Investment in Energy Innovation Essential Say Panel of Leading International Scientists and Political Leaders

Oct 30, 2012, 04:46 ET from Fleishman-Hillard SA

MOSCOW, October 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Speaking at the Global Energy Prize Summit in Moscow eminent international scientists and senior figures from the Russian government underlined the need for investment in research and innovation in the energy sector. Contributors to the summit, including the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, stressed the need for an efficient use of energy resources.

The summit was part of the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Global Energy Prize, the most prestigious annual award for outstanding scientific research and technological development. This year's summit focused upon how breakthrough technologies can solve the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Speakers at the event included laureates of the Global Energy Prize, representatives of the Board of Gazprom, the China State Grid Corporation, the government of Latvia and the International Gas Union.

In a message to summit participants President Putin said "Today energy resources and their efficiency have become the key factor in the steady development of national economies, determining the quality of people's lives. That is why the efforts of energy scientists, their fundamental work and practical discoveries are in great demand. After all, their work will give us new and promising oil and gas fields, the technology for deep processing raw materials, the most modern approaches to energy efficiency and alternative energy sources."

In its latest World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency argued that a focus on efficiency could have major benefits for the Russian Federation and the world's energy balance. It suggested that if Russia improved its energy efficiency to levels of comparable OECD countries it could reduce its primary energy use by almost one-third, saving as much gas as its total gas exports in 2010 or the equivalent of the total energy consumption of the United Kingdom.  According to its state program on "Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency Improvement until 2020", Russia's is seeking to achieve a 40% reduction in energy intensity by 2020 and 56% by 2030.  In addition, it is striving to achieve 53% efficiency in gas-fired power generation by 2030. 

Deputy Russian Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky noted that the Russian Federation now provided around 20% of global production of natural gas and that exports were expected to significantly increase with growing demand from Asia. To meet growing international demand and to increase efficiency within Russia he underlined that significant investment was needed in the country. "Annual investments in the fuel and energy sector in Russia accounted for 4% of pre-crisis GDP. In recent years they have increased and are close to 5%. For the next decade we need investments of around 1 trillion US dollars" the deputy minister said.

Speaking at the summit, Global Energy Prize laureate and co-author of Russia's energy strategy to 2020 Alexey Kontorovich called for continued investment in energy research as a route for the social and economic improvement of Russia. "For a breakthrough development of Russian society requires serious public investment in basic research projects that will not provide a short term return."

ThorsteinnIngiSigfusson, President of Icelandic New Energy, expert on geothermal energy said: "The world is on the threshold of the third industrial revolution. The first was when they began to use steam and coal in England. Second - when the course went nuclear and oil. Third - be smart, intelligent revolution, based on the Internet, smart solutions and green technologies."

"Never before have we had such strong, compelling political momentum to act and the support of so many international stakeholders to take energy issues forward in a positive, concrete and constructive way", stressed Mr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO, in an official statement on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Global Energy Prize.

About the Global Energy Prize

The Global Energy Prize is an independent international award for outstanding research and scientific and technical development in the field of energy, which promote efficient use of energy resources and environmental safety in the world in the interests of all mankind.

The award was established in 2002. The annual prize fund is 33 million rubles. Traditionally, the award is given to the President of Russia in St. Petersburg at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Other world leaders who have supported the prize include former US President George W. Bush, former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, former French President Jacques Chirac and Canadian Prime Minister, Steven Harper. Since 2003, the award was 27 eminent scientists from France, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Russia, USA, France, Ukraine and Japan.

SOURCE Fleishman-Hillard SA