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Start of the new edition of the Energy and Climate Change School: "Energy supply security. A preventative energy policy"

March 16, 2009

Seville, 16 March 2008. The Director General of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, Anabel Morillo León, and the Director of Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) in Seville, José Luis Martín Navarro, today opened a new edition of the Energy and Climate Change School entitled Energy supply security. A preventative energy policy, which takes place at the Hospital de los Venerables in Seville until Thursday 19 March.

Anabel Morillo and José Luis Martín were joined by Juan Carlos Jiménez, Assistant Director of information studies, documentation and management of the National Energy Commission of Spain; Rolf Linkohr, Director of the Centre for European Energy Strategy and Director of this edition of the school, and Antonio Miguel Bernal, President of the academic board of the UIMP in Seville.

After the official opening, Rolf Linkohr presented the program for the course entitled "Energy Supply security. A preventative energy policy", which will analyse Europe's energy situation and its growing dependence on other countries. The program will also look for solutions to allow European countries to become self sufficient with other types of non-conventional energy to help prevent potential problems related to energy supply.

Linkohr used the opening ceremony to outline the characteristics of this dependency: the willingness of energy producing countries to sell energy to Europe, the future price of gas and oil and the unpredictability of international energy policy. All of this means that ongoing political conflicts between various countries could affect energy supply in any given country, such as the recent experience of various Eastern European states as a result of the gas dispute between the Ukraine and Russia.

In a free market there would be no supply problems since energy would be bought and sold based on any individual need and the price would be set by the law of demand and supply. Therefore in the current energy situation, it is essential to use and develop every available technology to supply energy, and multiplicity and diversity have become the response to supply insecurity.

Juan Carlos Jiménez, Assistant Director of information studies, documentation and management of the National Energy Commission of Spain, who explained the Risks and opportunities in the energy sector.

Tomorrow will begin with the conference by Rolf Linkohr, former chairman of the Energy Committee of the European Parliament and member of the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy of the European Parliament, who will focus his speech on the importance of reducing energy dependency on conventional energy producing countries and will identify potential solutions to the current energy problem.

He will be followed by Cristóbal Burgos-Alonso, head of the EU's Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, who will look at the security of European supply.

In the afternoon, the school will move to the Solúcar platform, which Abengoa Solar has constructed in Sanlúcar la Mayor, Seville. Participants will be able to look around the largest solar platform in Europe, home to nearly every type of solar technology that is being commercially operated or exists as a demonstration.

The school forms part of the Focus-Abengoa Forum on Energy and Climate Change, which aims to promote, through public discussions, a genuine open platform for the research, presentation and debate of ideas and results through actions that it may deem relevant at any given time based on the nature of the issues that are going to be analysed. Furthermore, the School aims to encourage a wide-ranging and open debate so that it can incorporate and compare as many alternative initiatives as appropriate in relation to renewable energy, with all the aspects related to climate change.

This year the Focus-Abengoa Foundation is planning to look at energy and climate change, both very current issues, through specific activities that will take place at its headquarters, including the Energy and Climate Change School, the World Biofuels conference and the three year research program in collaboration with Fedea.

The three initiatives are focused on those fields in which Abengoa can make a relevant contribution, thanks to its activities, as a company at the forefront of technological and innovative solutions contributing to sustainable development.

Climate change and the relentless demand for energy are forcing countries to rethink their development strategies. This course aims to become the ideal framework for analysing, studying, evaluating and thinking about this challenge from a political-institutional and scientific-technical point of view.

The principal objective of the Energy and Climate Change School, the result of a collaboration agreement between the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and Menéndez Pelayo International University, is to offer a progressive institutional and scientific perspective about the potential role of various technologies and policies in the regional, national and international future for energy.

The Focus-Abengoa Forum on Energy and Climate Change, launched by Abengoa through the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, aims to promote an open platform for the research, presentation and debate of ideas and results in relation to renewable energies and aspects related to climate change, through public discussion. This forum focuses on those fields in which Abengoa can make relevant contributions in the different areas of international, industrial and technological relations or in any other sphere, thanks to its business activities, in relation to the triple objective of economic, social and environmental development that define sustainable development.

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