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Invest in renewable energy

Nissar Hoath / 17 January 2012

ABU DHABI Leaders of large Asian energy consuming giants on Monday put their weight behind the Middle East to invest in and to promote renewable energy.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 5th edition of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES 2012), both Chinese and South Korean prime ministers vowed their full support to the region’s efforts promoting green energy and sustainable development.

Attended by 3,000 delegates, including heads of states and ministers, the four-day summit and the exhibition was inaugurated by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, along with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed said that under the wise leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE is committed to retaining its leading role as a main global energy provider through energy diversification in the renewable energy sector.

In his key speech, China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said: “China respects the independent choice made by the countries and peoples in the region and supports your efforts in developing the economy based on your resources endowment and strengths.”

He said as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and “a responsible country, China will continue to work with the rest of the international community to promote peace, stability and development in West Asia and North Africa”.

South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, in his speech, said that developed nations should transfer green energy technology to developing countries.

He said: “To distribute renewable energy to the world, active financial support and technology transfers from developed countries to their developing counterparts are required.”

In his welcome address, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the CEO of Masdar, outlined the huge advances the renewables sector had made in recent years.

“The production capacity for wind energy has increased by a factor of 10 to reach 200 gigawatts, while solar has increased by a factor of 30, to reach almost 35 gigawatts. Production and technology advances have led to a sharp decrease in the cost of production, and the market value of the renewable sector has increased from $1 billion to $211 billion,” he said.

Ban Ki-moon, in his keynote address, said: “Widespread energy poverty still condemns millions to darkness, to ill health and to missed opportunities for education.”

Under this year’s theme of “Powering Sustainable Innovation,” the annual WFES is staging both a high-level conference and an exhibition where companies from around the world can promote their latest products and services.

nissar@khaleejtimes.com

 
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