Clean energy meeting wraps up

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Clean energy meeting wraps up

The 5th Clean Energy Ministerial meeting ended yesterday, after discussions on the advancement of clean energy technology and how to increase clean energy investment.

But the group decided to delay discussion of eliminating trade barriers until next year’s meeting in Mexico.

Yoon Sang-jick, minister of trade, industry and energy, who co-chaired the meeting, Ernest Moniz, the U.S. secretary of energy, and Leonardo Beltran, deputy secretary for energy planning and transition for the Mexican Secretariat of Energy, held a press conference after the two-day meeting.

Yoon said slow global economic growth has led to reduced investment in clean energy technology in the past few years, which has hindered its commercialization and distribution.

Globally, investment in clean energy peaked at $31.8 billion in 2011, but declined to $28.6 billion last year, according to Bloomberg.

Yoon said it would require quality technology, investment and new market ecosystems to increase innovation in the industry.

“These conditions can be satisfied only when there’s trust between countries. It is the most basic factor,” Yoon said. “The meeting was most meaningful because we gained trust from private entities, since each government delegation and experts proposed key technologies that could be commercialized within 10 years.”

Moniz said that bringing private money to the renewable energy industry will be the quickest way to advance technology and expand its availability to more countries.

“Strong collaboration with the private sector is where we’re going to have the kind of energy transformation that we want at the scale and pace we’re aiming at,” said Moniz. “We need to move large amounts of private capital off the sidelines to invest in clean energy.”

He said clean energy will play a central role in solving risks posed by climate change and energy security, and that the issues raised in the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting should influence discussions at the 2015 United National Climate Change Conference in Paris, where international commitments are expected to be made on greenhouse gas reduction.

Regarding questions raised over U.S. shale gas sales to Korea, Moniz said the U.S. government has no involvement in the matter, saying the export amount and destination countries are decided by the contract-holding businesses.

Korean energy companies have contracts with two out of seven shale gas projects in the United States worth 0.8 billion cubic feet per day. Korea expects to receive exports of 0.49 billion cubic feet per day by 2017.


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