Renewable energy must be part of new normal: Expert


Dubai - Bruch urged companies and governments to collaborate and urgently adapt learnings from the pandemic.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Wed 10 Mar 2021, 9:40 PM

The global crisis is a wake-up call for the energy sector to get its act together, said Dr Christian Bruch, president and chief executive officer of Siemens Energy on the final day of the World Government Summit Dialogues in Dubai.

Bruch urged companies and governments to collaborate and urgently adapt learnings from the pandemic to rebuild a more equitable energy infrastructure for the next decade.

The inequality we see in parts of the energy industry is a cause for concern, he said. “You see a pretty divided world. On one side, there is sufficient capital in the world, and it is a question on how to deploy it. There is a lot of uncertainty — this balance of investing somewhere, giving people access to electricity and energy — how is this working out? One thing is clear, the old mechanisms are not going to work,” he explained.

With more oil companies now renaming themselves ‘energy companies’, Dr Bruch noted that renewable energy transitions need to cut across sectors and technologies, “Otherwise we run the risk of living in a renewable bubble that does not really achieve long-term returns,” he stated.

In another session at the dialogue, Dr Parag Khanna, founder and managing partner of data firm FutureMap, said an inevitable global economic shift towards Asia is under way, highlighting the importance of learning from the successes of the UAE and Dubai, which have become role models in smart transformation.

He said: “Despite the unprecedented challenges the world has witnessed in 2020, Asian economies have recovered far more quickly than others. Asia managed the pandemic with far greater resilience and agility than many countries of the world, confirming that Asia is the new hub of the global economy.”

By leveraging smart and innovative technologies to shape an advanced digital infrastructure, the UAE has expanded its knowledge-based economy and established global benchmarks to build a bright future for its people.

While in conversation with Saeed Al Gergawi, head of Dubai Future Academy, Dr Khanna said the new robust trend of growing connectivity between West and East Asia is expected to outlast the pandemic. “I call this the Iron and Silk Road, or the Digital Silk Road or the Green Silk Road. It includes all the new kinds of commerce and exchange – from energy to transportation to finance to infrastructure to services – the movement of people and workers.”

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