Rome, June 5 2008 The annual summit of e8, the G8 of energy, the organization gathering the presidents of major electricity production companies in the world, was held in La Malbaie (Quebec, Canada).
In the next term (June 2008 - June 2009) this influential organization will be led by Enel President Piero Gnudi, in parallel with the Italian Presidency of G8. Mr Gnudi will bear a task of high responsibility, e.g. bringing the requests of big energy companies to the attention of the 8 most industrialized countries in the world. Decisions taken by G8 countries will be adequate to and coherent with the energy dilemma the world is currently facing: to guarantee plentiful production of electricity (two billion people have no access to it) which is also safe, economical and respectful of the environment.
At the sidelines of the meeting, Piero Gnudi declared: the challenge of energy security and climate protection can be won only through a technological revolution requiring large investments. Electricity companies represent an essential part of this process, which requires steady regulatory frameworks and a favourable approach to the construction of energy infrastructures by the interested communities.
Participants to the summit under the chairmanship of Hydro-Québec, the presidents of the 10 major electricity companies in the world in the G8 countries, e.g. AEP (USA), Duke Energy (USA), EDF (France), ENEL (Italy), Hydro-Québec (Canada), Kansai (Japan), OPG (Canada), JSC "RusHydro" (Russia), RWE (Germany) and TEPCO (Japan). They met to discuss the technological challenges of the sector at the international level and the solutions to address climate change.
E8 Presidents addressed, inter alia, the major issue of the reduction of global levels of greenhouse gases. Discussions, moderated by three eminent personalities of the international energy field, namely, Messrs Claude Mandil (former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency), Steve Specker (President and CEO of the US Electric Power Research Institute) and Gerald Doucet (Secretary General of the World Energy Council), tackled key issues including the selection of existing and emerging mitigating technologies, renewable energies and social acceptance.
In a public statement released immediately following the Summit meeting, the e8 Chairmen offered the following specific guidelines of the electricity sector to fight climate change at the global level, while stressing the importance of global solutions involving all economic sectors:
- It is of the utmost importance to raise public awareness with regards to the significant technical challenges and the considerable financial costs relative to addressing climate change and electricity generation.
- Accessibility, availability, acceptability and abatement potential are the four basic criteria (the four A's) needed to guide all electricity choices.
- Research and Development initiatives must be designed to reduce the cost of zero- and low-carbon solutions in emerging economies, developing countries and industrialized countries.
- The electricity sector needs to work closely with public authorities at all levels to promote policies that favour the development and deployment of energy efficiency programs, as well as the deployment of advanced zero- and low-carbon technologies.
- The establishment of a global framework that takes into account common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and includes all sectors of the economy.
- Zero- and low-carbon technologies such as hydro, nuclear, wind, solar, among other renewables, and advanced coal options must be part of the global solution.