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EI President points to growth economies as focus for climate action and opportunity for UK Plc

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With global energy demand set to soar as billions of people in lower and middle-income countries move into the middle classes, EI President Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng FEI earlier this month set out to the Southern Scotland branch the opportunities for UK plc in addressing this acute challenge.

In his Energy Review 2019 address at Edinburgh Napier University, Malcolm spoke of a series of global megatrends – population growth, mass urbanisation, climate change – shaping the world’s future energy system.

‘When we talk about a clean growth strategy, we should focus much more on the immense challenge and opportunity of providing low carbon solutions to rapidly growing economies’ he said, ‘by building new supply chains founded on disruptive technologies and innovative business models.’

‘For all the current focus on renewable power, the overall global primary energy mix is remarkably little changed from 40 years ago, yet almost two and a half times as much energy is consumed now.’

‘What happens in the future energy mix depends greatly on global megatrends’, he said, ‘The pace of this growth in population and urbanisation creates a huge need for more energy and more transport – which in turn exacerbate the pressing challenges of climate change and air pollution.’

But his conclusion was positive – ‘I am an optimist – and believe that humankind has the capability to resolve these issues. With technological disruption in our energy and transport systems, we can build a world in which everyone, irrespective of where they live, has access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.’

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