OPENING PLENARY: GUARDING ENERGY SECURITY: WINTER 2023 AND BEYOND
Securing enough supplies for the next winter season and meeting the storage obligations remains a key challenge for Europe. While the EU managed to fill its energy storage facilities for Winter 2022-23, shortage concerns are still on everybody’s minds, in the search for long-term solutions to replace Russian gas. But smarter storage solutions will not be enough – energy efficiency will have to be improved as well, in order to go through next winter and comply with the Green Deal’s objectives.
INTERVIEW - NEW ENERGY SCENARIOS
The response of governments to the war in Ukraine has plunged the world into an energy security mindset, with Europe doubling down on renewable energy investments. But is Europe doing enough to meet the goals of the Paris agreement? Where do we need to move more quickly to achieve net zero by 2050?
To help explore these challenges, Shell is pleased to share The Energy Security Scenarios: Archipelagos and Sky 2050. The scenarios explore how the world could possibly evolve under different sets of assumptions and can help individuals and organisations think about the long-term challenges that they, and the world at large, could face. The Archipelagos scenario seeks to follow a possible path from where the world was in 2022, while Sky 2050 takes a “normative approach” that starts with a desired outcome and works backwards to explore how that outcome could be achieved. In the case of Sky 2050, the future it is aimed at is a world that accomplishes net-zero emissions by 2050.
FUEL OF THE FUTURE: CAN HYDROGEN BE THE KEY TO DECARBONISATION?
The European Union is increasingly betting on hydrogen to play an important role in the bloc’s decarbonization plans. The European Commission laid out plans for a “European Hydrogen Bank” and clarified criteria for what qualifies as renewable hydrogen. But not everyone agrees on how big of a role this flourishing market should play:
INGRAINING SUSTAINABILITY IN EUROPE’S FOOD SYSTEMS
The war in Ukraine has highlighted some of the EU’s dependencies in its food supply chains. Food security is central, and we are facing many challenges. Our food systems need to be less wasteful, decarbonised, and resilient – both to adapt to climate change and to mitigate its effects. The EU is faced with degraded soil quality and a sharp decrease in biodiversity. Innovations such as precision farming or new alternatives to fertilisers can offer solutions to achieve the Green Deal’s objectives of a 50 % reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and a 25% increase in the share of organic farming.
INTERVIEW - THE RENEWABLE REVOLUTION: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
As the shift towards renewable energy accelerates, expanding the EU’s self-produced energy base will be key for Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, all while maintaining low-carbon growth and prosperity. In unlocking these opportunities for industry and consumers, and achieving the EU’s goal of strategic autonomy, some questions remain about how to ensure that the wide-scale adoption of solar, wind and other sources maintains respect for landscapes and communities.
BUSINESS LEADERS LUNCH (BY INVITATION ONLY)
THE ROAD TO SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Transport accounts for approximately 25% of all EU emissions. Emissions have continued to increase, mainly as a result of increased demand for freight transport. In a globalised world economy, reliant on complex international supply chains, how can the EU balance the benefits of transport including connectivity, growth, and employment with its ambitious goal of climate neutrality?
ELECTRICITY MARKET REFORM: TOWARDS FAIRLY PRICED AND RENEWABLE ENERGY?
As the share of electricity produced by renewables (mainly solar and wind) is expected to grow to more than 60% by 2030 and given the volatility of the EU’s energy market in 2022, with high prices and concerns about security of supply, the Commission has unveiled plans to structurally reform the electricity market with the aim of boosting Europe’s self-produced energy base, lowering prices and achieving climate neutrality.
POWERING UP CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES IN EUROPE
Fossil fuels still represent an important part of the EU’s energy mix. While they are being phased out, we undoubtedly need to develop more clean technologies, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) to attenuate their effect, as well as new clean technologies to achieve net zero by 2050.
LIGHTS OUT? CAN THE EU’S ENERGY AND INDUSTRIAL POLICY SAVE THE CONTINENT’S COMPETITIVENESS?
The current energy crisis and ensuing inflation have considerably eroded EU consumers’ purchasing power and have also slowed down European production. Although the EU has responded with concrete measures a strong and united response to this economic situation could further soften the blow.