Organisations have to diversify renewable energy portfolios
Organisations across the UAE and the Middle East have to look into actively diversifying their renewable energy portfolios in order to tackle the challenges posed by climate change, experts said at the 23rd edition of the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment, Exhibition (Wetex 2021) and Dubai Solar Show.
Organised by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), the event is being held under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum inaugurated the event on October 5, 2021 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai under the theme ‘At the Forefront of Sustainability’.
The exhibition has attracted the participation of more than 1,200 companies from 55 countries, with 61 sponsors and 10 country pavilions.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said that the exhibition reflects Dewa’s successful efforts to promote the transition towards using clean and renewable energy for major projects in collaboration with the private sector. Organising the exhibition this year at Expo 2020 Dubai underlines the importance of sustainability, which is one of the UAE’s top priorities, he said. “This aligns with Dubai and the UAE’s efforts to host the most sustainable world expo ever. Sustainability is ingrained in everything we’ve been doing - from buildings and construction to establishing a lasting legacy long after Expo 2020 Dubai is over.”
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dewa, and founder and chairman of Wetex and Dubai Solar Show, said that the events are important for organisations and investors in the water, environment, oil, gas, conventional and renewable energy, and green development sectors from the region and the world to showcase their solutions and products, make deals, build partnerships, and promote green technologies. “This is especially important after announcing the ‘Projects of the 50’ through which the UAE aims to enhance public-private partnerships and provide promising investment opportunities in the country,” he said.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the event, he spoke about Dubai’s recovery from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the heartening performance of the retail and F&B sectors. “Life is slowly returning back to normal across Dubai. Over the next five years, we will have Dh86 billion investments in power and water spread across various projects such as substation expansion and distribution to support recovery and growth.”
He also revealed that Dewa was exploring other alternative forms of energy. “We are studying Hydrogen now; already we have gone commercial with it and are linked to the grid. In the future, we are going to tender for Hydrogen energy, because we believe that Hydrogen is the future. We have to have a strategy ready first; after that, we will lay down a road map to ensure that we are on the right track. However, this is all provided that the cost of Hydrogen is competitive to solar.”
Similarly, Dr. Mostafa Al Guezeri, managing director for the UAE, Gulf, Near East & Pakistan region at Hitachi ABB Power Grids, noted that this edition of Wetex comes at a crucial time for businesses anticipating a post-pandemic economic growth surge. He said that this year’s physical exhibition is a testimony of the tenacity of the UAE in weathering the pandemic and normalising the situation to pave the way for business and economic growth.
“Our key focus this year is on sustainability and digitalisation, as well as demonstrating our versatile range of technology and electricity solutions that will reinforce a carbon-neutral future,” he said. “The solutions and services are aimed at helping customers overcome complexity, increase efficiency, and accelerate the shift towards a carbon-neutral energy future.”
Sustainability for Hitachi, he said, begins “at home across our facilities”, where the company has taken various steps to reduce their carbon footprint. “We recently set out Sustainability 2030, our new strategic plan and commitment towards a sustainable energy future with our electric solutions supporting the four key pillars of planet, people, peace, and partnerships contributing to creating social, environmental, and economic values. Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system and solar energy will be the one of the most competitive renewable energy in the coming decade, contributing to a carbon-neutral future.”
Al Guezeri also highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing to create effective solutions to current challenges, a topic which it will highlight at the upcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. “Education and sharing knowledge benefits the whole ecosystem and we have always been dedicated to the mission of sustainability set by the wise leadership of the UAE.”
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