UK experts to discuss energy challenges
Doha, November 5, 2011
Leading academic researchers in the field of energy from UK and Gulf institutions will discuss the advancement of renewable energy and address the challenges to and the need for alternative energy sources at a major symposium to be held next week in Doha.
Organised by the British Council in collaboration with the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), ‘The Energy Security Symposium’ aims to review recent advances, challenges and issues in the field of renewable energy in Gulf.
This symposium also enable the formation of Gulf-UK research networks with a view to collaborating universities applying for British Council support to develop multi-lateral partnerships.
Since the 1930s, the Middle East has emerged as the world’s most important source of energy and the key to the stability of the global economy.
Today, this region produces 37 per cent of the world’s oil and 18 per cent of its gas. While the Middle East region has a reserve of 56 per cent of world oil (including crude oil and condensate); alternative and renewable energy are still the focal point of environmental discussions and in the Gulf states.
The reason is not only the extension of future access to resources but also is the devastating state of our environment. The use of nuclear power, oil, gas and coal all produce a great deal of waste product which pollutes the environment and increases the affects of global warming. It is also clear that the environmental movement will play an increasingly important role in protecting the future of our planet.
While global warning is not only an issue in the Middle East, but is very much a global issue, there is no single solution to today’s energy crisis.
However, the combination of all viable renewable energy resources coupled with energy efficiency, and smart grid development will not only lead the Middle East towards energy independence and a cleaner, more sustainable energy infrastructure, but also to what will soon prove to be the greatest business and investment opportunity of the 21st century.
'Energy security cuts across a range of global issues from the environment, development, economics and geopolitics. As countries try to curb their emissions, reduce their dependency on fossil fuels yet increase their prosperity, energy research has become essential,' said Christopher Palmer , British Council Saudi Arabia; formerly leading on the British Council Climate Projects.
'Whether it be research into reducing energy costs of buildings through use of traditional wind tower technology, running engines on bio-fuels and water or exploiting the power of thermal, wave and solar energy to reduce the dependency on coal fired power stations, the race is on to find more sustainable ways of meeting the growing energy needs of the planet.'
'This event provides an opportunity for researchers from the Middle East region and the UK to share their research and build understanding of this vitally important shared agenda,' he added.
The symposium will be directed by Prof Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, director of Energy Research, Oxford University.
According to him, the Gulf region played a key role in the discussion of energy, both as a major producer of oil and gas, and as a profligate consumer of energy.
'Directing the symposium will allow me to understand better the efforts that are being made to reduce energy use and expand the use of renewable in the region,' he remarked.
'It will also provide an opportunity to look for collaborators wishing to work with us in Oxford on solar, marine and nuclear energy technologies, future modes of transport, demand reduction and management, energy efficiency and storage, future oil and gas markets, and a range of policy issues,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service