Global Agenda Council on New Energy Architecture 2012-2013
The world is on the verge of great change: the needs of emerging markets, rising populations and environmental pressures make the transition to a new low-carbon and leaner energy infrastructure an absolute necessity. A world of 7 billion people – in which 1.3 billion do not have access to electricity – cannot continue to generate, consume and waste energy as the developed world has done until now. In less than 40 years the population will rise to 9 billion and, in the future, secure universal access to energy will need to be balanced with environmentally sustainable economic growth.
The focus on energy is increasingly characterized as a “triangle” of imperatives involving supporting the economy, achieving environmental sustainability and providing universal access to secure energy. To be effective, energy architecture needs to be designed with these imperatives in mind; this is the raison d’être of energy. Energy architecture refers to the integrated system of energy generation, transmission and markets, shaped by government, business and civil society. In other words, the energy architecture concept represents a holistic energy system approach.
Current examples of the significant transformation taking place in global energy include but are not limited to the growth of renewable energies, the boom in unconventional gas and liquefied natural gas, volatile oil markets, and the shift in growth of demand from OECD to emerging economies. All have knock-on effects throughout the energy architecture. Countries and stakeholders are responding by rethinking energy strategies and investments.
- The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) most ambitious scenario for carbon abatement shows a reduction in hydrocarbon usage from 81% in 2009, to 62% in 2035.
- The global investment in energy supply infrastructure needed is estimated at US$ 38 trillion annually by the IEA.
"Demand should be reduced across all countries, so that the pressure on supply reduces, and costs go down as well."
Leena Srivastava, Executive Director, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
“To shape the future of energy, better than it has been, it needs really critical thinking by policy-makers, by companies, by experts in the area. Energy is complex because the investments are large and they’re long term.”
Bob G. Elton, Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada
World Energy Forum 2012
22-24 October 2012
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Launch of World Energy Outlook 2012
12 November 2012
organized by the International Energy Agency
As the energy sector goes through significant change, the Council is exploring ways to maximize the efficiency of the transition to create a “New Energy Architecture”. It works from the premise that although nations are different, overall they share similar energy-related goals: to support economic growth and development, deliver energy security, ensure access to energy and meet sustainability goals.
Fairly broad consensus supports the notion that energy architecture should be designed so that it can deliver sustainable development. Most stakeholders also agree that current progress is slow and the speed of change needs to increase. Changing energy systems takes time, given the capital intensity and lifecycle of infrastructure, however with the right policies, investments, innovation and collaboration, the potential exists to speed up the process.
The Council seeks to offer practical insights and recommendations to policy-makers, industry and others on:
- Why progress is slow – e.g. who is slow? Is it governments, industry, other stakeholders?
- Actions that need to happen over the next five years and how
- Where capital might be invested for the greatest return
- Existing implementable solutions or new solutions for development
During its last term, the Council prepared a policy paper which it submitted to the Governors Meeting for Energy in January 2012. It also initiated a study through which it sought to visualize what the world will look like in 2050 and how energy will play its part. This work is still ongoing. Finally, the Council provided input and guidance to a separate World Economic Forum project on New Energy Architecture, undertook country studies on Japan and India, and contributed opinion pieces in the media.
Over the forthcoming term the Council plans to focus on pathways to achieve faster positive change in the energy architecture over the next five years.
Research Analyst: Ethan Huntington, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Council Manager: Espen Mehlum, Associate Director, Head of Electricity Industry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Lead: Roberto Bocca, Senior Director, Head of Energy Industries, email@example.com
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