tv Charlie Rose WHUT June 17, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
>> charlie: welcome to our program. tonight, a conversation with middle east envoy and former prime minister tony blair with the gaza blockade and how he sees the prospects for peace in the middle east. >> at the moment, what happens in gaza is that along the border between gaza and egypt, there are hundreds of tunnels. into these tunnels come goods of every description that are smuggled in to gaza. hamas is a complete grid on that method of entry into gaza. if you don't have legitimate crossings where goods can come in legitimately, they're smuggled in through the tunnels. so i've argued for the past couple of years this is really counterproductive even from israela point of view. >> charlie: at a time when the interest and need for clean energy is growing rapidly, we speak to ditlev engel, c.e.o. of
the danish company veslas, the largest wind turbine maker. >> there is not a silver-bullet solution. we get about 2% of the electricity generation comes from wind and even if we were working night and day for the next 20 years we couldn't solve it alone, so there is not a silver-bullet solution. it has to be a number of solutions. i think wind will be one of them. i think solar will be another one. the key issue is to make the transition into other types of energy other than the ones we are using today. >> charlie: since my conversation with tony blair yesterday, israel has announced that it will allow more civilian goods and construction materials to go into gaza. the naval blockade will remain. tony blair and a look at the future of wind power. coming up. funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the coca-cola country, supporting this program since 2002. >> additional funding for "charlie rose" was also provided by these funders.
>> and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. ♪ captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. ♪ >> charlie: tony blair is here. he was britain's prime minister for a record-breaking 10 years. since he stepped down in 2007, he has been the middle east envoy for the quartet representing the european union, the united nations, the united states and russia. he is is focused on building up the palestinian economy, institutions and governance in the west bank. since israel's deadly raid on the flotilla of boats headed to gaza, he has been in close talks with israeli prime minister netanyahu over how to ease the blockade. i am pleased to have him back at
the table in this crucial period. welcome. . thanks, charlie. >> charlie: you have what understanding with benjamin netanyahu about easing the blockade? >> the critical thing is, at the moment, goods come into gaza, if they are on a permitted list which is pretty restricted. what i want to do, and i think what the israeli prime minister wants to do is to say the issue is israel's security. we should maintain the blockade in respect of arms, but everything else should be able to come in for daily life, for the ordinary aspects of proper living for people in gaza, so you would move from a permitted list of items to then a prohibited list. things go in unless it's on a prohibited list. if we get that changed, that's a big step forward. we can add to that in respect to things like cement and steel piping and other things necessary for construction, that the construction material goes in but goes in for the
designated united nations projects of reconstruction. >> charlie: so what did the prime minister say? >> israel, i believe, is prepared to go in this direction which will be a significant change, although it allows israel completely to protect its security and to make sure that anything that comes into gaza is checked before it comes in. >> charlie: the argument, sometimes, is that people want to see people in the gaza not helped because they think it hurts the reputation of hamas. do you run into that idea? >> i do run into that idea, and there is a very simple answer to it, which is that at the moment what happens in gaza is that along the border between gaza and egypt, there are hundreds of tunnels. into these tunnels come goods of every description that are smuggled in to gaza. hamas is a complete grid on that method of entry into gaza. if you don't have legitimate crossings where goods can come in legitimately, they're smuggled in through the tunnels so i have argued for the past couple of years that this is
really counterproductive even from israel's point of view. the israeli government -- of course, it's under enormous pressure. it still has gilad shalit held captures. he should be released and released unconditionally. there are people in gaza, hamas and others, that still regard themselves as at war with israel and are prepared to fire on and harm ordinary israeli citizens, so i understand all the pressure israel is under but i think the israeli prime minister has been right to move to a position where he says, "look, our issue is security. we protect our security. we check everything that comes in to gaza. if it's weapons and it's combat material, we keep it out. no compromise on that. if it's about daily life for people in gaza, well under half of whom are under age of 20, so a lot of young children in gaza when it comes to their daily life, we try to do what we can to help." >> charlie: the head of hamas, in damascus, told me in an
interview a couple weeks ago they want to see international supervision. they're not demanding any kind of role in it. they just want to see humanitarian goods come in. that doesn't mean they don't want weapons and all of that but they are prepared to put this in the hands of international supervision. >> well, i think had there is a -- >> charlie: if that happens, why can't they stop the weapons? >> well, of course, they could, but it would be easy -- if hamas wanted to, they could release gilad shalit. there would probably be a release of palestinian prisoners at the same time. that would hugely help the situation. there is a case for an international presence. the european union used to have the presence at rafa crossing. that could be reinstated. you've got the palestinian authority that could be given a role, again, the proper palestinian authority could be given a role again at the crossings. i think israel is open to looking at both of those issues. the single most important thing, however it's checked, is that stuff comes in without having to argue over every item so that,
for example, you get the power repaired and the sanitation that you need, the clean drinking water so that the houses that need repair get repairs. these are basic daily-life items. i would like to see a situation where legitimate business people in gaza are able to do legitimate business. part of the trouble with the tunnel economy is that people are making money in gaza through the tunnels but if you're a legitimate business person and you want to do legitimate manufacturing or you're exporting flowers, strawberries, these types of things that used to be the -- part of the fundamental business of gaza, if you're trying to do those types of things, it's been very difficult for you. i think this is the best way to handle the politics not just the humanitarian aspect, keep out the weapons, let in the stuff people in gaza need.
>> charlie: including cement to build buildings and those sort of things? >> you could bring this in under the -- the united nations has got thousands of people in gaza. there is a procedure we've worked out in the past few months and the united nations representative has been very active in this so that material like cement and other things that could have a dual use potentially, those things come in and come in under proper u.n. certification and are then for onward transmission under proper supervision for the projects for which they're supposed to be used. >> charlie: what's happening in the west bank under the leadership of prime minister fiyad? >> this in my view is one of the most interesting things of the process that's happening at this moment. over the past three years, prime minister salam fayyad has been changing the west bank significantly in two respects.
one, he has been providing security. the militia have been cleared off the streets in places like nablus and jenin, he's been putting in proper civil police and proper force authority from the plan government itself. that, then, has meant that the israelis have stepped back. they have been opening some of the crossings. and checkpoints. they have been lifting some of the restrictions on access and movement. the result of that is the economy started to grow. the west bank economy is growing about 10% at the moment. we held an investment conference in bethlehem a couple weeks ago. it was overshadowed by the flotilla. but this investment conference produced hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment and we got over 1,000 people from all over the middle east. >> charlie: you're saying that could happen in gaza under the right circumstances. >> under the right circumstances it could happen and it's the essence of achieving peace. in the end, this is what i have learned in the past two to three years doing this. the real problem is this.
it's not that you can't work out what the border should be. or even a proper deal on jerusalem -- refugees. these things are difficult and challenging, but it is possible to conceive how you can reach agreement. the problem is this. it's an on-the-ground reality problem. if israel is not sure of its security, if it is not sure that any palestinian state will be properly governed, well governed, then tt's happened ina to happen on the west bank. gaza is manageable, the west bank it's not. the key is to build the institutions from the bottom up. you create the circumstances, in capacity, in the economy, in governance, where israel has confidence in its security and then the palestinians have got to have the confidence that, if they take these measures israel will get out, lift the occupation and let them govern. >> charlie: you're confident the israelis would do that? >> yes.
yes, i am. i'm probably in the minority in believing that, but i do believe that. i think that for the israelis -- look, if you take gaza -- and it's important just to see this from israel's point of view for a moment, and i'm just explaining it because i'm probably one of the very few people that spend time in israeli politics and palestinian politics, so i see both sides. >> charlie: plus you have the experience of northern ireland as well. >> it's the same thing. you've got to see the other person's point of view. otherwise you never solve this. the israelis say we were in gaza. we lifted the occupation, we took our settlers, 7,000 of them and we got violence. rockets. there are counterexplanations but that's the way the israelis see it. what they say in respect to the west bank is don't ask us to lift the occupation unless we are sure what we're going to get in its place, and that's why salam fayyad's program of change is important because what he's
really saying is i understand that but what is more, for ordinary palestinians they want security, they want the rule of law, they want proper governance, so irrespective of what israel wants, what i, the palestinian prime minister wants and president abbas, the palestinian wt president wants is we want proper governance for us. if that would be driven through the west bank and carried through into gaza, then you've got what i call the benign alignment between reality on the ground and the political negotiation that george mitchell is carrying out with, incidentally, tremendous skill -- but it needs the reality to back it up. >> charlie: after this year and a half, is there some evidence that these conversations are paying off even though we haven't seen it yet? >> yes, because he's now got them into indirect talks, which is the first step, and i think it's possible now to switch that into direct talks. >> charlie: president abbas said to me in washington last week, i said to him, "how do you satisfy
the israeli need, understandable need, for security?" and he said, "put in a nato force. put in some kind of international force to supervise." does that have any merit to you? >> i think there is a role for outside forces helping support palestinian change, and for example, the americans are engaged in -- with general dayton -- in training palestinian forces and so on, and i don't think you can ever exclude the role for international forces and so on. however, personally, i think the essence of this is in the palestinians' own hands has got to lie the key to their destiny, and i think the single most important thing is for them to do the security themselves. now, that may then be bolstered and supported and helped by international bodies, or forces of one sort or another. >> charlie: my understanding is
the israelis have always rejected that idea. >> i think for the israelis, what they reject is the idea that they're going to hand their own security over to somebody else. but i think that just leads us back to the same challenge, and that challenge is how do you build the capacity for the palestinians to do their own security, rule of law, courts, prisons, judiciary, prosecution service? what we have been engaged in, the last couple of years, is building all those things -- the european community, the americans, others have been helping, both with money and with expertise -- and just to put this point, 2 1/2-3 years ago, i couldn't have traveled around the west bank into jenin and nablus -- >> charlie: for security reasons? >> yeah, and jerricho, unless you negotiated with the individual militia. that's not an issue today. i travel everywhere around the west bank and everywhere i know there are palestinian forces, properly commanded, properly controlled who are looking after
security. >> charlie: in an interesting way, this is part of the issue in afghanistan too. creating governance at the local level. >> it's -- absolutely, it's the same issue, and the whole point about it is that where you have failed state institutions -- in other words, where there is insufficient proper governance within a country, what then happens is the people have no confidence that they can lead their lives, start businesses, raise families -- or even just conduct themselves on a normal basis. we take for granted -- we work hard, we raise our family, we argue about our governments and the taxes and all of that, but basically, we think there is a way of life which is predictable, reasonably stable and in which we can -- it's up to us. if you're living in one of these failed states, that's not the case. it's not up to you at all. >> charlie: in the palestinian
areas, you have this big problem, which is fatah -- palestinian authority -- and then you have hamas. how do you bridge that gap, if that's necessary? because hamas clearly has enough support to play a role. >> correct. it does. the way you bridge it is in my view, again, very clear and very simple. you construct a process with momentum behind it towards peace, towards a two-state solution. that's direct negotiations. progress on the west bank. change of policy in gaza. you create that forward momentum for peace. and then hamas has a choice, and their choice is get on the train or stay off it but the train's not going to stop. >> charlie: do you think they would be responsive to that? because there are indirect conversations taking place with hamas. >> sure. you've interviewed kalid -- let's be clear about this, it's not a failure of communications right now.
so the question is -- will hamas do it? >> charlie: as you know, if you talk to israelis, they say, look, they want to -- "they don't respect our right to exist. they want to drive us into the sea. they are powerfully antizionist." and if you talk to hamas, they say, "if the occupation ends, the resistance ends." does there have to be a condition to talking to hamas at the governmental level? >> i think what there has to be, and this reminds me of the northern ireland situation -- when we brought the i.r.a. into the process -- and remember, we had terrorist attacks in the u.k. and mainland britain and northern ireland, and so on, and actually, it was george mitchell, in fact, who was instrumental in creating the principles which were the gateway in to talks, and what we said was, "look, we understand that you have all these disagreements but if we're all going to sit around the same table and try to hammer out an
agreement, then let's agree certain principles." and one of those principles was that we all decide we will pursue our grievances, our -- and political objectives by political means, and therefore by peaceful negotiation and not by violence. >> charlie: based on this one interview with khalid mashal, hamas would say don't ask us to have conditions to talk because people talk all the time with their enemies without conditions. >> but it's quite hard to talk to your enemy in the middle of an ongoing fight. and that's the problem. >> charlie: did you talk to the i.r.a.? >> we did, but only once, it was clear that they only got to the negotiating table when it was clear they were prepared to say "we will pursue our -- >> charlie: but not clear they were prepared to give up arms. they did not give up arms. >> the actual decommissions issue, it's true, came later but there would never have been a conversation around the table between ourselves, the
unionists, the republicans, if the republicans hadn't said, "ok, we agree, exclusively peaceful means." now, you can argue about whether they meant that, you can argue about did they always abide by it, and the unionists did argue about these things a lot. but my point is very simple. if khalid masham and hamas want to be part of this process, let's be clear about it, it is easier to solve this problem if there is a unified palestinian politics but in a sense that unity has to be based on genuine unitsy and that means we're both trying to reach a two-state solution. >> charlie: do you believe hamas wants a two-state solution? >> i honestly don't know. i hope so, but i don't know. >> charlie: can't you find out? >> i think -- here is the thing. it's not just about what people say. >> charlie: how do they prove to you -- how do they prove to you that if the occupation ends, the resistance ends and they want --
a two-state solution other than telling people like me and others -- >> yeah, but i think if what they were to say is, look, we believe passionately that the government of israel has done immense harm and wrong to the palestinians, we believe that the palestinians have an absolute right to a state, we are going to struggle for that state, but they would say at the same time, "however, we accept the only way we can negotiate peaceful coexistence with the israelis is to do it through a political negotiation, not through violence" -- if they were prepared to do that, i think it would transform the situation, and then you would test, in the course of a negotiation, whether or not that was genuine. >> charlie: what's amazing, you don't know whether they're prepared to do that. why don't we find out if they're prepared to do it by deed? >> exactly so, but this is why i say it's not a failure of communication. it's true, the quartet don't speak to hamas, but it is also true the egyptians speak to them, many other countries speak to them. they've got interlocuters
stacked up pretty high, so it's not that they don't understand what's being said. look, i went through this in northern ireland. so i know that they've got to manage their own politics. here is the worry that people have about hamas, and i think it's important just to be honest and lay it on the table, because i think if you were in any private conversation with a senior israeli this is what they would say. they would say, "look, we accept you get resistance movements, and we accept there may be people there who feel very genuinely about the palestinian cause but want a two-state solution." their worry is, "are these people actually acting on their own behalf?" >> charlie: or? >> or, are they in fact proxies for an iranian influence that is always going to be pulling them back from making the commitment to peace? >> charlie: clearly -- everybody i talk to, even abbas, said to me the iranians are part of the
problem -- i mean -- a different problem for the israelis, which has to do with their nuclear-weapons program but they are part of the program because they have not sent signals, even though they say they respect whatever the palestinians decide. >> the thing about this is that -- what happens in this situation -- and i find this quite frustrating is that you will get countries like iran that will say, "well -- every so often they'll make a remark that says if the palestinians negotiate, that's fine." but then there are other remarks like "we want to wipe israel off the face of the map." and i think there is an obligation on a serious country -- and iran is a serious country. it's a proud civilization. it's a serious country. i may disagree with the regime but the iranian people are people are enormous ability, confidence and a big position in the world. they've got an obligation, if they want to be constructive, to go out and say the things that
need to be said -- you know, they know what they are. if they came out and said, "look, we actually want to play a constructive role in this, we agree with the two-state solution, let's go for it." >> charlie: why don't they want to play a constructive role? >> that's the question, i'm afraid. >> charlie: what's the answer? >> you can't be sure of the answer, but i'm afraid the answer is they don't believe in it. >> charlie: they don't want to see it happens because it's not in their interest? >> or maybe because they don't believe in it, and that's possible too, and so i think -- i don't know is the answer, and it's very hard to know, but what i do know is that the influence of iran around the region is destabilizing. >> charlie: can turkey play a role in that? can egypt play a role? >> yeah, they can play a role in it. >> charlie: but are they? >> you have to divide up -- >> charlie: is turkey -- turkey now has -- ahmadinejad went to this -- they have an agreement between the turks and the
iranians about the nuclear issue. can the turks influence iran? >> yes, they can. turkey, again, is a very powerful, important country. when i was president of the european union back in 2005, when britain had the presidency, i opened the accession negotiations for turkey to enter the european union. i know the prime minister well. i've got a lot of respect for him. but everybody in this situation needs to come behind a kind of unified and fair strategy, and i think that unified and fair strategy is you all agree the two-state solution, you get the facts on the ground aligning itself with the political negotiation to achieve it, we, as i say, change the situation for the people in gaza which is desperately important to do and everybody's got their choice to make, are they on the side of peace or not and in respect to the arab countries like saudi arabia whose king with immense courage put forward -- >> charlie: the arab initiative. >> absolutely, and that's still
a very serious basis for peace, so i think that the -- in a sense, one of the -- i was going to say, one of the ironies of the middle east but actually it's one of the factors that should give us some confidence is that there is actually a change in the circumstances of the middle east today, which is that the arab world has a common interest with ourselves in ensuring, one, that iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon, two, that the destabilization stops, and three, that you have the two-state solution. now, part of, i think, pushing back iranian influence is to create that strong momentum behind the process for peace with the palestinians. because let's be clear, the palestinian issue is not the cause of the extremism. it really isn't. but it is used by the extremists and used with -- >> charlie: from al qaeda to the iranians. >> yeah, and what they do is they use it to reach into parts of moderate arab and muslim
opinion that otherwise they wouldn't be able to reach. >> charlie: is it possible, through turkey or somewhere else, that the israelis are prepared to negotiate with the syrians about the return of the golan heights and a separate agreement with the syrians? and does that make a difference in the greater scheme of things? >> that's a good question. i think -- first of all, i think that israel is prepared to engage in a negotiation over the golan heights and with syria. i have always been a skeptic, but others would disagree with me that you will ever pursue a syrian track independently of the palestinian one -- in other words, my view has been and remains that if you get real progress on the palestinian question, other things start to come in behind. >> charlie: but get that progress first? >> i personally think that is the only way it will happen. >> charlie: but the arab initiative basically guarantees that will happen if you get the palestinian question solved. >> correct. >> charlie: all these arab
states will come around and make an agreement, recognize the right of israel to exist, establishing diplomatic relations and economic relations. >> yeah. so you've got a tremendous you've got a great amount of possibility there if you can get it moving. >> charlie: do we need an american proposal on the table? and do you believe one is forthcoming? >> i think that you do have to lead the negotiation, and this is what senator mitchell is doing. you've always got to be careful when you are just putting down the proposal. so it's a -- there is, i think, a distinction between leaving the thing just to happen as it happens and just simply mediating between the parties, laying it down, you know, kind of whether you like it or not, here it is. i think somewhere in the middle you've got to get to, really,
which is about trying to lead the parties to a situation where they can see and sense that there is the potential for agreement, and as i say, i think the crucial thing, and this is my inner conviction about this, which is that actually, these big-item issues that we always talk about, like borders and settlements and jerusalem, if you had this big push from the bottom up towards peace, lives of palestinians being changed, perceptions of israel about security being changed, my sense, and as i say, inner conviction of this is that these big items would then be resolvable. >> charlie: even the notion of a palestinian capital in east jerusalem? >> well, for the palestinians, jerusalem is not just for the palestinians, actually, for the
arab countries, jerusalem is preconditional to this. >> charlie: right. but help me understand this from a statecraft standpoint. israelis say, "not now, not ever." >> look, let me not sort of try to negotiate this over the table even with someone as knowledgeable and well intentioned as you, charlie, but it's -- let's just look at the situation in yourself -- in jerusalem for a minute. jerusalem has a population of palestinians that is growing, not diminishing, despite the evictions and some people leaving east jerusalem, the population of east jerusalem is growing, and growing actually pretty fast. so the palestinians are not going to leave east jerusalem. so the question is, can you construct a solution for jerusalem that takes account of israel's concerns about
jerusalem, of the holy city itself and the need to protect the right of people to worship there, whether they're jews or muslims or, indeed, christians? and the fact that for the palestinians, jerusalem is equally important? without, as i say, negotiating, to be very sensible, i think if there was good will, you could find a way through, let me put it like that and that's about as far as it's worth putting it at this point in time. >> charlie: if there was good will, you could probably make a number of steps toward that end. >> yes. >> charlie: if there was good will. >> yes. >> charlie: if people can see that this is the only thing that stands in the way of something that's really good. >> correct. >> charlie: you've got to get to that point so they can see the light around the corner. >> yes. and that's what the whole thing is about, and the thing to keeps in mind the whole time, if you ask the questions of israelis or palestinians, do you want the two-state solution, the answer is yes, if you ask do you think
you're going to get it, the answer at the moment is no. it's the credibility gap between aspiration and actuality. >> charlie: is there a point of no return here? >> i always hesitate to say that -- but i think this is urgent, i don't think time is on our side in that sense. >> charlie: it is central to everything. >> it is in my view absolutely central to everything and i understand why israelis often say to me, "don't load all the problems of the world on our shoulders, these guys have got their own issues" and i totally agree with that. there is a need, i always say to people, "the middle east is a region in transition. the question is where is it transiting to?" it can go in two ways. i hope and believe it will go in the modernizing way so the middle east sorts its own problems out, becomes at ease with the 21st century in a way. resolving the palestinian question doesn't make that happen, but it alters the context in which that issue is being played out. >> charlie: benjamin netanyahu.
does he, because of his own political history, offer a better chance of doing something than, say, someone might from shimon peres or someone else? >> i personally believe from my conversations with him that he does want peace and heendz the only way to have peace is with a palestinian -- that he understands the only way to have peace is with a palestinian state. >> charlie: does he see the way to do it? >> i think he does, some people might disagree with me on that but i think that he does -- but what he says to me often, and i think this is correct and in a way, the same is true on the palestinian side -- he says, "i've got to have a deal that i can actually take to the israeli people and persuade them of." "there is no point -- you guys can come out in the international community with whatever solutions you want, but if i can't persuade the israeli people there is not much -- >> charlie: he's got to persuade his own coalition government.
>> there is that also, but i think the main thing is to persuade the israeli people that if there is a palestinian state it will be properly governed, it will be secure, it will be stable, and therefore it will be a partner for them in peace. >> charlie: and the palestinians would say at the same time, and you recognize this because you're there, "we have to have a state that's really a state." >> absolutely. yeah. >> charlie: a real state. >> correct. so the palestinians will not accept a state that is broken up, and they will not accept a state that isn't gaza and the west bank together. >> charlie: one last note. it is that -- you know this world now -- people in the investment community, they know what's happening in asia and they know what's beginning to happen in latin america. they will mention the middle east as a place which has enormous potential. as for economic growth. as you're seeing now. >> the arab population in the next 20-odd years is going to double. double. so this is a very important part
of the world, and a part of the world with enormous opportunity but with risk attached to it, but the good news, is that there is a whole generation of younger leaders, younger people, who are smart, completely attuned to the 21st century and its needs and want to be a part of it. >> charlie: thank you for coming. always great to see you. ♪ >> charlie: detlev engel is here to talk about wind power. c.e.o. of a danish company -- the largest wind turbine maker. it produces, services and installs wind turbines all over the world. its top two markets today are the united states and china. as the world is waking up to the realities of climate change and depleting fossil fuels, wind has become one of the fastest growing alternatives for clean energy. it is expected to nearly triple in the next five years. i am pleased to have ditlev engel for the first time here at this table to give us an inside look at the possibilities of
wind power. welcome. >> thank you so much. >> nice to see you. >> likewise. >> charlie: give me the overview first. using your own country. >> yeah. >> charlie: denmark as an example of how wind power works. what are its strengths. and what are its weaknesses. >> right. first, i would say for the strength, it is in abundance and it is everywhere in the world. that is a real strength and it is a domestic fuel everywhere. that's a real strength. when the wind doesn't blow the turbine doesn't turn. how can we address this through innovation. >> charlie: the problem is storage. >> absolutely. so the way they work is most people will know a windmill as they see them turning around and it is basically like the power you get from everywhere else, whether it's coal or gas, and i don't think you and i would know sitting here today with
electricity in this studio, who generated it, did it come from wind, did it from coal -- >> charlie: probably coal, here. >> probably coal, here, but you wouldn't notice, and in denmark we get more than 20% of our electricity from wind. >> charlie: 20% of electricity comes from -- the other% comes from? >> natural gas and coal. -- the other 80% comes from? >> natural gas and coal. the government has set a goal that denmark should be free of coal by 2030. >> charlie: 20 years. >> that means over the entire year, which means that on windy days, especially during the windy season, the entire country is running 100% on wind. >> charlie: ok, but the storage problem. >> yes. >> charlie: how do you store it now? >> the way that you have to consume it today, and therefore, you can't store it today -- >> charlie: you can't have batteries? you can't have anything else? >> not yet, but we think it's in the making and the first very exciting thing is something which people are working a lot
in the united states, and that is electrical cars. this will be one of the first way to see storage in a different way as you will recharge your car overnight, being at home -- that means that that is a new way to store the electricity that we haven't used before, but a lot of innovation has to go into this and we are working on that as well and that is a very important -- a very important thing to solve. >> charlie: when do you think there will be a breakthrough in the storage issue? >> well, i think that it's hard to sayment i think we'll have to, not to make it too -- it's hard to say. i think we'll have to -- not to make it too technical but split it into two, the storage where if you can imagine, huge batteries which we would take, for instance from out where the wind is blowing and put it into the cities and tap the batteries like we know mr. other ways we're using batteries today. that's further away. however, when the wind is blowing, even in windy season, there are some days where the wind doesn't blow, and then it's very costly to use the back-up fuel and there you have talk, i
would say, intermittent storage for a few days, and i don't think -- that is something which is not that far away, and that is very exciting. >> charlie: the alternative closest to wind would be solar. >> yes. >> charlie: why is wind better than solar? >> well, today it is -- from an economical perspective, wind is about one-third of the cost of solar, and you can install much bigger capacity, fast. it doesn't take up as much space. but i think it's important to say that the energy challenges in the world are so huge that there is not a silver-bullet solution. today, we get approximately -- in the world, about 2% of the electricity generation comes from wind, and even if we were working night and day for the next 20 years, we couldn't solve it alone, so there is not a silver-bullet solution. it has to be a number of solutions. i think wind will be one of them. i think solar will be another one. but the key issue is to make the transmission into other types of -- make the transition into other types of energy other than the ones we're using today.
>> charlie: what else is out there? >> there is a lot. i think the most important issue is that we are putting the brains and the money behind the research. we haven't done this. to give you an example, at vestas, we have 2,000 people in r&d, and that is the largest r&d within the wind sector in the world. but if you compare this to r&d in the established energy sector, it is a very small r&d, so i think we have progressed a lot with small resources and therefore what we need to put behind here, and this is what is -- we're starting to see happening in the united states, we're seeing it happening in china, we're seeing it that the amount of resources -- brains put into the innovation is really what is necessary to drive this forward. >> charlie: what's the percentage of the contribution of wind to china's electricity? >> oh, it's still very small. >> charlie: less than 1%? >> yeah. yeah. yeah. but i would say it's -- chine afs the world's largest market, last year, they have been moving very fast the last few years. >> charlie: across the board?
>> across the board. >> charlie: their primary generator is coast. >> that's right. >> charlie: we're in a bad place in terms of the future of our energy demands if we want to get off fossil fuel and you're here as the c.e.o. of a company that makes wind turbines to say wind may be one of the participant energy suppliers. >> yes. i'll tell you one thing, kaerl, and that is people don't think about this -- and before i joined vestas, i was not thinking about this either -- that wind is not something you can take for a given. that means that there are countries in the world -- most countries have ok wind but not all. >> charlie: we have good wind in the u.s. >> you have actually in the united states the best wind resources in the world. so not harvesting and tapping it would be like going to saudi arabia and not drilling for oil. >> charlie: we also have great natural-gas resources too, do we not? >> yes. but if you look at the amount of electricity generation you have in the united states today, a lot of it is very old. >> charlie: yeah. >> and it has to be replaced. >> charlie: what do you think of nuclear? >> i think that nuclear definitely, obviously, has the
advantage that it does not emitco2 which is a real challenge. there is the storage issue. it is a very expensive fuel. if you look at the capacity when you are trying to connect the dots for building the nuclear capacity, that is also a huge challenge in the world and i would say -- i would even go as far as to say that the energy challenges is one of the biggest challenges the world is faced with, and that is because of the co2 and it is because of all of the investments we need to do. >> charlie: let's speak to china now. >> yes. >> charlie: they are coming on very strong in terms of alternative sources of energy. >> absolutely. >> charlie: in terms of their public commitment. >> yes. >> charlie: they have created new wind-turbine companies. >> yes. >> charlie: that are competitive with you. >> we noticed. >> charlie: here is an interesting thing. you serve their market. at the same time, you look over their shoulder and they've got companies that want to compete with you. >> yes. >> charlie: it's a great market
for you. >> yes. we come from denmark, and we are five million people. one-sixth of the population of shanghai, and we are the world's largest -- and we have 99.98% of our revenues outside denmark. so we have away games, the entire season, to wind the world championship every year. no home games. and the good thing about this is you learn to run much faster. >> charlie: how do you run faster? what do you do to run faster? >> i lived in china for seven years. >> charlie: in a previous job? >> in my previous job before i joined this. and i would say you really have to move fast. if you want to participate in there, and china is a very -- a country filled with a lot of innovation, a lot of aspiration and it is very exciting -- i think they're driving a very exciting agenda which i think is good for all of us but it just means if we want to stay engaged in the chinese market, we have to move very fast. there is so much innovation going on there, there is so much
big investments going on there and i think everybody is really understanding that the key issue to solve this problem is really to think long-term. energy is about long-term thinking. and i think quite frankly that the biggest challenge we are faced with is that most of the energy policies which has been debated in the united states are very short term. but you can't solve such an issue by working from one year to another. the united states market has been the largest wind market for a number of years, as you said in the introduction, and one of our largest markets but it has been something where the investments have not taken place for one simple reason. people have not dared to commit a lot of money to a market where there was not a long-term plan in place. >> charlie: and long-term plan -- by the government? >> that's right. >> charlie: so that they could understand if they made huge capital investment they could see down the road they would get a return? is that it? >> yes. we started out in europe. we invested a lot in china. we moved many of our european
suppliers with us to china because there is a long-term plan for how they want to develop the energy. it was much more difficult for us and still is very challenging to get our european suppliers to invest in the united states and create jobs here because there is not a long-term energy policy which would give them the security to deploy the investment. so this is really one of the keys. the keys is to have a long-term energy policy in the united states and tap these resources. >> charlie: some of my friends say to me, "you can talk about alternative sources of energy all you want to. but unless you focus on the demand side, you will never deal with the energy question." >> we will be another two billion people on this planet in the next 20 years, and we will draw on the same energy resources in the world, and one of the good things about -- as you asked me in the introduction, what is really good about wind? that is, you can forecast the cost. any day, you can watch on any tv
channel the price of oil is this today, the price of gas is this today, and everybody is wondering what will it be tomorrow. i think what everybody agrees upon is that it is going up. the only thing people are not so sure of, how much special and how fast. >> charlie: it's partly dependent on political instability. >> at the same time, you know what the beauty about wind is, this is why a lot of c.f.o.'s like the wind because you know exactly what the cost is going to be the next 20 years. it's a way to hedge your risk and balance because you know exactly what the cost is going to be and that is not a bad thing to have for a country who is going to make sure you don't keep spending more money on importing energy from abroad, so it's a way to hedge the cost. >> charlie: do we in the united states need to put a price on carbon? >> it will drive innovation much faster and it will be a fantastic vehicle to really make sure this happens. >> charlie: what is the best way to do that? >> i think the best way to do that is you could put a renewable standard in place or put a price on carbon. you know why investors inexist?
because in the 1970's we had a huge oil crisis in denmark and we learned that the only way was to set ourselves some very tough targets, and this is the real thing on the table here is that if you put -- you have a wonderful expression here which you call a big, hairy, audacious goals. i guarantee you have some of the best universities in the world. >> charlie: some of them? most of them. >> you have a lot of good -- and i would say for one thing, the young people -- the young people have a very different perception. i hear a lot about democrats and republicans but when i speak to the young people, everybody really want to see a new energy future. >> charlie: what is your company and sort of people who are in the energy business -- what is their assessment of the impact of the oil spill? on the oil equation around the world? >> i think it's too early to judge. i think that it's clear that -- i'm not an expert onhave to say
horrible -- horrible situation which is unfolding. >> charlie: to people in jobs -- >> everybody, people being killed, it's just terrible but i think the really important lesson here is that when we look at the energy situation in the world going forward, the resources we have to draw upon will be more complicated to get to, it will be more costly to get to. in china, they have -- and speaking about this, they have a very good saying, where it says, "you shouldn't look at the waves, you should look at the current." and i think only very special persons will expect a different result by tooep keep doing the same thing. >> charlie: this is bill gates. almost all the swirl of different ideas on how to raise money and how to regulate carbon, he said, there is no way either in this country or internationally you're going to come close to meeting an 80% reduction unless you have an immense breakthrough. he said that the only way to find such disruptive new technology was to pour large sums of money at the problem with the clear understanding that any number of ventures
would fail before the "uyeeka" moment arrives. mr. gates is -- before the eureka moment arrives. you're sitting at the table saying that's all true but we have something we're not using right now. >> yes. remember maybe -- this is more down mr. gates's alley, that is about when everybody -- 10-15 years ago everybody had to make an "e" strategy for their company, and i think those who made an "e" strategy where they want to have everything in one goal, they're still working on it. those who said "we'll get started and then we'll work our way through it" we have increased the output of our products more than 300 times over 20 years and we keep seeing that we are at the end of the beginning when it comes to innovation. we're 22,000 people. every time we never get around the corner because new, exciting things happen, things we can't even forecast. i think walt disney once said --
another great american, "if you can dream it, you can do it." and i think the real issue is if you can dream a future, a new energy future, you can do it because i will tell you the enthusiasm among the youngsters is there. and i was just informed yesterday that between the -- that between the m.b.a. students in the united states, vestas is one of the places they wanted to work. >> charlie: because of the brilliant leadership? >> this has nothing to do with -- this has something to do, but i think first and foremost the applications, we get young people want to see a different energy world. >> charlie: exactly. they want to be involved in something they believe is a solution to one of the great challenges of our time. >> i agree. >> charlie: if we don't do something about it we'll be in a very bad place in terms of damage not only in terms of our dependence on fossil fuel and the national security implications but also in terms of what we do to the planet. >> absolutely. and i have to say that we are very fortunate at vestas.
we have a lot of young, bright people all over the world who wants to come and work with us because it's very important for them not just to have a job, which is very important, but something they really find meaningful and when we look at investors, wind means the world to us and this kind of passion is what is driving the innovation. >> charlie: what happened to your stock price last year? >> well, the stock price took a tumble. >> charlie: it did? >> at the same time when the whole financial crisis hit, and that, of course, has been a huge challenge. popeople's financing wasn't there and so on. that also hurt us as well. >> charlie: financing wasn't there -- to build the turbines? >> i can tell you in the united states coming back to why the long-term energy policy is so important, 2006, 2007, 2008, the u.s. was our largest market. in 2009, we didn't sign one -- >> charlie: one order? >> not one order in the united states. >> charlie: it's amazing to me. >> yeah. >> charlie: so what do you say to your stockholders in terms of why this is a good business for you to be in? >> because i think everybody knows that the future energy
cost is going to go up, and everybody knows that in the e.u., for instance, we have set targets that by 20 20 we have to have 20% of our energy from renewables and we have to cut the co2 emission by 20%. that is creating the power to go forward. what we're seeing is the united states get going as well and this is why long-term energy is so important for us. charlie, you know, coming back to 2009, even though we didn't sign a single order, we invested $1 billion into the united states building manufacturing plants in colorado. and why did we do that? because we believe that common sense will prevail, and looking at the abundant wind resources in the united states, looking at the administration's desire to change this, and also the speech that the president gave the other day in pittsburgh, i believe it was -- >> charlie: carnegie mellon. right. >> talking about we have to get this going. >> charlie: calling for a comprehensive energy bill. >> absolutely. >> charlie: in part a
recognition of striking when the iron is hot because of the tragedy in the gulf but also recognizing the national security, the jobs consideration as well as the conservation consideration. >> we have known this for a long time. this is not something which just happened yesterday. i think we have known this for a long time, and the key question is when do we do it, and i think i really, sincerely hope, not just for vestas but i think for everybody that this is also based upon the recommendation that you are referring to here is that now is the time. >> charlie: thank you for coming. it's great to see you again. >> likewise. thank you so much. >> charlie: coming up next week on "charlie rose" the ninth episode about the brain series. our focus on mental illness. schizophrenia and depression. >> one of the things that is hardest to explain to anyone who has not been depressed is how isolating it is. how painful it is. and that kind of pain just -- i'm convinced cannot be put into words, no matter how many great writers have tried to put these things into words, you simply cannot convey to anyone, when
you think about illnesses like terminal cancer where you think people would be thinking of dying and committing suicide, the suicide rate is really quite low. the people who really tend to kill themselves are people when they're depressed. it is a level of agony, of arterial agony that is astonishing and isolation. what's the point? you don't feel human. you can't think. you can't feel. you can't love. >> charlie: some people reach out for suicide. >> absolutely. >> charlie: that is the only way to take the pain away. >> for sure, for sure. >> charlie: when did you know? >> i knew -- i first sort of flew quite high, as it were, when i was about 17, and a senior in high school, and i felt great. i felt no pain. i had a wonderful time. it wasn't that different from my usual -- joie de vivre, my friends dropping like flies from
exhaustion. what didn't happen is that i crashed completely, and i had never been depressed a day in my life, i had never thought about suicide a minute in my life, and all of a sudden i was incapable of remembering anything, concentrating, doing anything in school, making sense of anything and i just wanted to die, and i went around trying to figure out how i could die. i thought of death. i felt -- and i knew something was very seriously wrong. but at that time, i didn't put in -- nobody talked about depression. nobody talked about bipolar illness or manic depression. the words weren't there. i didn't know what to do so i did nothing. >> charlie: until? >> i kept on that way until -- up and down, up and down for another 10 years and then i went flamingly psychotic. i was hallucinating and delusional, manic, spending a lot of money that i didn't have. and not wisely. and it was a medical emergency. so i was brought to care, as it
were, and i was very fortunate. i had a terrific psychiatrist who diagnosed what i had absolutely correctly immediately and i responded very well to lithium. >> charlie: the interesting thing here is you are -- in your field, one of those suffering. >> yes. yes. there is nothing more motivating in life than nearly dying from an illness, which i did because i tried -- >> charlie: which you know a lot about. >> because you want to know more. you really -- you're a little impatient with the pace of the field, and yes, it's very motivating. ♪ captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org