World Future Energy Summit 2010
With Copenhagen sewn up, the spotlight is switching to Abu Dhabi
As Utilities Middle East went to press towards the tail-end of December, the final details of the Copenhagen climate summit were starting to become a little clearer.
The main headlines in the international press have by and large intimated that the conference was a failure, as the nations taking place only managed to reach a weak outline of a global agreement, without anything more substantive being signed up.
For now, the focus will turn to the Abu Dhabi and the four-day World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2010 – being held from January 18th – 21st which is the perfect opportunity for companies as well as countries to put their messages across.
With 2009 being such a successful year for Abu Dhabi on the renewable energy front as a result of the decision of the International Renewable Energy Agency to base its headquarters there and the continuing work at Masdar, WFES comes at exactly the right time for Middle Eastern companies to get the best out of some truly international networking opportunities.
And it certainly is a bumper programme this year. The fourth edition of WFES has invited a number of analysts, executives and politicians from over 100 countries to bring their experience to the event, with the focus being placed on the actions necessary to balance demands the world is facing between an economic and social need to boost energy infrastructure to fuel economic growth and environmental imperatives that must be met to ensure sustainability.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that 70% of the increased energy demand to 2030 will come from developing countries.
Meanwhile, the other 30% of this growth will emanate from developed economies, which will continue to witness growing demand as they get wealthier, and as their populations expand with ever-increasing migration from the developing world.
In addition, the US-based Energy Information Administration has said that global energy demand is expected to soar 44% over the next two decades, fuelled heavily by the emergence of economic heavyweights such as China and Russia.
With China playing a key role in the success or otherwise of post-Copenhagen climate change talks, the importance of the emerging nations has never been more crucial.
One of the highlights of WFES this year will be the launch of a special programme, Young Future Energy Leaders, by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), which threw open its doors for the first time during 2009.
The four-day programme is designed to offer 150 participants an unparalleled opportunity to engage in discussions with the world’s foremost experts in energy, climate change, policy, and sustainability.
They will also have a chance to network with government representatives, businesses leaders and other organisations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability.
“We are particularly pleased that we have received significant interest from young Emiratis in attending the Young Future Energy Leaders program, which will increase their awareness of and participation in the fields of alternative energy and sustainability,” said Dr Lammya Fawwas, assistant provost for regional affairs at MIST.
“This is just one of a number of outreach activities planned by Masdar Institute to develop Nationals into leaders in these fields, as part of the overall vision for Abu Dhabi.”
Unsurprisingly, there are a huge number of international and local companies showcasing their wares at the event this year. Amongst the biggest firms attending that will be of interest to utilities executives are GE, ADWEA and Siemens.
WFES 2010: In quotes
“We really need to build the green economy of the future by jettisoning fossil fuels and embracing renewable energy.”
Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Maldives, who is a keynote speaker at WFES 2010.
“A carbon price alone will not get us where we need to go unless it is supported by comprehensive regulation that will encourage and facilitate new sources of clean energy. Feed-in tariffs and rules to make sure renewable energy providers can link easily into the grid are essential to stimulate more active investment in alternative energies.”
Kevin Parker, global head of Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division.
“Exposure to the quality of experts taking part in World Future Energy Summit will help our young people develop an international perspective that will be essential to developing a global solution to energy challenges.”
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.
Selected Summit Highlights
Monday, January 18th, 2pm
Plenary Forum 1
World Future Energy Policy – Energy Ministers’ Roundtable
As well as the interim director of IRENA, senior energy officials from Canada, Switzerland, Holland, India and Japan – as well as the UAE – will discuss how the role of renewable energy will shape the future of the planet.
Tuesday, January 19th, 2pm
Advanced Solar Technologies, Materials and Costs – Summit Room A
Executives from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Calisolar, First Solar and Schott Solar discuss the advances being made in the major PV technologies; crystalline Si, thin film and high-efficiency concentrated PV as well as concentrated solar thermal technology.
Wednesday, January 20th, 11am
Into The New Electricity Age with Smart Grids – Summit Room B
Khaled Awad, director of property development unit, Masdar, takes a look at this vital sector in conjunction with senior executives from Siemens, ENEL and RWE Effizienz.
Thursday, January 21st, 11am
Panel on Private Sector Successs Criteria for Project Finance in Sustainable Energy – Main Summit Theatre
The flow of capital for funding sustainable energy projects is crucial to the success of the world’s future energy supply. This panel brings together leading private sector financiers to discuss the criteria for successful funding in today’s challenging economic climate.
Masdar news round-up
As event host and HQ of IRENA, Masdar City will be looking to make a splash at WFES 2010
Masdar City – the carbon-neutral development currently taking shape on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi – has just signed a six major supply and installation contracts, worth around US$2.9 billion, for the world’s first 1GW offshore wind farm, located in the United Kingdom’s Thames Estuary.
Offshore work on the London Array project will start in early 2011, with phase one of construction earmarked for completion in 2011.
“The completion of these contracts marks a major step towards making the project a reality,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.
Masdar is working on the development in partnership with Dong Energy and E.ON. Over the last few years, Masdar has invested around US$15 billion in renewable energy projects around the world and at home.
Also during December, the Masdar subsidiary, Masdar PV, saw its solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed for the first time on a commercial rooftop. The installation took place at the stainless steel tube systems company Dockweiler AG, in Neustadt-Glewe, Germany.
“We are delighted that our solar modules are now being used for the first time in a roof mounted system – shortly after having equipped the first open space solar park with them. The company Ralos has been awarded the contract for planning and installing the equipment and we are hoping to work with them on future projects as well,” said Joachim Nell, COO/CMO of Masdar PV.
Lastly, the Neutral Group, a global carbon consultancy, also chose December to announce that it is relocating its headquarters to Masdar City. The Neutral Group assists companies such as BP and DHL calculate and reduce their carbon footprint.