European energy industry leaders are due to attend and debate the future for European natural gas at a major summit in October, being held in St Paul’s, central London. With the Russian-Ukrainian crisis having dramatically underlined the fragility of Europe’s strategic bargaining position with Russia due to energy dependency, the summit will examine the diversification of, and continued security of supply issues relating to the future use for natural gas within the union.
Leading industry figures including Jean-Francois Cirelli, President of the world’s largest utility company, GDF SUEZ; will debate Europe’s energy future at the 29th annual European Autumn Gas Conference with other key consumers, suppliers and regulators of gas. As European utilities continue to struggle to keep costs of energy for their customers down, the critical role for natural gas in the face of increasingly-demanding carbon emissions tightening by the EU, means decisions made now about energy diversity will impact on all member states over the coming decades. As Europe faces growing competition for fuels such as gas and coal from rapidly-expanding consumer regions such as Asia, the race is on to secure long-term stability, fair pricing and diversity of supply to ensure Europe’s energy demands continue to be met.
Natural gas has struggled to find favour across many European countries in recent years as green energy subsidies and cheaper imported coal have undermined the fuel, but the London summit aims to address the critical role that natural gas has to play as a leading ‘bridge’ fuel to a carbon neutral economy as recently highlighted by the Nobel-prize winning Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Rajendra Pachauri. The report, part of a United Nations review, stated:
“Greenhouse gas emissions from energy supply can be reduced significantly by replacing current world average coal-fired power plants with modern, highly efficient natural gas combined-cycle power plants.”
Such reports have again underlined to the natural gas industry the urgency in raising its game by taking such messages to those in national government, who are required to drive down carbon emissions in the short to medium-term and fulfill emissions obligations.
Many Chief Executives and board-level members of key organisations will be present and making their contributions to the energy debate, including Phillippe Sauquet, President of Total Gas & Power; Marcelino Oreja Arburúa, Chief Executive Officer of ENAGAS; Sean Waring, Managing Director of Interconnector; Jean-Marc Leroy, Chief Executive Officer of Storengy; and Jogchum Brinksma, Managing Director of Citigroup Global Commodities.
The 29th European Autumn Gas Conference takes place between 28 - 30 October at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel, City of London.
Adapted from press release by Callum O'Reilly
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