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The Process


Prior to the Conference

The Student Assembly contacted stakeholders and produced 46 “unsolvable” energy problems that reflected the most pressing concerns of their home regions. These problems were posted on the ISES blog to generate discussion leading up to the conference.

Read the Student Assembly’s analyses of energy problems faced in the world by clicking on the following links. (The links will open in a new page)

Read Mats’ analysis of energy problems faced in Canada by clicking here.

Read Iris’ analysis of energy problems faced in the USA by clicking here.

Read Salmon’s analysis of energy problems faced in Europe by clicking here.

Read Camilla’s analysis of energy problems faced in Australia region by clicking here.

Read Aswin’s analysis of energy problems faced in South Asia by clicking here.

Read Muhammad’s analysis of energy problems faced in Asia by clicking here.

Read Nuseir’s analysis of energy problems faced in the Middle East by clicking here.

Read Matheus’ analysis of energy problems faced in South America by clicking here.

Read Steve’s analysis of energy problems faced in Africa by clicking here.

Delegates were then polled and asked to rank these problems in terms of urgency on a scale of 1 to 10. Based on the survey results, the SA identified trends and issues that transcended regions. How do challenges and obstacles faced by developing nations differ than those of developed nations? Questions like these created the framework that was used to produce the final List of 10 “Unsolvable” Problems. Although the survey’s average ratings illuminate which types of issues stakeholders felt were most urgent, it sidelined the frequency in which specific questions received a 10 (most urgent). The final list of 10 “Unsolvable” Problems reflects the concerns of a global Evolving Energy Ecosystem.

List of 10 “Unsolvable” Energy Problems

  1. Most regions, particularly developing countries are experiencing significant energy demand growth which puts pressure on global fossil fuel consumption.
  2. High environmental degradation related to global diversification of fossil fuel extraction.
  3. In developed countries existing systems and infrastructure creates resistance to adoption of renewables.
  4. Disagreement on responsibility between the developed and developing world to transform the way energy is produced and used.
  5. Lack of energy-policy coordination among countries is impacting regional stability and an obstacle to cohesive regional energy planning.
  6. Insufficient mitigation of short and long term risk associated with nuclear generation and waste disposal.
  7. Existing energy generation through renewables is not competitive with current carbon intensive energy sources.
  8. Policies and market-based mechanisms sometimes conflict instead of synergistically pushing a region towards a sustainable energy future.
  9. Lack of public awareness creates barriers to long term thinking about energy.
  10. Energy efficiency is not being embraced to the required degree due to political, financial and cultural drivers despite significant savings potential.

During the Conference

Throughout the conference, the Student Assembly interviewed delegates from their regions to collect insights on each of the problem’s dimensions as well as potential solutions. These perspectives have been combined with the knowledge imparted by speakers during sessions.

After the Conference

Using delegate and speaker input the Student Assembly analyzed the 10 “Unsolvable” Problems. The intricate links between each problem illustrates the nature of our current Energy Ecosystem and how collaboration between stakeholders is essential to spurring its Evolution.


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