In the week when Russia halted gas supplies to Europe via a major pipeline, Berlin School of Business and Innovation (BSBI) explored the challenges many countries are facing on the energy supply front during its first provost roundtable, reports Colette Doyle
Energy generation and consumption plays a vital role in maintaining the economy of a country. Most nations across the world are working and investing heavily on finding better ways of generating clean and green energy. In the last few years, Europe has witnessed a huge change in energy consumption trends which has led to considerable progress in renewable and green energy generation.
This year, the world has also seen a dramatic shift in energy supply due to political issues surrounding the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This volatility has impacted distribution and has redirected the focus on sustainable energy consumption.
This is the background against which the BSBI decided to hold a new interactive initiative, featuring the institution’s academic team as they shared their insights on significant issues affecting the trade, industry and socio-political landscape of economies around the world. The online roundtable, headed by provost & chief academic officer Professor Dr Kyriakos Kouveliotis, saw the participation of several faculty members, who brought their expertise and experience to bear.
From identifying possible alternative energy suppliers to the importance of changing the mental approach to the issue, BSBI faculty members discussed scenarios and potential solutions. Lecturer Dr Mahmoud Manafi said: “From my perspective, there are two long-term solutions to the energy crisis in Europe: first, educate people to create better consumption patterns, and second, substitute another supplier instead of Russia.”
This replacement, argued Dr Manafi, would have to keep in mind various factors, especially in light of political implications. “Considering, for example, Iran as the possible substitution, major reforms must be applied to the country’s domestic and foreign policies.
“On the one hand, these reforms may lead to the removal of the current sanctions in Iran and on the other hand, they might result in compensating the shortage of energy supply in the EU. Nowadays, some events are happening in Iran that can eventually change foreign policy”, he added.
For Dr Elif Vozar, hospitality, tourism and event management lecturer at BSBI, it’s important not to overlook the mental component of the energy crisis. “We approached the topic from various aspects, such as the role of mindfulness and individuals’ responsiveness to the sustainable practices”.
She continued: “In addition, the role of energy knowledge communities, the impact of globalisation, and some other alternative solutions were the topics under discussion [at the event]. As a result, we concluded it was necessary to take some serious steps and a few of the solutions we suggested may help in terms of potential future measures.”