For the world energy issues of now and the future

About black swans and green futures

Decarbonising north west Europe after Covid-19
Published 20 May 2021 by the World Energy Council Netherlands


Corona no doubt was the dominant driver of events in 2020, but in its shadow the year has seen a number of other significant developments that are crucial for the achievability of NW Europe’s Net Zero ambitions. China, USA and EU have each announced, introduced, or intensified a grand Energy Deal. And ofcourse Great Britain – a large and energy-relevant member – has left the Union.


All these Black Swan events have potentially kicked the development trajectories of NW Europe into new orbits. It is therefore clear that there is ample scope to rethink the Phasing Out Carbon scenario against these radically changed perspectives and potential new trends.


The WEC 2021 report explores the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, energy use and CO2 emissions. Two possible post-Covid growth scenarios have been differentiated: modest-growth and high-growth. The report looks at different drivers impacting the scenarios and with that the achievability of the 2050 Paris goals.


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Virtual WEC conference - 20 May 2021

Recording of the World Energy Council NL (WEC) virtual event 2021. PwC’s Chief Economist Jan Willem Velthuijsen shares the findings and analyses of this year’s WEC report ‘About black swans and green futures’, which explores the impact of Covid -19 on the economy, energy use and CO2 emissions. Shell’s Chief Climate Change Advisor David Hone talks about three energy scenarios. Moderator Sonja Renssen leads two expert panel discussions, one from an economic perspective, the other from a technology perspective.


Rotterdam, the Netherlands will host the 2025 World Energy Congress

The Global World Energy Congress 2025 (WEC2025) will be organised in Rotterdam. WEC Netherlands was announced the winner of a global bid process today by the central World Energy Council in London. The world’s largest energy event will take place September 8-11 2025 with Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre as main venue. WEC2025 will bring an estimated 4,000 delegates plus some 20.000 visitors for the exhibition and a global ministerial representation from all over the world to the Netherlands.

The Dutch bid focussed on why the Netherlands and proposed host city Rotterdam are the right choice as hosts for the 2025 congress midway between 2020 and the Paris and ambitious national goals on Energy Transition and carbon reduction by 2030. Rotterdam is at the centre of Europe’s Energy Transition, partly due to its world-leading smart port and the connected chemical clusters in North West Europe which are in full transition by 2025 with many concrete projects to show case. In addition, Rotterdam is taking a frontrunner role with its goal of becoming a climate neutral city by 2050. It is an innovating city and a real life testing ground for important transitions and it offers the right geographic and logistical facilities to organise an event of this scale.

Jeroen van Hoof (Chair of WEC Netherlands) commented; “I am extremely proud that we will have the opportunity to organise the most green and inclusive WEC conference ever. Our society combines high climate ambitions with a massive challenge given its current energy intensity and carbon footprint. The Energy Transition in our region will provide an excellent opportunity to inspire the global community and deliver new, post Covid-19, green economic value and work. The support we received from the Dutch government, our partners from industry, the city and port of Rotterdam are only a first signal of our commitment to our collective opportunity”.

Eveline van der Pluijm (Manager Convention Bureau & Tourism Board at Rotterdam Partners):
“We are delighted and proud to be able to facilitate WEC2025 in Rotterdam. The conference is a perfect match for the city in terms of content and it contributes to the energy transition of Rotterdam. The brand new Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre with 35 additional spaces is also the ideal location for this congress. We look forward welcoming 4,000 participants from over 150 countries worldwide.”


‘Sustainable Energy for all’

Theme for the Dutch 2025 edition of the congress will be ‘Sustainable Energy for all’. Depending on innovations in the post Covid-19 events world, the Dutch bid includes options for a hybrid or online congress and all the elements to deliver a state of the art conference. Think about combining physical and virtual elements and the possibilities of new technologies.


About the World Energy Congress

The World Energy Congress is the flagship platform of the World Energy Council, reaching across the public, private and civil sectors to connect and inspire leaders and practitioners from the energy+ value chain. Held every three years since 1924, the Congress is a unique space for the global energy community to catalyse new collaborations and forge new pathways in the energy transition.


Collaborating partners

The Dutch bid for WEC2025 was put forward as a collective effort, issued by the World Energy Council the Netherlands, partnering with a.o. the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate policy, the City and Port of Rotterdam and Rotterdam Partners, and has the support of WEC Netherlands members (DNV GL, Energie Beheer Nederland, Groningen Seaports, New Energy Coalition, Nouryon, PWC, Rabobank, Shell, Siemens, TNO, Vattenfall and Vopak).

Jeroen van Hoof – WEC chair Netherlands
+31 651 609

Aad Groenenboom – Secretary WEC Netherlands
+316 5310

Consumption and production of decarbonised fuels needs to be stimulated


Phasing out carbon – how to decarbonise North-Western Europe’s energy mix in the run up to 2050 published 5 March 2020 by the World Energy Council Netherlands.


The share of energy provided in the form of fuels – currently 70% of all energy – so far remains resolutely carbon-heavy. Although the share of fuels in the energy mix will fall over time, it is expected to remain over 50% in 2050. The enormous acceleration of the decarbonisation of fuels needed to meet the Paris Agreement while keeping a substantial heavy-industrial sector in North-Western Europe objectives requires an immediate start to mixing biogas and hydrogen into the natural gas supply, for instance, for a rapid first-stage greening of feedstock. The ultimate demand for carbon-free fuels alone poses a major argument for the build-up of substantial hydrogen and power-to-gas (PtG) capacities


How to decarbonise North-Western Europe's energy mix in the run-up to 2050

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Presentations at the WEC conference 2020

Plenary presentation with keynote speech
Jan Willem Velthuijsen (PwC), Prajeev Rasiah (DNV GL) and Hans Coenen (Gasunie)

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Hosted by René Peters (TNO), Ruud Melieste (Havenbedrijf Rotterdam) and Hans Coenen (NV Nederlandse Gasunie)

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Hosted by Karolina Ryszka (Rabobank) and Jillis Raadschelders (DNV GL)

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Hosted by Catrinus Jepma (New Energy Coalition), Ewald Breunesse (Shell) and Marcel vd Kar (Vopak)

For the world energy issues of now and the future

The World Energy Council (WEC), founded in 1924 in London, is an international platform that broadly addresses the world-energy-issues today and in the future.

The current and more specifically future global energy issues require extensive and in-depth studies to ensure that the expected future huge increase in energy demand can be met. This should be done in a sustainable but also affordable way.

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