President of Slovenia (2007-2012)

We need both all the time. Short-term decisions on energy or on any other important policy issue without a realistic understanding of long-term future are likely to lead to diffi culties in the future.

On the other hand, visions without a realistic perception of the immediate challenges and immediate needs may easily turn into sheer fantasy. So we need to combine both. Let me, although I am not an expert on energy, try to tell you how personally spent much time in politics and diplomacy sees the questions of energy today from the point of view of immediate needs and from a longer term perspective. Let me start with fossil fuels. Now, we can see that the current fossil fuels resources will remain an important energy element for the foreseeable future and there has to be calculations about visions for that future and if you look only in the short-term situation one would see the decisions by OPIC countries a week ago are based on the expectation of stable prices. This is a policy decision primarily motivated by short-term considerations, but then if we at the same time read the World Energy Outlook for 2016, a product of the International Energy Agency, very prestigious institution, we’ll see that the investment in conventional oil resources has not receive approval so far, fell in the past years to its lowest levels since 1950s, and the experts predict that if the situation does not change and if the investment level remains low that we are likely to have a rather turbulent period in the early twenties. This is a short medium term perspective which is a possibility and which we have to be aware of. On the other side, however, we have to be aware of the fact that in the long run we need alternative sources, alternative energies to which was referred to a few moments ago. But then again we also have to know that there are certain areas where there is no substitution for oil such as Freight, Aviation, petrochemicals. Everywhere else is alternative but there are areas where there is no alternative. And the question is how to combine the necessary investment in areas where alternatives do not exist and how to connect this with the long-term alternatives for the future. Let me say a few words about gas. Here we see short-term fl uctuations that have to be seen in conjunction with medium term perspective. At present OSCE and International Energy Agency estimate that after recent stagnation growth rate will stabilize the level 1.5 to 2% over the medium term. However, the lower demand in Europe and slower consumption growth in China as well as expanded supply of liquefi ed natural gas slowing down the expected rebalancing of gas market. So we have a certain type of volatility and that coincides with the need especially in Europe to diversify sources of gas. And how to combine these two volatility of short-term and medium to long-term diversifi cation? This is a question which should be raised. In this context it is very important that Burisma offers an example of a private company which continuously invest in gas exploration and production.