RIYADH: Highlighting the challenges on the road to the energy transition, energy expert Daniel Yergin called for making concerted efforts and setting realistic goals to achieve success in this regard.
The vice chairman of the American finance and insurance company S&P Global was speaking at a plenary session titled “Energy volatility, security and access” at the 44th conference of the International Association for Energy Economics in Riyadh on Sunday.
Yergin identified the main challenges as energy security, the size and scale of the transition, net zero goals, and government intervention.
He expressed his concern over the different timeframes set by various countries to achieve net zero.
Yergin said it was confusing to note that some countries have set to achieve their net-zero goal by 2050 but China’s goal is 2060 and India seeks to achieve it in 2070.
He also laid emphasis on government intervention in effectively achieving the net-zero goals and fighting climate change.
“A good example of this is the British government’s windfall taxes on North Sea oil,” he stressed.
The S&P Global’s top official also highlighted the importance of increasing copper production to help the energy transition goal but he also expressed concern over different countries’ respective capacities to boost its production as “it takes a long time to open copper mines.”
He said in addition to these challenges, there is a lot of uncertainty nowadays. Yergin said nobody expected the outbreak of COVID-19 or the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It would be difficult to predict what lies ahead, he added.
“The IAEE was founded in 1977 which was a time of energy turbulence and time of energy uncertainty and here, we are in 2023 — a new age of energy turbulence and energy uncertainty,” Yergin said.
“The complexities in the energy transition calls for deeper thinking and analysis.”