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

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

09:00 09:50

Keynote - Business-as-(un)usual: the opportunity of change

10:00 11:15

Opening Session

11:45 15:30

Interactive Parallel Sessions

10 Sessions

Big Energy Challenges: Overcoming inertia in investment and ambition

Big energy projects require a courageous appetite for immediate risk and deferred reward, and a long-term view on return-on-investment that may outlive its founding fathers - yet the future of energy prosperity demands that these challenges are overcome. This session looks at examples of how the traditionally constrictive administrative structures of government and commerce have been influenced to support big science and overcome short-termism and discusses how better long term project business cases can be put together.

Cyber security: Three clicks from collapse?

The increasing interconnection and digitisation of the energy sector, along with the sector’s critical role in the functioning of a modern economy, makes the energy sector a highly attractive target for cyber-attacks geared to disrupt operations. Attacks on energy systems could lead to physical damage, with significant impacts on local communities, national security and the economy. The energy sector must adopt measures to prevent, prepare for and respond to cyber events. Greater resilience to cyber risk is critical to current and future energy security. There is a lot is at stake, and new risks have become the focal point of boardroom and cabinet discussion.

To invest or to divest: New realities and responsibilities

The trillion dollars plus annual energy investment is increasingly under pressure to deliver on carbon neutral solutions. In response, a growing number of development banks, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors are black-listing high-CO2 solutions in their investment portfolio and pressured fossil fuel companies to disclose carbon management and risk mitigation strategies. This session looks at the implications of this trend for carbon-based assets, operations and economies, and the alternative approaches to ensure a careful balance of sustainability and security during the transition.

The new people power: Driving change for sustainable energy

Consumer concerns on livelihood and affordability of energy have risen up the political and business agenda. Driven by new and disruptive technologies, greater accessibility to information and influenced by the spread of populism affecting trust in governments and incumbents, consumers and communities are seeking added value, personal relevance and greater societal meaning in their energy choices. The ‘new people power’ is transforming the way consumers interact with energy systems across cities and communities. Questions 1) How are disruptive technologies impacting consumer logic, and to what extent is this driving change in the energy sector? 2) As consumer decisions begin to shape the future of many sectors, such as mobility, heating and electricity, how will this impact the demand for traditional fossil fuels? 3) Can the benefits and costs of successful energy transition be fairly shared?

Getting to grips with blockchain: Do the case studies support the hype?

The Blockchain revolution has been heralded as the magic bullet for everything from poverty to cancer; transforming the energy market by democratising access, optimising storage and transmission, and freeing up the finance logjam through ICOs to empower an innovation explosion. Are those early adopters demonstrating the wide potential of the technology, or is the hope turning into hype?

Communities and the social license to operate

The traditional perception of the community paradox - democratised access but with the heavy industry in someone else's backyard - is being overcome by a new approach to achieving a social licence to operate. From Britain to Beiljng, Cameroon to Canada, case studies are emerging of successful renewable installations not just providing energy, but livelihoods, partnerships and pride. What are the ingredients of success, the consequences of failure, and the 360 benefits of smart community project planning.

Skills, Talent and Leadership: The energy professional of the future

Statistics show that the majority of today's students will be employed in job functions that don’t yet exist, and the advent of AI and automation likely to exacerbate this trend in the energy sector. Coupled to the pull of other industries, how can the industry and education sector work together to prepare the workforce of tomorrow and ensure that the energy sector is an attractive choice?

Rethinking Hydro: Powering tomorrow’s world

Making up nearly 71% of the world’s renewable electricity, hydropower has long been viewed as one of the most dependable forms of green energy and a vital means of electrification for rural communities. Yet worldwide, hydropower potential remains largely untapped with some estimates indicating the availability of approximately 10,000 TWh/year of unutilised potential. Multi-country collaboration offers a solution to harness these resources to meet present and future energy demands. Join this session to share insights and exchange best practices on managing successful multi-country energy collaboration from large-scale hydro projects across the globe.

Financing energy

Energy funding should be booming with a perfect investment triangle: a myraid of active financing vehicles including private capital, public finance , commercial institutions, foundations and funds; a market-stimulated appetite for innovation and project implementation; and a policy environment that stimulates investment. Yet energy remains comparatively one of the poorest sectors for investment. As money pours into the IT and other sectors, this session explores why the energy market remains underinvested, and looks at ways this gap can be addressed.

The future for hydrocarbon economies

The energy transition is posing critical challenges for many of the world’s largest hydrocarbon-based economies, with many nations and global corporations set to curb their reliance on fossil fuels by mid-century. Maintaining energy prosperity whilst balancing the energy Trilemma in providing a secure, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy system is paramount, but the ways in which we produce, trade and use energy are changing in fundamental and faster ways than ever before. Questions 1) What are success stories of hydrocarbon-based countries in diversifying their economies and ensuring prosperity beyond a carbon peak? 2) What are implications on regional dynamics and how do these affect the global push to meet climate change goals? 3) What are new opportunities arising from the energy transition that place infrastructure rich hydrocarbon-based economies?

16:00 17:30

Closing Session

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