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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

Tomas Blees about current oil crisis

My name is Tom Blees, I am a member of Global Energy Prize selection committee and I just wanted to say you a few words about the current oil crisis. The situation is that Saudi Arabia and Russia are having a disagreement about production and Saudi Arabia is pumping so much oil into the world economy that the price is plummeting and that it’s affecting Russia and the United States which is large a oil producer. This is clearly going to be a temporary situation. One or the other it is going to be resolved, but it does give Russia an opportunity to look at the future when oil prices will be dropping for a more prominent level and that is when electric cars and trucks become so common that the demand for oil is gonna be dropping and we already see this that large companies like Volvo are gonna stop making internal combustion engines, the battery technologies and other technologies for electric cars are going so good and everybody likes them. So ultimately countries that depend on oil and gas for large part of foreign exchange including Russia and many other countries especially in the Middle East, Venezuela and others are gonna see the price, the demand for oil be dropping. So, what are these countries gonna do. I think that Russia is probably seeing this more realistically than most other countries because you see their nuclear power technology that Rosatom is actively exporting to several countries. I think, I believe they have 34 potential projects going right now and that’s a way that Russia is taking a leadership role in nuclear power and ultimately could help cushion the economic impact of a drop in oil prices as it happens because currently they have virtually no competition from United States companies for nuclear power exporting. China is building several plants but they’re focused primarily on building plants in China, where they need a large amount of energy. So it's a very good opportunity for Russia to explore the very real possibilities of building modular nuclear reactors, using shipyard construction techniques to get a jump on the rest of the world and become essentially the world’s utility company. 

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