News 2013

ICPE lectures - Sustainable Energy Futures, Dr Pradeep Monga, Director, Energy and Climate Change Programme, UNIDO

The second lecture in the ICPE’s lectures series was delivered on 14 March 2013 by Dr Pradeep Monga from UNIDO. The event was opened by ICPE Acting Director General, Mr Janez Podobnik, who presented the guest speaker, a former ICPE MBA student and the current ICPE Alumni Club President. He underlined ICPE’s renewed cooperation with UNIDO and the planned joint activities, which bring further confidence about ICPE’s endeavours towards becoming a hub for sustainable energy and energy efficiency for its member states and beyond. Dr Monga, an expert in the field of energy policy planning, energy technologies and financing mechanisms with over 30 years of working experience, presented his views on new trends in the energy industry with a focus on sustainable solutions, as well as offering the audience a broad view and analysis of the world’s present condition in the field of energy, but also the future we should strive for.

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(from right) Acting Director General Mr Janez Podobnik and Dr Pradeep Monga, Director of Energy & Climate Change Programme, UNIDO

 

Energy security being one of the global mega trends, along with those in demographics, urbanisation and financial markets, it will necessarily shape all our lives. Dr Monga described the interconnectedness between economic growth, environmental sustainability and social equity and inclusiveness, underlying the very fragile balance between the three. He presented all the key documents and agendas that relate to world energy security and labelled energy as the missing MDG (Millennium Development Goal), which clearly signals the diversity or incompatibility of the interests at stake, when it comes to the issue of energy. Dr Monga noted the very unequal distribution of funds between accessing and using the fossil fuels and development of technologies and implementation of policies for renewables and sustainability. In continuation, he linked the primary global energy transitions and transformations to the industrial revolutions: he named the post-2000 revolution with the rise of renewable energy sources and technological innovations a Green Energy Revolution and posed the necessary questions: Will it happen? How? How can we contribute?

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Will we become a sustainable society? We know that energy poverty affects large numbers of the global population, mainly in the global south regions. This means that the energy needs are constantly on the rise, while at the same time the climate change scenarios demand adequate policies and actions to sustain that fragile balance and the environment. In the wake of those, Dr Monga briefly presented the key findings of the Global Energy Assessment Report, launched during the Rio+20 by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). To list a few, energy systems can be transformed to support a sustainable future, energy efficiency is an immediate and effective option, renewable energies are abundant, widely available and increasingly cost effective, while the universal access to modern energy carriers and cleaner cooking is possible by 2030. Here, Dr Monga noted how energy issues connect with diverse, sometimes surprising social issues, such as gender, as implicated in the clean cooking question.

How are we to make energy poverty history, asked Dr Monga. IEA, International Energy Agency estimates that $ 48 billion per annum are required to meet the universal energy access challenge by 2030, while the current yearly investments in energy access amount to $ 9 billion. Furthermore, The EU has recently announced its target to provide access to sustainable energy access to 500 million people in developing countries. How to achieve these goals?

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Dr Monga underlined the potential of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in energy efficiency and energy sustainability, which was also the topic of ICPE’s October 2012 international conference on Benefits and Challenges of Public-Private Partnerships for Improving Energy Efficiency. The Sustainable Energy for All, an initiative launched by the United Nations Secretary-General, is one of the agencies, which sets achievable and ambitions goals for energy sustainability and works towards the 2030 energy agenda. From UNIDO’s own experience, special efforts and strategies are needed to effectively engage the developing countries in this process towards securing energy access where needed most, that is the so-called “critical action areas”. The path to success will be necessarily paved with new approaches. Dr Monga mentioned the systemic one, focusing on the energy-food-water nexus, and the one, which will focus on the use of information technology in energy systems. Finally, the following “4Ps” should be the main pillars of action: Political Commitment, Policy Framework, Private Sector, and Partnerships, while Dr Monga also added the 5th P, namely the People-Centred Approach. Our common goal should be to become part of the solution, and not to remain part of the problem.

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The lecture was followed by a Q & A session, a lively informal discussion, and continued with the second meeting of the ICPE Alumni Club, led by Dr Monga, President, with Mrs Jerina, MSc, Vice-President.

 

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