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Reassessing Renewable Energies

October 18th, 2012

In the session “Reassessing Renewable Energies” of the Global Economic Symposium (GES) in Rio de Janeiro the panelists agreed on these solutions:

Renewable energy has to be seen in a broader context than just climate change. There are many associated benefits that renewable energy can bring about, such as reducing air pollution in developing countries. The ecosystem as a whole has to be looked at – “climate is critical, but not the totality.”

Countries currently using domestic oil and selling subsidized energy (including devel-oping countries) can finance (part of the) the transmission to renewables by selling the precious resource rather than using it at home. In addition, the US-Dollar 500 billion of annual energy subsidies could be used for financing.

The longer we wait, the higher will be the cost, as the capital stock of power plants is very long-lasting. In fast-growing countries, it is important to build the ‘right’ capital stock as it will be in place for decades and will pre-determine future emissions. Different countries will have a different energy mix: some might be more suited to use ‘agri-energy’ (the preferred term for biofuels), others will be better off using solar and/or wind power.

HRH Prince Turki AlFaisal Alsaud from Saudi Arabia said: “I would like to see Saudi Arabia using 100 percent renewable energy within my lifetime. Oil is too valuable to be burned and should rather be used for other purposes.”


“The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2012 is being jointly organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).

Further information can be found at and at the official GES-blog at

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