Global Supertrends Conference 2022
Panel session: Energy transition – the next wave
- Aw Kah Peng, Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore
- Christof Rühl, Senior Research Scholar, The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, New York and Global Advisor, VPE Capital in Abu Dhabi
- Nobuo Tanaka, Chairman, The Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF)
Moderated by Amanda Drury, CNBC Anchor
The first panel session at the Global Supertrends Conference 2022 delved into the challenges of the energy transition, especially in light of recent disruptions, as well as potential solutions. The speakers highlighted that while the Russia-Ukraine war has led to a temporary spike in the consumption of fossil fuels, the conflict could accelerate the transition to clean energy sources over the longer-term.
“I think Europe, thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has accelerated the move towards more low-carbon fuels and more renewables,” said Nobuo Tanaka, Chairman, The Innovation for Cool Earth Forum.
The challenge for Asia, Mr. Tanaka noted, was to be able to utilize its current energy infrastructure while reducing carbon emissions. He suggested that the answer to this conundrum was the use of green hydrogen in conjunction with ammonia or coal to generate energy.
On nuclear, Mr. Tanaka believed the controversial energy source had to play a role in the transition. However, there were significant risks that needed to be addressed before this could happen on a broad scale.
Christof Rühl, Senior Research Scholar, The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, said that the energy transition would not be an easy process by any measure, and would require fossil fuels and renewables to complement each other in the energy mix. He added that the only way to bring about a transition to clean energy without comprising growth is to harness market forces and technology.
Speaking from the perspective of an energy company, Aw Kah Peng, Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore, said that Shell was investing at scale to play its part in the energy transition.
“We have to invest and execute at a meaningful scale. There are all kinds of areas that we look at, whether it be renewable energy, biofuels, or circularity. And how we make it happen in a way that serves our customers,” she said.
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