World Energy Congress 2016 in Istanbul
From 9th-13th October 2016, the World Congress on Energy was held in Istanbul. It was the 23rd Congress since 1923.
The topics of the congress were distributed over the entire energy area, including the oil and gas production and renewable energies. There were many important statesmen like Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Turkish President Recep Erdogan, including many other government members from different countries, including the visit of Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, the first official meeting after six years frozen relations between Turkey and Israel.
|Side by side, Putin and Erdogan at the conference in Istanbul|
Vladimir Putin talk was about the importance of energy and the price of oil, a remark about a co-operation with OPEC during the speech has moved the oil price to rise by 2 $! He was the only statesmen, who included the words "exponential growth of solar energy".
The issue of energy just brings together not only scientists and engineers but also politicians and diplomats. The global linking of energy distribution, especially natural gas, plays an important role and Turkey was presented as a hub between Asia, Middle East and Europe and the Mediterranean.
The world's energyAll participants have concluded, that the energy transition towards renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, is on the way. However, the completeness and how fast that arrives is controversial. While I am convinced that before the end of the next decade the significant change of the energy system has been completed, Marie-José Nadeau, Chair, World Energy Council believes that in 2060 the share of renewable might reach only 50% of total energy production ,
|Marie-José Nadeau, Chair, World Energy Council|
This is understandable from the perspective of the energy industry. They trade with oil, coal and natural gas. Should the change take place quickly, the oil and the coal is not any longer requested by the market. The industry worries about stranded resources. This means the oil in the ground, on which the wealth of large companies and nations is based, may become worthless.
Key issues in the energy transition in the coming decadesThe importance of the Paris Convention for the CO2 reduction was repeatedly stressed. Generally, however, many see only a shift from coal to natural gas, as is well known, natural gas produces half as much CO2 when it is converted into electricity than coal! This is due to a fact that a methane molecule consists of one carbon and four hydrogen atoms, but also to the better efficiency of gas power plants.
|Key finding: the phenomenal rise of solar and wind energy will continue!|
Power Turntable TurkeyAt the conference in Turkey, the geo- (energy-) strategic role of Turkey was stressed by Erdogan.
Important oil and gas pipelines connect large resources of Asia with European customers, more gas and oil pipelines are planned.
|The strategic position of Turkey|
Finally, the construction of a new gas pipeline connecting Russian and other Asian gas fields to Europe by crossing Turkey was one reason why Putin, but also the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, showed up in Istanbul.
The Importance of Hydro-PowerIt's a certain irony, the most important renewable energy in the global mix, providing at least 71% of all renewable energy is hydropower or 6.8% of global electric energy production, is an often forgotten big player.
The importance of hydropower may lie in a combination of solar, wind and hydro-power. At the conference solar power, as named a water saver, in the form that during the day the turbines are shut down at the dam resulting in increasing water level, during the night, with redoubled turbines, water can be used for power generation. Thus normal dams are important energy storage elements for the energy transition. ot to forget pumped hydro storage or even the new technique of Gravity Storage .
|A nice photoshop picture used as advertising billboard in Istanbul|
There are, at least in Africa and in South America, still many untapped hydropower "reserves". However, anyone was well aware that each dam has also an enormous impact on nature and very often engages in the habitats of people! Especially in India, the water of the rivers is sacred and thus hardly the construction of dams possible as mentioned by Richard M. Taylorlearned Chief Executive, International Hydropower Association.
Africa to get electricityWhile the inhabitants of the Americas and Asia are almost completely supplied with power, in Africa there are still 600 million people without electricity. This means no light, no easy way to charge a mobile phone, no fridge and no welder.
The last day of the conference was therefore devoted to Africa. In Africa, here essentially black sub-Saharan Africa was meant, you have to think about the huge areas and the still sparsely populated countries. This makes the construction of a conventional electric grid network uneconomical and therefore solar energy stand-alone systems and microgrids are very important.
|The forum "Talent and Capacity Building" moderated by Samir Ibrahim from Kenya, right Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy from India, next to Andreas Spiess, Solar Kiosk , from Germany.|
The practical implementation requires some knowledge of electricity and solar energy. Bunker Roy helps the people with his Barefoot College to teach this to everyone. While he teaches women worldwide (Grandmothers) to practical issues of the use of solar energy, an impressive project!
Andreas Spiess tries with his, as he stressed, a commercial solution of the solarkiosk promoting the dissemination of locally adapted use of solar energy in Africa.
There was a international exhibition were companies and countries presented interesting ideas and investment opportunities.
|Booth of Heindl Energy GmbH|
The Heindl Energy GmbH has presented the "Gravity Storage" technology on its exhibition stand. Unfortunately, very few companies from Europe were represented at the fair. The booth was right next Aramco, the largest oil company in the world from Saudi Arabia. As far as I have observed, our stand had awakened almost more interest.
|A 600 MW power plant on the water for emergency cases|
 WEC press release 2016