of New Democracy Party, Mr. Evaggelos Basiakos, and Mr. John Maniatis, MP for Dimokratiki Sybarataxi and Former Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, contributed too opening statements.

Apart from the above senior political figures from both government and the opposition, the conference was addressed by the chairmen and CEO’s of Greece’s leading state energy companies including Mr. Manolis Panagiotakis, Chairman and CEO of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), Prof. Stathis Tsotsoros, Chairman of Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) and Mr. Spyros Paleoyannis, CEO of Public Gas Corporation (DEPA). But present were also the heads of important private companies including Mr. George Peristeris, CΕΟ of GEK TERNA and Chairman of the Greek Association of RES Electricity Producers, Mr. Mathios Rigas, Chairman & CEO of Energean Oil & Gas, and Dr. George Stamtsis, General Director of the Hellenic Association of Independent Power Producers (HAIPP).

Greece’s vibrant electricity sector was analyzed by Professor Capros, chairman of IENE’s Scientific Committee and Head of NTUA’s E3MLab, while the chairman and CEO of the Electricity Market Operator (LAGIE), Mr. Anastasios Garis, provided latest data on the electricity market performance with key market players commenting on both the shortcomings and prospects of the electricity sector, which all agreed is in dire need of restructuring. Mr. Stephan Ressl, Resident Εnergy Αdvisor of European Commission, (Secretariat-General Structural Reforms Support Service - SRSS) in Cyprus, contributed his experience of promoting reforms in electricity market of the island. The panelists included Mr. Konstantinos Kouklelis, CEO of Hellenic Union of Industrial Consumers of Energy (UNICEN), Mr. Konstantinos Athanasiadis, CEO of Hellenic Association of Electricity Trading & Supply Companies (ESEPIE) and Mr. Andreas Tzouros, Chairman of Elpedison Power SA.

Regional energy issues were discussed at length in the 3rd session with a keynote address contributed by Professor Abbas Maleki, Energy Policy, of Sharif University of Technology of Tehran and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Others speakers of this session included Dr. Volkan Ozdemir, Chairman of EPPEN (Institute for Energy Markets and Policies, Ankara,Turkey), Mr. Mihailo Mihailovic (Independent Consultant, PE Electric Power Industry of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia) and Ms. Dimitra Valavani (Energy Advisor, Romania).

The session on the SE European gas market and the role of Greece, co-ordinated by Dr. John Desypris (Director, Regulatory Affairs, Mytilineos Holdings S.A. and former IENE Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors, IENE) presented one more opportunity for expanding on the regional energy agenda with contributions by Ms. Beate Raabe (Secretary General, Eurogas, Brussels), Dr. Katja Yafimava (Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford, UK), and Mr. Costas Karagiannakos (Division Head, International Projects & Gas supply/Executive Director, DEPA). A lively discussion followed where all above participated joined also by Mr. Anastasios Tosios (Technical Service Director, EPA Attikis), and Mr. Theodore Terzopoulos (Division Head, Gas Distribution, DEPA).

The global oil outlook and the latest developments of the upstream sector in Greece and the East Mediterranean were discussed in the 6th session with the participation of Mr. Costis Stambolis, Deputy Chairman and Executive Director of IENE, Prof. Sofia Stamataki, President of the Hellenic Agency for Hydrocarbon Exploration, Mr. John Grigoriou, General Manager of Exploration & Production of Hydrocarbon Division of Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE), Dr. Konstantinos Nikolaou, Petroleum Geologist and Member of IENE’S Board of Directors, and Dr. Steve Moore, Technical Director of Energean Oil & Gas.

The conference’ last session, which was devoted on energy efficiency and the role of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) was co-ordinated by IENE’s Chairman Mr. John Chadjivassiliadis. Key contributors included Dr. Savvas Seimanidis (Chairman, European Renewable Energy Federation, Brussels, Representative of the Greek Association of RES Electricity Producers), Dr. John Kampouris (Director of Grid Development, Independent Power Transmission Operator - ADMIE), Mr. Alexandros Papadopoulos (Member of the Board of Directors, IENE and CEO, Heliotron), Mr. Vassileios Kilias (General Director, Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving - KAPE), Mr. Constantinos Theofylaktos (Chairman, Hellenic Association for Co-generation of Heat and Power – HACHP and Member of the Executive Committee, IENE) and Ms. Virginia Manasaki (Vice- Governor for Energy & Industry, Region of Crete).

A lively panel discussion ensued with the participation of key industry representatives, who included the following: Mr. Antonis Gerasimou, Chairman of HELLEABIOM, Greece’s Biomass Association, Mr. Hlias Kakiopoulos, Secretary General of Hellenic Association of Microhydropower Projects, Mr. Sotiris Kapellos, Chairman of Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies, Mr. Stelios Loumakis, Chairman of Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers, Dr. Constantinos Balaras, Research Director at the Institute for Environmental Research & Sustainable Development (IERSD) at the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), Mr. Panagiotis Papastamatiou, Member of the Board of Directors of Hellenic Wind Energy Association, and Mr. Takis Chaviaropoulos, Managing Director of iWind Renewables and Vice-President of Hellenic Wind Energy Association.

Given its tight schedule and large number of speakers and panelists, this year’s 1 1/2 – day IENE conference provided once again a much needed platform for dialogue and discussion on all current major energy issues which affect Greece and neighboring countries.

IENE’s annual conference was made possible thanks to sponsorship by Hellenic Petroleum, the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and the Public Power Company (PPC), while it was also supported by Energean Oil & Gas, Terna Energy, KG Law Firm, Elpedison and Norton Rose Fulbright Law Firm. Media Partners for this year’s conference included the daily "Kathimerini” and Energia.gr, Greece’s leading energy portal.

The full proceedings of the conference will appear as usual in the form of a microsite which will be available before the end of November, the co-ordinates of which will be communicated to all conference delegates and IENE members by e-mail.

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