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Of Interest

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OPEC Secretary General: "I am convinced the world needs ITER"

On Thursday 21 April, the ITER Organization was honoured to welcome the Secretary General of OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo (fourth from right) is the Secretary General of OPEC. ''I am convinced that the world needs ITER, for the simple fact that we do not have enough clean energy supply to meet current demand and future needs.'' The Secretary General and representatives of Dietsmann (including Chairman and CEO Peter Kütemann, third from right) were welcomed by ITER Deputy of the Director-General Eisuke Tada (centre) and Laban Coblentz, Head of Communication (fourth from left). (Click to view larger version...)
His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo (fourth from right) is the Secretary General of OPEC. ''I am convinced that the world needs ITER, for the simple fact that we do not have enough clean energy supply to meet current demand and future needs.'' The Secretary General and representatives of Dietsmann (including Chairman and CEO Peter Kütemann, third from right) were welcomed by ITER Deputy of the Director-General Eisuke Tada (centre) and Laban Coblentz, Head of Communication (fourth from left).
His Excellency Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo is a seasoned diplomat and executive with extensive experience in the global energy industry and a keen sense of how trends and fluctuations in global energy markets impact both developed and developing country end users—including those who currently have no access to electricity. 

"Energy is the lifeblood of civilization; the prosperity that we see in many parts of the world can be attributed to energy availability," he commented during his visit. "We don't need to be convinced that we need all sources of energy; no one can say otherwise."

"There is a misinterpretation of the basic principles of the energy transition. The current conversation is distorted to some extent, that it is a transition from one set of energy sources to another, from fossil fuels to renewables. This is a distortion of the science, the facts, and the data. The transition is about moving from emissions of greenhouse gases to a decarbonized world, driven by technology, policies, corporate decision-making, and much more."

The Secretary General travelled to ITER as part of a delegation led by Peter Kütemann, Chairman and CEO of Dietsmann, a global energy company that also contracts with ITER. The nine-person delegation was led on a tour of the ITER construction site, especially the Assembly Hall and Tokamak pit where giant ITER components are in various stages of assembly and installation.

"No matter how much one reads on the ITER website, it does not prepare you for what you witness in a personal tour. In the Assembly Hall, I was speechless at what I saw—the enormous engineering, the collaboration among all these countries. I spoke to as many workers as I could, and they were all of different nationalities. The common language is science, mathematics, and computing. I could see that in action inside the Hall."

"I see ITER as the future. I am convinced that the world needs ITER, for the simple fact that we do not have enough clean energy supply to meet current demand and future needs."

The Secretary General pledged to use the influence of his office to help raise of the promise of ITER and fusion. "This is what the world should focus on," he concluded. "Because of what I have seen today, I can see, clearly, light at the end of this dark global tunnel, that promises to address the global energy transition, that promises to address the global pandemic of energy poverty."



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