Publiceret: 24.05.2018Af Lotte Malene Ruby mail
New innovative solutions are the way forward if the energy sector is to become more green. But innovation demands investment, and this was the focus of the Clean Energy Investment Forum, which brought together a large number of international representatives from governments, businesses and investors on Tuesday, 22 May at Industriens Hus.
The conference was a side event of Nordic Clean Energy Week, co-hosted by Denmark and Sweden this past week.
At the conference, Tine Roed, Director at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) offered a Danish perspective on the investment debate. Although Denmark is in a leader in clean energy, we cannot take the success for granted, she notes.
“For several years, private sector investments in research have not increased. We must take a leap now – both when it comes to public and private investments in research – if we are to maintain our leading position within energy technology. We can see that there is a correlation between the money we spend on research and how much we export. That is yet another reason to increase investments,” said Tine Roed.
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The DI director therefore welcomes the dialogue between the many involved parties that such a conference facilitates. As does Vestas, the sponsor of Nordic Clean Energy Week.
According to Senior Vice President, Innovation and Concepts at Vestas, Bo Svoldgaard, the wind turbine manufacturer has a “clear focus on investing Vestas into the future”.
If clean energy is to be attractive, it is necessary to continue researching and investing in technology and the testing of that technology, he says. Therefore, there is also still a need for more publicly funded projects.
“We want to return to the ‘energy billion’,” says Bo Svoldgaard, referring to cuts to the public funding for energy research, which currently only amounts to DKK 500 million.
Minister of Energy Lars Lilleholt, who took part in initiating the Clean Energy Investment Forum, started off by thanking Danish businesses for their part in Denmark’s success as a green front-runner. Meanwhile, he acknowledged that it will take even more in the future, both in Denmark and globally.
“We need action. We need more investments in clean energy. It will require investments of millions of dollars towards 2050. It is a challenge, but it is also a possibility. The clean energy transition can create jobs, economic development and a better environment – and we can make it happen if we cooperate across borders,” the Minister of Energy emphasised.
Trump’s Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette represented the United States at the conference. He stressed that the US will continue to take an active role – both in innovation and in making the necessary investments.
“We live in exciting times where we are seeing a cascade of technological breakthroughs driven by innovation. Right now in the US, we are not only producing a surplus of cheap energy from many more sources than we had dared to hope. We are also using the energy in a far cleaner way than before – and that means lower CO2 emissions,” said the vice secretary.
Dan Brouillette also emphasised that clean energy transition in his view involves the both use of new energy sources and cleaner use of the fossil fuels that the world will continue to be dependent on for some time.
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At Haldor Topsoe, they are also acutely aware of the necessity of investment in innovation, both for the private sector and for green transition. According to Jens Sehested, Director of Research & Development, the company is deeply dependent on continuous innovation.
“That’s why research is a high priority here at Topsoe. We spend 10 per cent of revenue on research and development,” he says.
But just like at Vestas, Jens Sehested also emphasises the need for Danish politicians to increase investments in energy technology.
“Innovation, I believe, is the only way in which we can hold our own against competitors and retain jobs in Denmark. Politicians therefore also have a great responsibility to create the framework necessary for research to prosper both in the private sector and at universities,” he says.
About Clean Energy Investment Forum
The conference is a side event of the ninth CEM conference, co-hosted by Denmark and Sweden under the title Nordic Clean Energy Week.
Clean Energy Investment Forum is a conference dedicated to innovation, financing and investment in a greener energy sector.
CEM is a union of 24 nations and the EU, which together account for 75 per cent of global CO2 emissions.
CEM focuses on practical cooperation, sharing knowledge and experience and engaging private-sector partners in the task to solve climate change issues.
Read more about Nordic Clean Energy Week here