Conference Programme

09 - 12 September 2019   |   Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of The United Arab Emirates
H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of The United Arab Emirates

Programme is subject to change. Please check back regularly for updates on sessions and the speakers.

09:00 09:50

Keynote - New Visions of Energy for Prosperity

10:00 11:15

Opening Session

11:45 15:30

Interactive Parallel Sessions

11:45

Digitalisation and future energy systems

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The energy system is undergoing a digital transformation. Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things, Big Data, Distributed Ledgers/Blockchain and enabled solutions are revolutionising the way we produce and consume energy. These new technologies will lead to unprecedented levels of efficiency, disintermediation, new business models, improved supply chain management and capital allocation effectiveness, enhanced system resilience and require new ways of thinking. Questions 1) What are examples where digitalisation has already changed energy realities? 2) What are some of the most exciting visions that rely on digital opportunities? 3) What are the main obstacles and challenges associated with digitalisation and how can these be addressed?

11:45

Energy storage: Trends and drivers

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Energy storage solutions are a critical innovation area at the heart of the energy transition as they enable deeper renewables integration and penetration, roll out of off-grid solutions, enable e-mobility and support system resilience. It is a giant opportunity for development and a booming area of research as the industry tracks technologies that may transform energy systems. This session will explore the latest developments in the energy storage space, going beyond batteries and thinking about Power-to-X, digital flexibilization of existing assets and sector coupling solutions and consider the scope of collaboration and investment required to exploit the opportunities. Questions 1) What are some of the most dynamic developments in the storage space? 2) How will these new storage solutions change the system as we know it? 3) What are some of the key risks or potential challenges with these new storage solutions?

11:45

The future of nuclear

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Nuclear technologies remain one of the most divisive subjects in the energy market, with the challenges of capital cost and the perception of risk balanced against energy security, environmental concerns and an integral role in a better strategic energy future mix. This session explores the changing perspectives on nuclear energy’s role in the future energy system, the challenges and the opportunities for international cooperation alongside national priorities and explores the prospects for nuclear energy at the heart of an energy transition that delivers prosperity for all. Is a new story of nuclear energy emerging and, if so, what is “new” about it? Questions 1) How is the role of nuclear in the energy transition changing and why? 2) Are/how are political, social and investor attitudes to nuclear energy changing? 3) Which technological innovations will most impact the future of nuclear by 2040/2060? 4) Which countries will shape the future of nuclear energy to 2040 and how?

11:45

Future of mobility

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To accommodate some of the world’s major trends, the transport and logistics industry is undergoing a major shift in the way it thinks and operates. Mobility is set to become a user-orientated service, designed to offer an integrated reactive multimodal service. Meanwhile industry leaders have started formulating 2050 zero net carbon ambition. Four key trends driving this change that have the potential to be hugely disruptive to the industry are new players, user-focused end to end service, new technologies and solutions, and changing business models. Questions 1) What are some of the most dynamic developments in transport innovation? 2) What are critical success factors that are needed to deliver intelligent low-carbon mobility systems? 3) How will these changes impact the energy sector?

11:45

The role of hydrogen in a sustainable and secure future

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While electrification is an important part of the energy transition solution, electrons alone cannot deliver an economically effective decarbonisation path. Meanwhile, airline transport, shipping, heavy duty transport, and important segments of heavy industry will continue to rely on liquid or gaseous fuels for a long time to come. An increasing number of countries are looking at opportunities to gradually green existing fossil-based supply chains of chemicals with strong hydrogen content (such as ammonia, methanol, formic acid) by producing these through geothermal energy, Power-to-X or other processes that reduce CO2 emissions and use these as energy feedstock, e.g. as input to retrofitted coal plants or fuel cells. Despite important technological and economic challenges, interest in this ‘hydrogen economy 4.0’ is quickly growing, with Japan aiming to get 40 percent of all its energy from hydrogen by 2050 and last year, the world’s first passenger train powered by hydrogen fuel cells began operation in Germany. Questions 1) What are existing projects and examples of such supply chain greening and infrastructure repurposing? 2) What are success factors for such gradual greening to take scale and speed? 3) How can we avoid the risk of dismantling existing (gas & liquids) infrastructure that can serve as backbone for a future hydrogen economy?

11:45

New visions of energy: Succeeding in a context of disruption

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Energy transition is nothing new but achieving a timely, managed and global energy transition presents an unprecedented challenge. An emerging landscape of challenges and exponential growth opportunities exists across whole systems, and ‘Constellations of Disruption’ [sets of innovations that in combination have the potential to disrupt existing supply chains] are reshaping energy systems innovation. No country, company, city or community can achieve the global energy transition alone or all at once, and connecting across countries, sectors, stakeholders and with more diverse policy shapers is essential. How can we make sense of the global and local developments that are reshaping the future outlook for energy systems everywhere? How do we ensure prosperity and competitiveness of our countries and companies in a period of rapid change?

11:45

The renewables revolution

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With the support of a digital disruption and fast technological advances the ongoing energy revolution is likely to further accelerate. The spectacular growth of the solar industry has exceeded expectations of most analysts over the past years and in the meantime the world invests more in renewables than in conventional energies. Renewables are not only a solution to mitigate environmental impacts, but in an increasing number of cases they have become the most cost-effective way to generate and deliver electricity. Nonetheless, the pace at which this revolution is realized is dependent on factors driving the sector, specifically; reliability of energy sources, diversification of investments, regulations support, environmental limitations, costs and finally developments on the fossil fuel sector (i.e. carbon capture). The cost of renewable energy supply has declined faster than expected, but storage and distribution cost challenges remain in taking renewables to a grand scale and in meeting energy-intensive demand. 1) What are the success stories and critical success factors, and where are the biggest growth centres today? 2) What are the main challenges, and how can these be overcome? 3) Are we on track to deliver the required transmission, storage and back-up capacities?

11:45

Deep decarbonisation: New strategies for zero emissions

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The transition in the global economy to meet a goal of zero net emissions by the second half of the century requires commitment and strong strategic leadership from across the political and business spectrum. How are energy leaders developing and delivering long-term strategies to adapt to accelerating shifts in societal, environmental and resilience challenges and be prepared for future policy, technology and market dynamics? And how can real deep decarbonisation be achieved without compromising inclusive energy prosperity? 1) What are examples and learnings from successful decarbonisation strategies? 2) Can they be replicated and taken to scale?

11:45

Beyond Petroleum 2.0

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Almost 20 years ago, as CEO of BP, Lord Browne spearheaded the famous ‘Beyond Petroleum’ campaign. Since then, supply, demand, consumer attitudes and the global approach to carbon dioxide emissions have all undergone profound change. With these developments, ‘Beyond Petroleum’ has taken on renewed meaning, significance and momentum. What lies ahead for an international oil and gas company? A discussion with Lord Browne of Madingley, Executive Chairman, L1 Energy and former CEO, BP plc.

11:45

The future of coal in the global energy transition

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The future of coal remains uncertain, with global trends masking regionally different stories. Coal demand growth is expected to be highest in India and Southeast Asia, where robust economic growth, a rising population and an expanding middle class boost power demand. In North America and Europe coal competes with an abundance of cheap gas and the acceleration of renewable energy supplies. And in China, blue-sky thinking and a decline of coal consumption by key industries have the potential to affect not only domestic demand but coal, gas and electricity prices across the world. Meanwhile, coal remains an important job creation industry which is difficult to transition and can be a source for regional or subnational conflicts of interest. 1) What is the global future for coal? 2) What are the most promising innovations on the CCS & clean coal front? 3) How might coal mining communities better prepare for post-coal futures, and what are the best practices for transitioning their talent back into the wider economy?

11:45

New technology frontiers

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Technology is transforming the way we generate, use, and store energy, presenting both opportunities and challenges for the Grand Energy Transition. From electrons to molecules, graphene to nanotubes, AI to IoT to Blockchain, what are the latest technology trends and how are they transforming the energy landscape? 1) What innovations hold the greatest potential to drive a successful energy transition? 2) How can we scale the transformative effects of these technologies?

11:45

A Sunny Outlook for Solar?

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Solar is the world's fastest growing energy source. Globally there is now 305GW of solar power capacity, up from around 50GW in 2010 and virtually nothing at the turn of the millennium. However, progress has stalled in recent years. Despite the benefits that solar can bring in delivering fast and affordable low-carbon energy, intermittency and land use continue to be key challenges. 1) What will it take to get the solar industry to deliver on its great potential? 2) What are the key challenges to uptake and how can they be overcome? 3) What are some of the latest success stories?

11:45

Energising the circular economy

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As linear consumption reaches its limits, our society must make a fundamental shift from the “take, make, dispose” model to one that “reduces, reuses, recycles” materials. According to some estimates, more than a trillion dollars could be generated and almost 70% of carbon emissions could be cut if a key set of circular economy measures were adopted. The energy industry can play a key role in driving this forward, particularly through recycling of batteries and waste-to-energy production. 1) What are the key business opportunities for the energy industry in the circular economy? 2) Where can we see circular business models emerging and who is driving them? 3) What are some success stories?

11:45

Countering short-termism: Selling the long-term energy vision

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Whether it is winning the next election or ensuring that the company share price is buoyant, the construct of modern society favours and rewards short-termism over long term sustainable planning. Drawing from the challenges and successes from nations and organisations that are successfully implementing responsible energy strategies, this session explores ways in which goal setting, policy and incentivisation can be optimised to reward and de-risk long term thinking.

11:45

New Regional Perspectives: Critical enablers to Africa’s energy transition

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Africa’s energy transition is on the move but needs to accelerate and gain greater traction with critical enablers such as energy integration, market design and renewable energy. This session explores the challenges and opportunities around critical transition enablers and reviews the current status of progress. 1) What does it take to deliver progress on large regional integration projects? 2) What are the right market design ingredients for the energy sector that also align with the African Free Trade agreement? 3) What is the ambition and feasible roadmap for renewable energy for the energy transition in Africa?

11:45

New Regional Perspectives: The role of gas in the transition to a lower carbon economy in the Middle East

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Demand for natural gas for power generation and desalination is rising rapidly, forcing several Middle Eastern countries to import LNG at high cost. The recent discovery of a giant gas field by Saudi Arabia, a rush of new gas projects in the UAE and the emergence of Egypt as a major gas producer may lead to greater gas self-sufficiency. Regional infrastructure integration projects have the potential to dramatically improve energy security. 1) Will this incremental gas be enough to create an efficient regional gas market? What are the stumbling blocks? 2) How realistic is the prospect for creating new gas hubs while energy subsidies remain in place? 3) The cost of renewables has fallen in recent years. Can gas compete?

11:45

The Energy Consumer 4.0

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Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, dematerialisation and changing mobility needs, shifting demographics and urban/rural patterns, as well as evolving values are changing consumer behaviours and preferences with potentially profound implications on resource and energy footprints. Energy providers will need to adapt to a new decentralized, decarbonized and digital world if they are to successfully engage the energy consumer 4.0. 1) What defines the consumer 4.0? 2) How can we successfully reach the consumer 4.0? 3) What will drive and change their energy footprint? 4) How fast will change happen?

16:00 17:30

Closing Session

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