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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

An eventful first day of International Energy Week 2023


Five panellists sat on International Energy Week stage with screen behind them Photo: Oliver Dixon Photography, for the Energy Institute 
Day one of International Energy Week 2023

Photo: Oliver Dixon Photography, for the Energy Institute 

Day one of International Energy Week 2023 included presentations from industry executives such as BP CEO Bernard Looney and Elbia Gannoum, President of the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, as well as thought leaders including Professor Jim Skea of Imperial College London and the IPCC Working Group, and the Rt Hon Charles Hendry, Former Energy Minister for the UK government and Energy Institute (EI) Vice President. The EI also shared some important news (see Box), whilst activists outside and inside the event drew attention to the ongoing climate emergency.

During a Q&A with EI President Juliet Davenport OBE FEI, Founder of Good Energy, the Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE, Chair of the Net Zero Review and UK Member of Parliament, described the nation’s net zero target as ‘not just an environmental framework’ but rather as ‘the economic opportunity of the 21st century’. Referencing his net zero review report, Mission Zero, published earlier this year, he argued firmly that taking advantage of the UK’s leadership in the renewable energy sector will ‘make us warmer and richer; not colder and poorer’.


Skidmore also emphasised that: ‘The shouts [of the activists] outside today are reflective of the fact that we don’t live in an energy industry bubble… We’ve got to take the whole of society with us, including those who think the transition goes too far as well as those who think it doesn’t go far enough.’


The MP’s air of optimism was shared by BP CEO Bernard Looney, who said: ‘[Net zero] is a massive opportunity for companies like ours.’ Looney outlined his plans for BP to seize this opportunity and become an ‘integrated energy company’ through an ‘orderly transition’ that involves investing in oil and gas and (not or) ‘transition growth engines’ throughout the next few decades.


Energy security was a topical area of discussion. Dr Carole Nakhle, CEO of Crystol Energy and a Member of the International Energy Week Board, was resolute that ‘energy security is about diversity’. She argued that volatility is not a problem for an energy system so long as it can adjust to that volatility. This sentiment was echoed by EI Vice President Charles Hendry, who described the ‘fundamental purpose of energy policy’ as ‘to build systems that can withstand massive external shocks’. He added that: ‘Policy makers internationally need to make sure that the current situation [the triple energy crisis] never happens again.’


The CEO of XLinks, Simon Morrish, agreed that diversity is key to energy security but also reminded his fellow panellists that putting energy security first can mean ‘forgetting about the impact of climate change’. He described how continued global warming will lead to mass migrations away from areas around the equator, with repercussions for energy security in a number of ways.


Indeed, Imperial College’s Jim Skea also drew attention to the fact that the science on climate change is now ‘undisputed, unequivocal’, ending once and for all any credibility among climate sceptic claims. Contrary to suggestions that investment into hydrocarbons should increase, he reiterated the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) findings that: ‘To achieve the 1.5℃ target, coal needs to reduce by 95%, oil by 60% and gas by 45% by 2050.’



EI inherits historic Statistical Review of World Energy 

Yesterday, Energy Institute CEO Nick Wayth announced that the EI will become the new custodian of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. The free annual publication is broadly considered to be the most comprehensive, objective and up-to-date analysis of global energy data.


BP has published the review every year since 1952, but is handing over custodianship to the EI. The supermajor will remain a key contributor to the publication for the next three years, which will henceforth be known as The Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy, including participating in a new advisory board. KPMG and Kearney will also become EI partners for the Statistical Review.


BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said: ‘The Energy Institute, as the leading, independent, professional body for energy, is the perfect new custodian. BP will work closely with the Energy Institute to handover our role in producing the Statistical Review and will continue to support and champion its role in the future.’


EI President Juliet Davenport OBE HonFEI said: ‘We are pleased to welcome the Statistical Review to its new home at the Energy Institute, where it has a long-term, independent, free-to-access future providing the vital data and insights needed by the industry, its workforce and wider society as we accelerate the energy transition.’