Supporting clean energy: the Global Energy Prize laureates spoke about the forthcoming change of global paradigm
On November 23 and 24, the Global Energy Prize laureates and members of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee participated in plenary meetings of the 5th International Forum for Energy Efficiency and Energy Development ENES 2016.
Chairperson of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, the Prize laureate 2012, member of inter-governmental group of experts for climate change, which received Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, Rodney John Allam (UK) spoke at “International Forecasts of Energetics Development: Scientifically-Based Calculations or Programmable Scenarios?” session. The scientist thinks that “one of the critical tasks of the International Committee is to form information field allowing giving recommendations to governments on cash flow allocation to those researches and developments, introduction of which gives positive future effect”. The expert stressed the importance of cooperation between the scientists from various countries and urged to create a common knowledge database, which would have served as a basis for objective global forecasts excluding local political effects.
Rodney John Allam believes that, regardless of the objective uncertainty and variety of scientific and technical forecasts, a number of factors determining further development of situation in energetics, are non-doubtful. First, global power consumption will keep on growing uncontrollably. Moreover, the world is about to face consequences of climate changes. “The committee consisting of the global leaders of the countries agreed to ensure that by 2050 temperature growth would not exceed 2 degrees, yet we are already failing to comply”, R. J. Allam stressed. “Current forecasts say that, if the current situation prevails, by 2100 temperatures would grow by 4 to 6 degrees”. The scientist said that today we have several types of technologies, which may help us to restrict maximum temperature growth by two degrees Celsius – these are renewable sources of energy and biofuel, nuclear energy and hydrocarbon fuel.
Realistic forecasts agree that by the end of the 21st century hydrocarbon fuel will remain the dominating energy source globally. However, the future of energy industry is impossible without renewable sources of energy and nuclear energy, which today cover only 20% of global consumption. “The world is at the crossroads now – the next wave of technological revolution is related to energy industry”, Global Energy Prize laureate is sure. “We have to reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere as quickly as possible and without extra costs. By 2050, we have to reduce the level of CO2 emissions down to 450 ppm. This level will allow reducing global warming to two degrees Celsius”. The expert noted that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is the priority task for the Russian energy industry. It should be solved through development, testing, and active implementation of technologies for CO2 capture and storage.
Prospects of the Russian Fuel & Energy Complex were discussed on November 24 at the “Energy Efficiency and Development of Energy Industry in Russia: Challenges and Answers” session. A member of the Board of Trustees of The Global Energy Prize, Minister of Energy of Russia Alexander Novak named global decline of hydrocarbons price, technological breakthroughs, issues of climatic agenda accepted within the scope of Climate Change Conference in Paris, increased government intervention in market mechanisms, and deceleration of fuel and energy resources consumption growth in the market vs. economies growth and GDP as the main challenges. These challenges should be answered with innovations and initiatives from state-budget sector, business, and science.
Speaking about dynamics of industrial competitive ability of Russia, a member of the Board of Trustees of The Global Energy Prize, advisor to the Chair of the High Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters under the UN General Secretary, a member of inter-governmental group of experts on climate change, which was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, Rae Kwon Chung noted the necessity to develop renewable sources of energy and technologies with low CO2 emissions. “We are currently changing paradigm oriented at the switching to low-carbon future,” - he stressed. “Hydrocarbons combustion may no longer guarantee economy growth; we need a new economic paradigm, investments into renewable energy, and advanced and energy-oriented fiscal system. We should enter a new era, when natural resources combustion may no longer guarantee competitive ability”. In R. K. Chung’s opinion, the task of a government is to generate a long-term strategy of successive transition to the renewable sources with low emissions.