Norway-Singapore Joint Third Country Seminar on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy a Success!

The 2009 Third Country Training Seminar, entitled “Climate Change and Sustainable Energy: Maximizing Opportunities for Developing Countries of Asia”, was held at Singapore’s Environment Institute 2nd-6th November with 26 delegates participating from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, Laos and Timor Leste. The delegates represented their home country’s Ministries of Environment or Energy. Speakers from Norway and Singapore and the region were invited to demonstrate how responsible solutions within renewable energy can maximise sustainable growth opportunities in Asian developing nations.

Deputy Director General Sigurd Klakeg kicked off the seminar by presenting the Carbon Scheme of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance is authorised by the Norwegian Parliament to contract delivery of carbon credits (Certified Emission Reductions, CER, and Emission Reduction Units, ERU) from the Clean Development Mechanism, CDM, and Joint Implementation, JI. The combined authorisation and appropriation for 2009 is 7 billion Norwegian kroner, or about 600 million euro. The Ministry plans to contract some 30 to 35 million tons for delivery during 2008-2012. The Ministry’s Carbon Team (team.carbon@fin.dep.no) can be contacted for further information.

Ms. Denise Lai of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) explained how CDM projects are run, while Norwegian financial institutions DnBNor and Pareto covered how foreign investment may be secured and how to evaluate renewable projects from a financial perspective – i.e. what investors look for in renewable projects. Norwegian energy companies SN Power, StatoilHydro and REC all shared ideas on how to provide renewable energy and minimise the carbon impact of energy needs. Mr. Tor Fjæran of Statoil Indonesia explained the climate change mitigation options provided by Carbon Capture and Storage – a key technology for reducing CO2 emissions. Statoil has become a world-leader in its development and application. Mr Andreas Balzer of REC gave an overview of opportunities provided by solar energy in Asia including PV power plant projects. Mr Erik Knive and Ms Kristine Kjelaas of SN Power focused on the opportunities for hydroelectric plants which is an option for several of the countries in the region, including how such can be developed as a CDM projects.

Presentations and case studies were followed by lively debate amongst delegates and speakers, demonstrating a keen interest in exploring the opportunities for balancing the need for energy generation and development with concerns for the environment. The topic of the seminar was highly relevant and timely, taking place just four weeks before the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change where the post-Kyoto regime will be discussed.

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