World Energy Focus


This 33rd edition of the World Energy Focus starts with a roundup of news from around the world impacting the energy sector: from the mitigated results of the Global Tracking Framework report on progress to achieve UN sustainable energy goals, to Christiana Figueres’ new “Mission 2020” campaign, we explore how access and decarbonisation are impacting the energy sector. At the same time, this edition looks at how new technologies are lowering costs and bringing new prospects in the oil sector, especially for the US Permian basin’s tight oil, whilst cooperation and regional dialogue are creating further opportunities between UK and India and in Arab countries. In this month’s interview, Charif Souki, former head of US Cheniere Energy now running Tellurian Investments, tells World Energy Focus about his vision for the future of LNG.


Commodity prices and climate change policy remain the top issues keeping energy leaders awake at night, according to the latest iteration of the World Energy Council’s ‘World Energy Issues
Monitor’. The survey of 1,200 energy leaders in business, industry, government and academia from 95 countries also reveals that regional integration and resilience issues are likewise high
on the list of concerns.


As Masdar, the famous sustainable City and renewables energy company from Abu Dhabi, celebreted its 10th anniversary, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO since February 2016, looks ahead to the next decade. ” We were blessed with fossil fuels”, he says in an interview with World Energy Focus. “But renewable energy will increasingly be the future”. Masdar is counting on continued growth, Al Ramahi, says.


The most significant US energy policy update in a decade, the energy Policy Modernization Act 2016, will be introduced into the new Congress in January 2017. With provisions for accelerated permitting for oil and gas drilling, construction of export LNG terminals, as well as energy efficiency standards and grid-integration of renewables, the outlook for US energy security is bright, according to Barry Worthington, Executive Director of the US Energy Association (USEA). He predicts that business, not policy, will be the major driver of decarbonisation.


The 21st century can be an African century – but only if energy access is enabled for the more than 620 million people living without electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Decentralized energy is a faster and cheaper route than grid extension, according to Paul Smith Lomas and Aaron Leopold from international development charity Practical Action. A bottom-up approach to energy planning, including training, mapping and a tiered approach to energy access – instead of counting to the numbers of connections and megawatts available – can help ensure that Africa achieves universal energy access by 2030.


The critical role that the energy sector plays in the functioning of a modern economy makes it a highly attractive target for an increasing number of cyber-attacks. Addressing this recent phenomenon, a new report: ” The road to resilience: managing and financing cyber risks”, published by the World Energy Council in collaboration with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Marsh & McLennan Companies, was launched on 29 September, ahead of the World Energy Congress in Istanbul.


“I don’t think the Climate Paris Agreement will change things hugely”, says Francesco Venturini, the head of Enel Green Power, one of the largest (if not the largest) gree energy producers in the world. According to Venturini, the Paris Climate Agreement the business case for renewables primarily rests on their low fixed costs, scalability and speed to the market. He increasingly sees companies from other sectors moving into energy space. “Until recently I could not have imagined that I would have meetings with people in the automotive industry once a week.”


“Since the World Energy Congress in Daegu, Korea, in 2013, the Korean people have developped a deep interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions” says Hwan – Eik Cho, President and CEO of KEPCO ( Korea Electric Power Corp). ” And KEPCO has been assigned a leadership role in realising this ambition”. In an exclusive interview with World Energy Focus , Cho explains how his company is living up to the climate challenge. ” “We are focusing on energy storage systems and energy efficiency and see great prospects for electric vehicles.” In its overseas activities, the Korean electricity giant, with $52 billion revenues in 2015 and a presence in 21 countries, wants to invest more in renewables and nuclear.


Finland is one of the few countries in Europe in which a solid consensus has been forged in favour of expansion of nuclear energy. In fact, it is the first country in the world that is building a final repository for nuclear waste. At the same time, the country is developing innovative renewable energy solutions, particulary in heating, that can serve as models for other cities in the world. Transport will be the most difficult nut to crack in the way to a low carbon society, says Lauri Muranen, Executive Director of World Energy Council Finland.

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