Oil and Renewables Will Have to Work Together


"Renewable energy is not an alternative to fossil fuels. There is not a stark choice between the one and the other."

Many ministers and delegates were at the Copenhagen Summit, which set some global guidelines but failed to establish a legal treaty.

"Renewable energy is not an alternative to fossil fuels. There is not a stark choice between the one and the other," Abdullah Al Attiyah, Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, said yesterday as he appealed for more cooperation and less "them-and-us" dialogue.

He caught the mood of the room at the plenary session of the first day of the World Future Energy Summit, WFES, in Abu Dhabi. All delegates spoke of the urgency in increasing the use of renewable fuels and reducing the dependence on hydrocarbons, even if they differed on how to deal with the problem.

The discussions, in many meetings all over the sprawling summit, focused on the importance of renewable energies for two separate factorsóreducing global warming and meeting the expected increased energy demand due to population growth.


Ed Milliband, Britain's Energy Secretary, felt that something was better than nothing and appealed to more countries to sign the Copenhagen Accord, while others like Mohammad Najib, the Malaysian Prime Minister, dismissed Copenhagen as a failure, which emphasized the divide between the developed and developing countries.

Most discussions looked at how to invest in renewable energy technology and enable the technology to spread quickly, so that it becomes a viable and substantial source of power, which can run alongside the existing reliance on fossil fuel.

Smaller Sources

Renewable energies will force a major change on how power will be delivered, since it will come from many smaller sources, scattered around a region, often at a domestic of business level. This means that the huge centralized power generating stations and country-wide grids that are the heart of the present energy systems will become less important.

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