The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones

July 2016

Dr Rob Whitney speaking at the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) in Tokyo. Image: APERC.

IRANZ Executive Officer Dr Rob Whitney was an invited speaker at the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) and The Institute of Energy Economics (IIEEJ) 50th Anniversary Conference held recently in Tokyo.

Rob is Emeritus Chair of the BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC) and was Executive Chair of World Energy Council (WEC) Scenarios: Composing energy futures to 2050. He was asked to speak on balancing Market and Policy Drivers for addressing the Energy Trilemma "promoting an affordable, secure and environmentally sustainable energy system for the greatest benefit of all", and what was the best energy mix for Asia into the future.

His presentations to the conference were based on work with WEC and BEC. The WEC Scenarios programme was a three-year study conducted by over 60 experts from nearly 30 countries, and developed two contrasting scenarios, the consumer-driven Jazz scenario and the voter-driven Symphony scenario.  BusinessNZ Energy Council BEC2050 Energy Scenarios Kayak and Waka, were developed as scenarios for New Zealand in the context of WEC’s Jazz and Symphony Scenarios.

The message from the conference was that future policies should develop a market environment which drove energy efficiency and the development of low-carbon technologies. The policies would include, but not be limited to, emissions trading. They had to work in an environment where there would continue to be a plentiful supply of fossil fuels. Unconventional gas and oil projects in the United States and elsewhere, and new LNG projects such as the Gorgon Project in Western Australia mean that fears about imminent Peak Oil are a thing of the past.

Conference papers including Rob’s can be found at IEEJ 50th / APERC 20th Anniversary Joint Symposium and APERC Annual Conference - Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre

Rob’s involvement in the Energy Scenarios programmes was supported by CRL Energy.