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Report from the 11th IAEE European Conference in Vilnius

Energy Economy, Policies and Supply Security: Surviving the Global Economic Crisis

11th European Conference of International Association for Energy Economics called "Energy Economy, Policies and Supply Security: Surviving the Global Economic Crisis" took place in Lithuania, Vilnius at the Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva on the 25-28 August, 2010. This is a traditional event, which is organized in different European countries in the years when the World Conference of International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) is held in other continents. This year such conference was organized in Vilnius, Lithuania for the first time. The involvement of our countries energy economy experts into the international scientific cooperation networks has granted the right to organize such a high-level conference in Lithuania. The main organizers of this conference are Lithuanian Energy Institute and Association for Energy Economics (Lithuanian IAEE affiliate). Conference chair prof. Jurgis Vilemas believes that this event was an opportunity for worldwide experts to learn more about the Baltic countries' energy development specifics and problems. This is a significant event, which provides a good opportunity to promote new ideas, knowledge and experience exchange between energy economics experts and the general public.

The main goal of the conference was to convene for common discussion global energy experts, scientists, politicians, representatives of major energy companies, who have presented to the members of association and other participants relevant problems of energy sector, related with the developments in energy sector and economy in recent years.

This year's conference was an event of the very wide range taking into account variety of topics and number of participants, represented institutions and countries. More than 230 presentations in the 8 plenary and 46 concurrent sessions were presented, which summarized the latest research results carried out in the various countries. Conference attracted visitors from 38 countries around the world - Germany, Italy, Norway, France, Switzerland, G. Britain, Mexico, Brazil, USA, Australia, South Africa, Russia, etc. The total number of conference participants was about 350 representing various scientific, industrial, energy sectors and institutions.

In the opening plenary session the greeting speeches for participants were made by prof. Jurgis Vilemas, President of the Lithuanian IAEE affiliate, Arvydas Sekmokas Lithuanian Minister of Energy, Lubov Kotzeva the Director of the investment bank NM Rothschild & Sons (this bank have prepared the business model and financing plan for the new Visaginas nuclear power plant), Gintautas Babravičius the Deputy Mayor of Vilnius and prof. Einar Hope the President of the International Association for Energy Economics.

In the plenary session on European energy policy within the global crisis, presentations were made by Christoph Frei, the Secretary General of World Energy Council; Stephan Kamphues, the President of the European Transmission System Operators (ENTSOG); prof. David Newbery from University of Cambridge; Wolfgang Straßburg, Vice president of German energy company RWE Power AG.

European renewable energy policy features and trends in a separate plenary session were overviewed by the Hans van Steen, the Head of Regulatory Policy and Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources unit, EC Directorate General for Energy and Transport; prof. Richard Green from the University of Birmingham; Charles Nielsen, Eurelectric Chairman of Working Group Renewables and Distributed Generation and Prof. Einar Hope, President of IAEE.

European energy security issues were discussed by Leonard Coburn (Coburn Energy International), Dr. Tatiana Mitrova (Energy Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences), Benjamin Schlesinger (Benjamin Schlesinger and Associates) and Manfred Hafner (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei).

One of the plenary sessions was devoted to climate change issues. In this session presentations were made by Hans Jørgen Koch (Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy), Hans ten Berge (Eurelectric), Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy) and Nils Lannefors (Alstom Power).

The future guidelines of liberalized energy markets have presented Gunnar Lundberg (Vattenfall AB), Jean-Michel Glachant (Florence School of Regulation), Michael Pollitt (University of Cambridge), Fedor Veselov (Energy Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences), Mikael Lundin (CEO Nord Pool Spot).

The conference was closed by two parallel plenary sessions: nuclear energy economics and energy efficiency in new economical environment. Competitiveness of nuclear power in global energy markets, its development trends and issues were analyzed by prof. John Parsons from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Tim Büscher, representative from one of the most important energy companies, RWE Technology GmbH; Irina Borysova, Project Manager of World Nuclear Association and Prof. Eugenijus Uspuras, Director of Lithuanian Energy Institute. Energy efficiency issues were discussed by prof. Anders Larsen (Roskilde University), prof. Reinhard Madlener (RWTH Aachen University), Ugo Farinelli (Italian Association for Energy Economics) and Peter Bach (ECEEE).

Topics discussed in the conference concurrent sessions were very broad and comprehensive. Participants of the conference have made presentations on the following topics:

  • Energy supply security
  • Sustainable energy development, climate change mitigation
  • The role of renewables and biofuels
  • Energy demand forecasting
  • Energy analysis and modeling
  • Energy policy
  • Energy supply geopolitics
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Market liberalization and integration
  • Energy sector risk analysis
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Environment

The special session was designed in order to review the Central and Eastern European countries' energy sector problems. The participants have showed high interest in sessions analyzing the problems of renewable energy sources (biomass, wind, hydro, solar) and evaluating its development trends.

The IAEE focus on young scientists and takes various measures to promote the active participation of young energy economists at the conferences. This conference convened more than 70 students from around the world to present their research results. One-third of all students and PhD students were invited to present their research findings by exempting them from the conference participant fee. In this way, young scientists can meet their colleagues and energy experts and to learn about their scientific work.

As every year, the best student paper award competition organized by IAEE attracted significant interest. Applications to participate in this competition were presented by considerable number of young scientists. For IAEE best student paper award competition was selected four presentations: Florentine Schwark from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich, Switzerland), Lurion De Mello from Macquarie University (Australia), Nadia Ameli from University of Berkeley (California, USA) and Vidas Lekavičius, representative of the Lithuanian Energy Institute.

In addition to the scientific program, the conference organizers invited the participants to communicate with each other in an informal setting. This has provided the opportunity to make new contacts, to further discuss ongoing research, to develop new projects that will help to solve today's most widely discussed problems. For those who wished to explore Vilnius, its surroundings and culture sightseeing tours of the city and the ancient capitals of Lithuania - Kernavė and Trakai were organized.

This conference will have long-term benefits for education of energy experts in Lithuania since the conference proceedings are available not only at the website (, but also at the libraries in Lithuanian scientific institutions and universities.

President of IAEE prof. Einar Hope in the final conference speech acknowledged the conference held in Vilnius as one of the most successful IAEE conferences held in European countries in recent years. It should also be mentioned that taking into account the number of participants and the number of institutions represented in this conference it was the largest conference on energy issues in the Baltic States since independence recovery.

By Inga Konstantinavičiūtė and Viktorija Bobinaitė, Lithuanian Energy institute