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September 13, 2010 How to Get Electricity Generated in the Desert to Inhabited Areas

Global Economic Symposium Session Preview No. 7


In order to meet climate targets, the proportion of renewable energy sources used for the generation of electricity needs to be increased. Thomas Straubhaar, Director of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) and speaker at the Global Economic Symposium in Istanbul, holds that “Green Energy Developments” should be stimulated by basic research incentives rather than by a paternalistic support of specific technologies. “Green Energy Developments are a question of private technological innovation rather than a matter of political decisions”, Straubhaar writes on the web forum “Virtual GES” of the Global Economic Symposium, where experts can already discuss in advance the topics to be dealt with at the symposium. There are numerous ideas about how to accomplish a higher proportion of green energy, for example, the Desertec Project envisaged for the Sahara or the offshore wind parks in the North Sea. Both projects have been initiated by private investors.

Sun and wind power could easily provide the whole world with electricity, but sun and wind are generally the most abundant in uninhabited area, i.e. where electricity is needed the least. The electricity generated in these areas thus needs to be brought to consumers, and this will require that the countries where the electricity is generated, the countries through which the electricity is transported, and the countries where it is consumed will have to cooperate closely. In spite of all the efforts being taken, fossil-fuel-based electricity generation and nuclear electricity generation will thus continue to be part of the world energy mix for the foreseeable future.

To what extent will coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power have to be part of the energy mix in the future? How can the transport of electricity from the point of generation to the consumer be organized? Are large systems like the Desertec system the best option, or do small decentralized systems offer better advantages? These are the kinds of questions that the Global Economic Symposium, which is being held by the Kiel Institute for World Economics (IfW) and the German National Library of Economics (ZBW) in Istanbul in late September, will attempt to answer in the session “Towards a Global Electricity Market”.

The Kiel Institute and the German National Library of Economics would like to invite you to attend the symposium.

About the Global Economic Symposium

Istanbul will be turned in a think tank on September 28-29. More than 400 high-ranking experts from business, academia, government, and society will meet in Istanbul for the Global Economic Symposium (GES). The GES, which is being held by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the German National Library of Economics (ZBW), is being held for the third time, and for the first time outside of Germany. Among the expected participants are Shumeet Banerji (CEO, Booz & Company), Hans-Paul Bürkner (President und CEO of the Boston Consulting Group), Abdullah Gül (President, Republic of Turkey), Ali Babacan (Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State), Ömer Dinçer (Turkish Minister of Labor and Social Security), Yves Leterme (Prime Minister, Belgium), George Papaconstantinou (Greek Minister of Finance), Mehmet Şimşek (Turkish Minister of Finance), Jürgen Stark (Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank), James P. Leape (WWF Director General), Thomas Mirow (President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), John M. Deutch (Professor of Chemistry, MIT; Former Director of CIA), and the Nobel Laureates in Economics Eric S. Maskin (School of Social Science, Princeton), and Edmund Phelps (Columbia University).

The Kiel Institute’s media agency will be happy to receive your media-accreditation:

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