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Energy Security in Focus: Al-Attiyah Foundation Hosts High-Level Roundtable

Energy Security in Focus: Al-Attiyah Foundation Hosts High-Level Roundtable

Top decision-makers, internationally renowned experts, and dignitaries gathered on Wednesday in Doha to examine current and potential factors affecting energy security during the ‘2nd Al-Attiyah Foundation CEO Roundtable 2024’.

Titled ‘Energy Security: Future Demand and Promising Options’, the high-profile event was moderated by broadcaster Axel Threlfall.

Joining in-person and virtually, the guest speakers were Charles Hendry, former Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change for the UK; Dario Liguti, director of the Sustainable Energy Division at the UN Economic Commission for Europe; Paul Salem, president and CEO of the Middle East Institute; Adam Chase, partner lead for Sustainable Energy Solutions at ERM; and Juan Vazquez, partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group.

While energy security is not easy to define because it is a multifaceted concept, there are various dimensions of particular relevance, including physical disruption of supplies resulting from infrastructure breakdown, natural disasters, or social unrest; long-term physical availability of energy supplies to meet growing demand in the future; and deleterious effects on economic activity due to energy shortages.

The discussion delved into how ongoing global conflicts have affected energy security. The Russia-Ukraine war continues to have a major effect on the European energy outlook, particularly due to the loss of the Nord Stream pipelines from Russia to Germany.

In the months and years since the conflict began, Norway has replaced Russia as the largest gas supplier, while a combination of mild winter temperatures, and the boost of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from international suppliers ensured Europe could plan and survive winters.

The war has emphasised Europe’s need to achieve independence from Russian fossil fuel imports and inadvertently helped the continent make bigger strides towards its energy transition targets.

Furthermore, since the conflict began, renewable power generation in Europe has increased in keeping with green energy targets and as a response to energy security fears.

According to statistics from WindEurope, the share of wind in the EU electricity mix from 2021 to 2023 rose from 14% to 19%, and annual wind energy production went from 375 TWh to 466 TWh. This jump in wind power now means 95 bcm less need for gas every year and 119mn tonnes of avoided CO2.

The panel also discussed juggling the rising demand for energy and the global need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy, primary energy consumption rose 1.4% yearly in the last decade. This data highlights that the world is faced with rising energy demands (and consequential CO2 emissions) and the need to reduce CO2 emissions.

Speaking at the event, HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Al-Attiyah Foundation and Qatar’s former Minister of Energy and Industry, said: “It gave me great pleasure to host the second Roundtable of 2024 and to hear valuable insights from our member CEOs and expert guest speakers. Energy security has become more prominent in recent years due to many factors including its impact on access to reliable and affordable energy.”