The importance of utilizing energy efficiently in today’s world was the focus of the 2nd Energy Management Conference & Exhibition held recently in Bahrain. With a theme of “Sustainable Energy for Developing Countries,” the three-day event brought together scientists, professionals, policy makers, and other subject matter experts to showcase and examine current and potential solutions to the ever-growing demand for energy. Saudi Aramco’s chief engineer Nabilah M. Al-Tunisi served as the chairperson for the conference and delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony. Shifting Global Energy Demand She noted that the International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported that, from 2013 to 2040, the global demand for energy is projected to increase by 32%. In that same time period, the world population is expected to grow by 0.9% per year on average, from 7.1 billion in 2013 to 9 billion in 2040. “Such huge energy demand can only be sustained through actions to improve energy efficiency, promote investments in renewable technologies and develop policies for implementation,” said Al-Tunisi. She noted that the impact of available data is clear with regard to shifting global energy demand. Currently, an estimated 1.2 billion people (17% of the global population) remain without electricity. Despite a large increase in power generation, there will still be 800 million (about 9%) people without electricity by 2030. By 2040, electricity consumption will grow by 70%, but 550 million people will still live without any access to electricity. “We need innovation that can spread throughout the developing world where energy demand is growing the fastest,” said Al-Tunisi. “When access to energy services is combined with strategies that enhance income and strengthen public infrastructure, we can expect substantial and rapid progress toward providing electricity to all.” Momentum for Change Over the past decade, added Al-Tunisi, the drive toward the efficient use of energy has created huge momentum, which has reduced the global demand growth rate by about two-thirds. “The world is obviously recognizing the value of energy efficiency, because the global energy intensity has decreased by 2.7% in 2014 — even despite low oil prices,” she stated. Looking ahead to 2040, energy efficiency on the demand side is expected to continue as the major contributor in driving savings, she added, with the global primary energy demand predicted to fall by 6% during this period. “What is becoming more evident is that we need to have a sustainable energy supply to support current and future energy demand while keeping the global thermostat turned down,” she said. “Greater energy conservation benefits the economic life of our nations, as well as improving the daily lives of our citizens,” stated Al-Tunisi. “Increasing energy efficiency in both industry and commerce is an important goal to which we should all be committed.”