KAPSARC’s third Energy Workshop was held at the Center’s campus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 12, 2013. Entitled A Framework for Fuel and Technology Transitions in Energy, the workshop was chaired by Dr. Muhammad Saggaf, President of KAPSARC, and moderated by David Hobbs, KAPSARC’s Head of Research. The workshop was attended by twelve of the Center’s International Advisory Council (IAC) members, in addition to fifteen global researchers and energy industry experts in energy policy, fuel and energy technology dynamics, and energy transitions, who actively participated in the workshop. These included vice presidents, directors, and senior advisors from the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE), Clingendael International Energy Programme, World Economic Forum (WEF), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Energy and Sustainability Institute Groningen, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and BP plc.
The workshop sought to evaluate a framework for understanding fuel and technology transitions to capture the high capital intensity, long lead times, nature of investments in the energy industry, while illustrating the implications of supply chain fundamentals on the competitive dynamics between the new entry and incumbent energy technologies. This framework would become the foundation for evaluating the effectiveness of transition policy in balancing varying drivers including resource conservation, economic development, and environmental goals. In particular, the main theme of the workshop was how to develop policy designed to deliver energy transitions that are rapid, affordable and supportive of local industry.
Workshop attendees, perspective contributors and KAPSARC researchers engaged in dynamic discussions focusing on the following:
Reflections from recent and ongoing energy transitions for managing future transitions
Transition policy priorities given upcoming fuel and technology transition plans
Theoretical frameworks for evaluating the effectiveness of policy in accelerating future transitions
The venue for the workshop was of historical importance for the Center as it was the first KAPSARC workshop to be held within the Center’s campus. The workshop followed the new KAPSARC signature meeting format with participants seated at a round table, which provided an informal atmosphere thereby encouraging free-flowing discussion.
The outcomes of the workshop and their implications on the direction and priorities of KAPSARC’s project of Framework for Fuel and Technology Transitions in Energy will be summarized and published in a working paper in the near future.