CAIRO: Saudi Arabia will host the 44th International Association for Energy Economics International Conference from Feb. 4-9 to discuss the path for a sustainable future.
To be held for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region, the event is set to take place at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh in cooperation with the Saudi Association for Energy Economics.
“It will be the first time the IAEE is organizing its annual conference in the MENA region, a region that has produced more than 40 percent of the world’s oil and gas over the past two decades,” Fahad Alajlan, KAPSARC president, said in a statement.
The event will be addressing critical topics under the theme “Pathways to a clean, stable and sustainable energy future” by facilitating academic evidence-based solutions and providing a platform for productive dialogue and problem-solving capacities
The conference is set to host over 500 delegates from over 40 nationalities to participate in 10 plenary sessions.
In-depth topics include carbon capture, circular carbon economy, the role of hydrogen in energy transition, the impact of oil price volatility on supply and investment, and the challenges facing the power sector in the MENA region.
The conference provides the opportunity for academia, industry, government and scientific experts to assess the evolving energy landscape to explore ideas and strategies to ensure the future of a low-carbon future.
“Since its inception, KAPSARC has been very active in conducting critical research on energy economics and climate sustainability. The upcoming IAEE conference, hosted for the first time in the Middle East, is a wonderful opportunity to visit KAPSARC and Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh,” Yukari Yamashita, IAEE’s managing director, said in a statement.
The event will host high-level attendees featuring keynotes sessions, workshops and plenary discussions to shape policies around the climate agenda.
On Feb. 4, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman will inaugurate the event with a keynote speech followed by a conversation with Daniel Yergin, vice chairman at S&P Global.
Before the energy minister’s key note address, the event will host an invitation-only IAEE Council meeting followed by a Young Professionals and Scholars Day in Hilton Riyadh.
On the second day of the event, Alajlan will give his opening remarks accompanied with Majid Al-Moneef, chairman of the board at SAEE and Jean-Michel Glachant, IAEE president.
The first plenary session will be themed “Energy Volatility, Security, and Access.” It will outline modern energy access in rural and developing regions in line with solving the world’s problems in economic growth and prosperity.
The second day will feature dual-track sessions titled “Energy Investments and Financing’ and ‘Energy and Trade.”
Day three will include a plenary session titled “Pathways to Energy Transitions” to explore whether climate ambitions and energy security can be harmonized by raising the question: What realistic pathways could best meet global and regional goals and the aspirations of a just energy transition?
It will be followed by dual sessions as track one will hold the session “Energy, Development, and Climate Change” to explore the link between economic development and environmental conservation by highlighting factors that can simultaneously ensure the pursuit of both.
Track two will lead the examination of problems from technology to geopolitics to gain a more descriptive insight into the underappreciated aspect of the energy transition in a session themed “Energy, Water, Food, and Minerals Interconnections.”
On Feb. 7, the session “Energy, Mobility, and Technology” will kick off the day to shed light on the technology and regulatory options needed to deliver these services while meeting the multi-dimensional challenges of resource use, emissions, cost and impact on the urban environment.
The sessions will move on to explore the opportunities and challenges arising in the industry with two sessions “Energy Efficiency and Industrial Competitiveness” and “Challenges and Opportunities for the Power Sector.”
Day five will begin with renowned economists in the panel titled “Economy and Energy Diversification in MENA.”
The closing session will be hosted by Al-Moneef, Glachant, Fahad Al-Turki, VP of knowledge and analysis at KAPSARC, Gurkan Kumbaroglu, professor of industrial engineering at Bogazici University, Christophe Bonnery, president at the French Association for Energy Economics, followed by closing remarks from Alajlan.
Day six will be a technical tour of the Shaybah Oil Production Facility in Rub Al-Khali, the largest extended desert in the world.
The tour will include visits to Saudi Aramco’s Shaybah facility as well as the 637 sq. km Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary, an Aramco-sponsored biodiversity protection area that is home to native plant and animal species.
The event will also discuss COVID-19’s impact on energy and energy poverty and sustainable development goals in addition to shedding light on academic research and case studies.
The 43rd IAEE Conference was held in mid-2022 in Tokyo, Japan, titled “Mapping the Energy Future — Voyage in Uncharted Territory” which discussed the impact of new geopolitical conditions and technological progress in energy markets.
Key takeaways from last year’s event were the increase in investments in innovative solutions which was estimated to reach $209 billion by 2030, according to Fumihiko Ito, chief sustainability officer at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., and the role of global collaboration to ensure a smoother energy transition.
Other important discussions were around the technologies that tackle carbon emissions as well as risk assessment and intervention planning.