This section encompasses a wide range of GVC related information, comprising:
- "On The Road", e.g. news about speeches at conferences and symposiae, but also pro-bono activities such as lectures provided
- "Events", e.g. landmark occurences and agreements, but also appearances at/participation in certain events
Berlin 14-15 November 2017
Wolfgang attends the ’23. Euroforum-Jahrestagung (Erd-)Gas 2017’ in Berlin, on 14-15 November 2017. Notably, Euroforum puts, for the first time, (Erd-)Gas in brackets, underpinning that natural gas is the only fossil fuel capable of becoming greener over time.
On day 2, Wolfgang serves as moderator of the day. Moreover, he delivers the key note speech: ’Status der Fortentwicklung des globalen Gasmarktes: Versorgungssicherheit – Interdependenzen – Geopolitik‘.
The gas market has gone ‚global‘ in that it avails now of destination flexible LNG responding to price signals (‘LNG revolution’). Read moreEurope has developed liquid traded markets and is capable of sending out such price signals if markets get tight. It can also absorb any such LNG, since availing of 210 bcm/a of regasification capacity which has on average been ~75% idle. Conform the IEA’s conclusion in its ‘Global Gas Security Review 2016’, security of supply can no longer be viewed on a regional basis. Concerns about exposure to political blackmail, e.g. because of ‘dependency’ on Russia, are no longer warranted.
Cologne, 08 November 2017
Wolfgang attends the ‘ewi Energietagung 2017: ‚Digitalisierung in der Energiewirtschaft‘ in Cologne, on 08 November 2017.
The renowned ewi institute (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universität zu Köln) organized its annual symposium with a focus on digitalization in the energy space with a view to fill it with concrete examples of application. Read moreThe presentation ranged from smart grids towards e-mobility. Noteworthy and a highlight were the three short presentations of 3 young scientists from ewi, i.a. attempting to quantify the peak capacity demand for charging stations.
Brussels, 27 October 2017
Wolfgang attends the ‘Eurogas Annual Conference: Renewable gas: Balancing our energy’ in Brussels, on 27 October 2017.
The European Gas Industry Association Eurogas hosted its traditional Annual Conference. This time, the theme of the Conference was strongly focused on ‘renewable gas’. Read moreImportantly, Eurogas had invited stakeholders from outside the gas industry, e.g. from Greenpeace Energy, the European Biogas Association, the European Climate Foundation etc. with a view to foster dialogue beyond the gas industry. A laudable step away from having ‘gas people talk to gas people’ only and with stimulating, constructive discussions.
Malmö 24-25 October 2017
Wolfgang speaks at the ‘Axpo Nordic Forum 2017’ in Malmö, on 24 October 2017: ‘From champion to ‘fossil of the day’ – A critical view of the German Energiewende’.
The public perception of the German Energiewende as a role model is shifting towards a show case for costly mistakes to be avoided by others. Wolfgang recalls that Germany was declared “fossil of the day” in Marrakech in November 2016 on occasion of COP22. He presents Read morethe excessive costs of the German Energiewende, in reality only a ‘Power-Wende’ and, nonetheless, failing to achieve any CO2 reductions at all. He describes various regulatory instruments rendering the German power market somewhat of a ‘centrally planned economy’ with lavish subsidies and compensations, stifling innovation and market-driven incentives. He qualifies the ‘all-electric’ approach as a fallacy in that it massively increases power demand, amplifying the effects of solar and wind power surplus production when there is no demand and, conversely, the unavailability of solar and wind power at times of ‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’. He demonstrates that gas would not only be needed as ‘back-up’ in case of ‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’, but also, at high load factors, to genuinely cover an increasing power short position. The back-up requirement could be significantly mitigated through the development of the P2G (power-to-gas) technology: it would allow storage of solar and wind power surplus in the gas grids and storages in large quantities and over long-periods of time, which batteries cannot deliver.
Vienna 20 October 2017
Wolfgang attends the prestigious ‘GAR Live Vienna Conference’ in Vienna, on 20 October 2017, hosted by VIAC (Vienna International Arbitration Center).
GAR (Global Arbitration Review) operates around the world and is the leading publisher on international arbitration proceedings and awards. The program covered a wide range of topics Read moreincluding enforcement of awards, international investment arbitration, the effect of political change and a lively ‘Oxford style’ pro-/con debate on the subject ‘This house believes that no party-appointed arbitrator is ever impartial’.
Wolfgang participated in the panel ‘The effect of political change’ and i.a. contributed his views on the second nuclear turn-around in Germany and the excessive financial burden of the renewables policies in pursuit of the ‘Energiewende’ on the German citizens.
Rotterdam 27 September 2017
Wolfgang moderates a panel at the ‘Platts 11th Annual European Gas Summit’ in Düsseldorf, on 27 September 2017: ‘Is natural gas an endangered species?’
Wolfgang introduced the subject by a brief presentation: "The OIES Wake-Up Call – The Future of Gas in Decarbonizing European Energy Markets: the need for a new approach”. He essentially summarized the findings of Prof. Jonathan Stern from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) in his paper ‘The future of gas in decarbonizing European energy markets: the need for a new approach’, by Jonathan Stern, January 2017, OIES Paper NG 116, www.oxfordenergy.org).
Wolfgang’s contribution to the panel deliberations was an upbeat gas advocacy presentation: “Last man standing: Gas to save the day on sector coupling and getting ‘green along the way”. Besides promoting a more assertive style of gas advocacy, he demonstrated the massive increase in electricity demand in an ‘all-electric’ scenario which could not possibly be generated by renewables. The resulting short-position Read morewould have to be covered by gas in order to keep CO2 emissions in check. Besides covering the short position, gas was also needed to tackle the so-called ‘intermittency’ of wind and solar. Wolfgang demonstrated that in the event of ‘Kalte Dunkelflaute’ (cold, no sun, no wind) the entire solar and wind generation capacity needed back-up by gas-fired power plants, easily in the range of >70 GW. He further recalled that the power-to-gas technology was the only one capable to ‘storing’ solar and wind power surplus in large quantities and over long periods of time, hence ‘getting greener’ along the way.
London 13-14 September 2017
Wolfgang delivers a keynote speech at the ‘5th London Gas & LNG Forum 2017’ in London, on 13 September 2017: "The Relevance of U.S. Sanctions in the context of an evolving global gas market”.
Wolfgang qualifies US sanctions unsuitable to foster US American LNG supplies to Europe. It was ‘money talking’ and not sanctions where price spreads between Henry Hub and e.g. TTF would determine whether cargoes would be delivered to Europe. He describes the rapid emergence of a global gas market conform the findings in the IEA’s ‘WEO 2016’ and the IEA’s first ever ‘Global Gas Security Review’ (www.iea.org). Read moreHe explains that, in Europe, security of supply has transformed from bi-lateral physical dependency towards a functionality of price signals. Europe had liquid traded markets and ~210 bcm/a of regas capacity 75% idle. With what the IEA calls a second gas revolution, namely the LNG revolution, there was now destination-flexible LNG available that could and would react to price signals. In the face of this, sanctions e.g. to curb the dominance of a supplier because of concerns of political blackmail were no longer justified.