CEOs predict the challenges and trends for the future of world energy

Collapsing prices for solar and wind energy are a great opportunity: CEO

The main challenge of the contemporary world is energy poverty, according to the director general of State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, who claims that 2 billion people around the world are being "constrained" in terms of their access to power.

Speaking on a panel at Russian Energy Week 2017, Alexey Likhachev said that by the 2040s the demand for power will triple.

"This is what we forecast," he said. "I guess the conclusion is fairly simple … All sources of power generation will be in high demand," he added.

Rosatom is Russia's largest electricity generating business, and produced 196.37 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2016. Environmental commitments by national governments and international agreements needed to be taken into account, and there would certain changes in the structure of power generation worldwide, Likhachev explained.

When it came to the nuclear industry, specifically, Likhachev offered a broadly positive outlook. "I am quite sure that nuclear power generation will at least maintain its footprint," he said, suggesting the nuclear industry will continue to increase capacity and remain part of a wider energy mix worldwide.

Also appearing on the panel, moderated by CNBC, was Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of the Finland based Fortum Corporation.

Lundmark sought to emphasise the importance of renewable energy in the years ahead. "While we know that this is a massively complicated and difficult issue, I think it's extremely important that those economies in the world that are relying and continue to rely on hydrocarbons … Also start putting more and more money into renewables," he said. "Russia is now starting to do that."

He went on to argue that the world would need a creative and dynamic energy mix in the years ahead.

"I would agree with Alexy that absolutely nuclear needs to be part of that," he said, before also stating that the importance of gas would increase.

"It is a fact that the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine, and in those parts of the world … large European markets like Germany, for example, that don't have enough hydropower, the importance of gas in providing security of supply will be extremely important."