TRIONES Technológiai Intézet


Presentation on the World Renewable Energy Congress 2011 Conference

Energy Security Centres in support of the Development of a Comprehensive EU Energy Policy – Presentation on the World Renewable Energy Congress 2011 Conference

On 9 - 13 May 2011 was held the World Renewable Energy Congress 2011 Conference in Linköping, Sweden. At the conference Dr. Karoly Nagy presented a lecture titled “Energy Security Centres in support of the Development of a Comprehensive EU Energy Policy” what was developed jointly with Krisztina Kormendi, the managing director of the Triones Institute of Technology.

Agnes Toth, the special correspondent of the ePower Online made an interview with Dr. Karoly Nagy.

Toth: When did the concept of the network of Energy Security Centres (ESCs) first appear?

Dr. Nagy: The development of the Network of ESCs is not just a prompt idea; it has a quite long history. Let me introduce the main milestones. The first concept of Knowledge Centres (KC) was developed in 1993, after then the Feasibility Study on the First Hungarian Knowledge Centre was worked up in 1995. In 2001 I hold a presentation titled “The Role of Knowledge Centres in the Emergence of a Global Information Society” at the Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET'01) Conferece in Oregon, USA. The concept of KCs was developed further in accordance with the evolution of the information and communications technology and the concept of the virtual version of KC was developed in 2003. The concept of the Hungarian Energy Security Centre was borne in 2007 and a cooperation agreement aimed the setting up of that was signed in 2008. In 2009 I published an article dealing with the additional benefits of setting up an Energy Security Centre in the Energy journal. The latest milestone was my presentation on the WREC 2011 conference.

Toth: It was such a long way. How can you summarize the essence of your presentation on the WREC 2011 conference?

Dr. Nagy: The basic elements of the New Energy Policy are addressed in the “Stock taking document – Towards a new energy strategy for Europe 2011-2020”. With my co-author, Ms Kristina Kormendi, we are involved in research concerning the implementation of the new energy strategy for Europe and the development of the EU energy policy. We have concluded that the development of an EU level network of Energy Security Centres could have an important role in that process. In the presentation I explained what we mean by energy security centres and pointed out why they are needed for the development and implementation of the energy policy. Finally, we made a suggestion with regard to the creation of an EU level network of energy security centres.

Toth: What do you mean by Energy Security Centres?

Dr. Nagy: Basically, the Energy Security Centre (ESC) is a virtual energy security Knowledge Centre (KC) with a special functionality. There are different types of knowledge centres. My model can realize three basic functions, briefly: (1) Fast and efficient output of new knowledge and information. (2) Acceleration of the acquisition of practical knowledge. (3) Creation, maintenance and continuous improvement of a platform designed for the efficient transfer of knowledge. It is mentioned in one of the related basic documents of the EU Commission that “the biggest obstacle to solving the issues is the lack of relevant information”. Through the realization of the first function of the ESC we can provide the required factual information. But this is not enough! Very often the most important question is not to have the information, but how to use it effectively. The decision makers and their apparatus have to learn how to use the information provided effectively. Here comes the role of the second function of KC – the acceleration of the acquisition of experimental knowledge using simulation modelling and simulators. Using simulators we can do it very fast. We can increase the practical knowledge of the decision makers, problem solvers and everybody who is involved in solving energy security problems. But we cannot pass all knowledge to everybody. Here comes the role of the third function of ESCs, which is the knowledge transfer function. It is very important to make it possible for people to exchange and pass on knowledge. As a result, we have authentic spatial information to solve energy security problems, and the decision makers will be able to use this information effectively. We can also ensure the effective transfer of knowledge between experts and leaders.

Toth: Are the ESCs feasible? Can you mention any examples from the world to similar centres?

Dr. Nagy: Our knowledge centre is a feasible one. Examples for that are the two simulation centres of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in United States, the National Exercise Simulation Centre and the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Centre. These two simulation centres together can realize the three functions mentioned before. It is important to point out the importance of simulation in the realization of the basic functions of knowledge centres for two reasons. Simulation based modelling makes it possible to accelerate the acquisition of empirical knowledge. At the same time, simulation is a source of important feedback, providing input for analysis.

Toth: Why do we need a network of ESCs?

Dr. Nagy: We need a global network of energy security centres for three reasons. First, a synergy of knowledge can be developed in the network, which could result in a real solution to energy security problems. Secondly, the individual centres authenticate each other within the network, which constitutes the basis of their reliability. Thirdly, the network is the first level of the objectification of the global energy security system. Here the EU has a high responsibility: there is no other international organisation that has such a capability to start the development of the network.

Toth: Can you tell me about the virtual solution?

Dr. Nagy: Due to advances in the field of information and communication technology, the infrastructure required for the development of knowledge centres is already available. These are cloud computing or applications such as IBM Lotus Live or IBM Serious Games. Therefore, we do not have to worry about the development of these; we just have to apply them. We have the opportunity to apply a virtual solution. An important implication is that the development of energy security centres has relatively low investment costs. The analysis centres can be operated on a virtual basis, and the analyst can work within a virtual organizational framework. Some of the elements of ESCs are tied to geodetic coordinates. They are the ones built on the application of a special interface or they require face-to-face communication. Such static elements are the simulation training centre and the interactive conference centre. The static elements could have a common use. It is important for every member state to have its own virtual analysis centre.

Toth: Why does the implementation of the EU energy policy need the support of the Network of ESCs?

Dr. Nagy: The implementation of the EU energy policy needs the support of the network of ESCs for two reasons: The first one follows from the basic functionality of ESCs, which is direct knowledge management support. The second one is linked to the satisfaction of the needs for a global energy security system. The EU’s approach to the new energy policy is global and comprehensive, but the application of this approach is a very complex task

Toth: What do you mean by “global approach”?

Dr. Nagy: The fact that the EU has a global approach to its energy policy is an important point, and we are also convinced that only a global approach will result in success. A global approach means that the satisfaction of energy needs and the impacts of that process should be treated as part of the same system. For example, the environmental impacts and the impacts on the satisfaction of future energy needs should also be considered. This is a very complex task, just like most global problems are. To solve these problems, we have to overcome some complexity barriers. The complexity barriers result from computability barriers. Complexity barriers may be overcome by applying appropriate simplification methods. The right simplification methods could be provided by system development.

Toth: What is the role of ESCs in system development?

The network of Energy Security Centres can provide significant support for the development of a global energy security system. First of all authentic factual information and modelling capacities. The network is the solution to the most important problem. The problem is that we can only create such a system-it means a global system- at a highly abstract level. To be able to have an impact on the operation of the system we need objectified elements as well. The network of energy security centres could represent the first full level of objectification.

Toth: What could be the most important effects of the network of ESCs?

Dr. Nagy: The operation of the Network will result in the reduction of false believes; ideology based phantom systems (in my opinion most of global energy theories are phantom system which could never be objectified); post cold war activities; political manipulation and disinformation.

Toth: How to start the development of the European network of ESCs?

Dr. Nagy: First of all, the European Union should make a directive with regard to the development of a network. Parallel with that, grants should be set up to aid the financing of related research and development projects. An EU project should be set up for the creation of the static elements. This means the creation of a simulation centre, an interactive communication centre and a training centre. Finally, the EU should initiate the development of a global network of ESCs.

Toth: What is the message of your studies to the international professional community, policy and decision makers?

Dr. Nagy: On the whole, an EU level network of Energy Security Centres can provide a qualitatively new type of support to facilitate the solution of the energy security problems of the member states. In our study we have pointed out in detail that a network of ESCs plays an important role in finding a solution to the issues addressed in the stock taking document. In order to have a stable energy policy, we should be able to guarantee energy security. Therefore, the development of the described network should also be considered. I am confident that by 2013 the EU will have a network of ESCs with the mentioned functionality.

Toth: Thank you for the information!