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Security Must Be Smart Energy Economy Backbone, Says Global Smart Energy Council Expert

Dubai, UAE – 8 March:As public and private sector entities across the world race to adopt and monetiseopportunities across the global smart energy economy, Andy Karsner, day twos keynote speaker at the Global Smart Energy Summit (GSES), which ends in Dubai today, believes society must act smarter to make smart energy systems truly work. Ensuring security in a smart energy economy driven by Internet of Things technologies is, according to Karsner, the former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the US Department of Energy,as important as the progressive technologies themselves. “The weaponisation of the worldwide web is the biggest threat to the Internet of Things and the smart economy,” said Karsner, Senior Strategist and Space Cowboy at Google X, and a Managing Partner of Emerson Collective, the social impact enterprise founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. “Security is the single greatest threat to the massive diffusion of hope for clean energy expansion, decarbonising our world and creating greater prosperity and activity at the fastest rate we can design. “We can hack children’s toys and make them listening devices in our homes, our smartphone cameras can be activated without us knowing it, we hack social platforms to tilt democratic elections –these things demand that in any discussion about the peaceful proliferation of smart energy devices to create a cleaner, more affordable and more sustainable world, we must be mindful of the security needs embedded in the exercise.” With renewable energy sources and how regional governments are investing in smart energy adoption a cornerstone narrative of the inaugural GSES, which was held alongside the 43rd edition of Middle East Electricity, Karsner revealed global authorities must evolve their mindsets to transition towards sustainable, smart energy economies. “When we talk about natural resources, I think we need to examine the nexus between crude, code and capital in order to understand the world that we are skating to and how fast we can get there,” he said. “The truth is we have set ourselves up on this planet for a classic tragedy of the commons: we have designed our energy economy as a lopsided system - we privatised the gains and socialised the risk. We draw on our endowment and the principal, rather than living on the interest of our natural world. But we put this tragedy upon ourselves,itis human designed and only we can fix it.” Following 110 content streams across atrio of tailored conference tracks delivered over three days, Ryan O'Donnell, the GSES Programme Director, revealedthe region’s power and energy industry leadershave soaked up the thought-leadership, advice and consultancy offered by Karsner and more than 100 other high-profile speakers. “Alongside Andy Karsner, GSES has featured some of the biggest corporate champions in sector transformation,” said O’Donnell. “A combination of keynote speakers, ministerial addresses, and public and private sector visionaries have led debates on the need to balance growth from smart and sustainable energy sources, exploring issues and challenges such as regulations and how to best drive long-term competitive advantage. Our country-specific sessions have also explored opportunities in developing usable renewables, meeting national power programmes across the Gulf and beyond, as well as reform patterns across the entire power spectrum. The first edition of GSES has empowered the regional energy industry,” added O’Donnell. Middle East Electricity 2018 is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler, and is hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy. For more information, please visit -

About Middle East Electricity: Spanning more than five decades, Middle East Electricity (MEE), organised by Informa Exhibitions, is the region’s leading trade event for the power industry featuring dedicated product sectors for Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution, Lighting, Solar, and new for 2018, Energy Storage & Management Solutions. Middle East Electricity 2018, the 43rd edition of the trade-only event, is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and is hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy.


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