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17.02.2016 15:37
The Great Energy Summit in Warsaw, Poland Started Today
The business conference was opened officially by H.E. Robin Barnett, HM Ambassador to Warsaw, Director Central European Network
AUTHOR: Atanas Georgiev

  • H.E. Robin Barnett, HM Ambassador to Warsaw, Director Central European Network

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The Great Energy Summit, organized by the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), takes place on February 17-18 in Warsaw, Poland. UKTI is the British Government Department that helps UK–based companies succeed in the global economy and helps overseas companies bring their high–quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy. The event is sponsored by CMS, Ernst & Young, Urenco, Cleantech, and Intercontinental Hotel Warsaw.

The evening before the event started, the British Ambassador to Bucharest, Romania, H.E. Paul Brummell and Tim Buisseret, Head of UKTI Sofia and lead on the Energy sector for Central and Eastern Europe, welcomed the guests of the event, reiterating the possibilities of the region to foster energy sector cooperation.

The business conference was opened officially by H.E. Robin Barnett, HM Ambassador to Warsaw, Director Central European Network, who stressed that innovation is key for the development of the economy. He emphasized, that all over Central and Eastern Europe there are opportunities for cooperation in energy. According to him, Poland and the region have much to offer, including great ideas and talented entrepreneurs that the economy needs to excel.

Ms. Hanna Trojanowska, former Polish Government Commissioner for Nuclear Energy reiterated, that the energy sector is a driving force for the economy. She reminded, that the increase of energy prices for industry leads to carbon leakage to non-EU countries. Also, Ms. Trojanowska noted, that unemployment in the EU is quite higher than in the USA – just like gas and electricity are twice more expensive than in North America.

The Keynote Speech was delivered by Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change at the British Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). She also participated in the panel discussion, which followed in the plenary session. The Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd reminded that COP21 in Paris has given a long-term direction and long-term vision to zero emissions in the second half of this century. According to her speech, the UK will continue to use fossil fuels in the next several decades during the decarbonization, which will also include shale gas exploration. “This is about protecting jobs and revenues as well as about energy security. The gas and oil that we produce is the gas and oil that we do not have to import. Even if we in the UK have good relations with our energy suppliers, not all of the other EU countries are in the same situation. So I welcome the yesterday’s publication of the Winter Security Package. The UK has been supportive of measures to reduce the dominance of Russia in the EU gas markets.”, Rt. Hon. added during the speech.

In order to diminish emissions, the UK will have to switch from coal with gas, Rt. Hon. Rudd added. “Soon the DECC will propose to close all coal stations from 2025 and to limit their production from 2023. For the UK this makes sense. Each country has to make its choice. Also, the 2030 framework should be flexible enough to allow each country to choose its low-carbon path.”

Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd added, that in the UK low-carbon also means nuclear for baseload electricity. According to her, currently RES provide less than 7% of energy, after a decade and about 50 bn GBP of investments. “Much of that investment has been supported by public funds for green energy. We have to be pragmatic and to demonstrate, that our low-carbon transition in energy can be sustainable and according to the pocket of customer. As costs of low-carbon technologies reduce, the subsidies will as well.”, Rt. Hon. Rudd added. She reiterated the importance of the business conference by adding, that we do not have all the answers for decarbonization today and science, government, and business all will have their role in this innovation process.

Mr. Michal Kurtyka, Deputy Minister of Energy in Poland, presented the activities of the institution since its foundation 2 months ago. He shared with the audience, that currently about 2/3 of the final energy consumption in Poland is heat, and about half of this quantity is consumed by the industry. According to Mr. Kurtyka, there are many possibilities for cooperation in this field between industry and smart cities, in order to use cogeneration in the right way. Also, Mr. Kurtyka said, that Poland is exploring the possibility to produce heating energy through nuclear cogeneration facilities.

The plenary session continued with presentations of innovative companies. Neill Ricketts presented the graphene applications, provided by Versarien plc. David Kaye from Highview Power Storage Ltd. presented the innovative Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) technology, which could provide services to both TSOs and power producers. Adam Mallion and Rebecca Hillier from OC Robotics presented the snake-arm robot technology, suitable for the energy sector.

Day 1 continued with thematic nuclear, oil & gas, and coal panel discussions. The gas session included a representative from Bulgaria – Mr. Konstantin Stamenov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers. He reminded that the gas challenge of Bulgaria currently is that we the country is highly dependent on Russian gas and has very insignificant current local production. “We are transit country, transiting big volumes toward Turkey and Greece. The gas goes only in one direction and we hope to have an integrated market in a few years – with interconnectors for backhaul capacity or even without physical flow in reverse, to have virtual flows and market relations.”, Mr. Stamenov said.

Mr. Stamenov considers the gas sector provides possibilities for investment. As such, he mentioned the gas interconnections with neighboring countries, the development of gas storage (both upgrade and new ones), the connection of additional municipalities to the national transmission system, as well as gas trading opportunities with the liberalization of the gas market in the country.

TAGS: UKTI | Poland | Warsaw | Great Britain | energy | investments | trade | gas | oil | nuclear | coal 

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