WFES to address need for renewable energy investments

solarpanel-IFCInfrastructure-flickrWFES will help industry leaders engage with each other, and encourage opportunities for investments in clean energy. (Image source: IFCInfrastructure/Flickr) Investments in clean energy projects in MENA would be the key focus at the eighth edition of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), scheduled to take place from 19-22 January 2015 in Abu Dhabi, UAE

At the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the four-day event would connect key members from technology, finance and government sectors. Delegates would be provided insights into growing market opportunities in the MENA region through conferences and panel sessions, stated organisers.

The show would be held during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which is from 17-24 January 2015. ADSW seeks to attract more than 32,000 delegates to address areas that directly affect sustainable development.

Ahmed Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, said, “As a result of ambitious energy targets, countries in the region are incentivising the rapid scale-up of renewable energy. The development of wind and solar power is a fundamental strategy that supports energy security and creates lasting economic and social opportunity.”

WFES would take into account the vast developments made in technology, and how it can aid the renewable energy industry.

One of the main focal points at WFES would be how oil exporter Saudi Arabia intends to transform its domestic energy supply to become one of the world’s largest producers of renewable energy. In addition, regional leaders would discuss the UAE’s roadmap to a diversified energy future and explore how Dubai’s upcoming Expo 2020 is driving a holistic sustainability agenda across the country, revealed WFES organisers.

Delegates would also provide valuable inputs on clean energy generation at WFES. For instance, Morocco’s transition from an energy importer to a net energy exporter would be analysed during sessions. Additionally, Egypt’s urgent energy demand needs and South Africa’s clean energy growth potential would also be discussed.

Several governments in the MENA region have also made significant pledges towards clean energy investments. Saudi Arabia has committed US$109bn to the development of 41GW of solar energy as part of a broader plan to deploy 54 GW of clean energy by 2032. A US$9bn solar-power project, accounting for 38 per cent of Morocco’s installed power generation by 2020, is currently underway. The country has targeted 42 per cent of domestic energy supply from renewables by 2020. Jordan has targeted 10 per cent of power from renewable sources and expects to invest up to US$2.1bn by 2020. Egypt has agreed to invest US$1bn in solar energy as it looks to increase the country’s share of renewables to 20 per cent by 2020.

Renewable energy investments in sub-Saharan Africa – particularly in South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia – are expected to grow to more than US$7bn by 2016.

WFES would also explore a series of trends such as the rise of shale gas and its impact on the adoption of renewable energy, the role of cities in mitigating effects of adverse climate change, developing and operating utility-scale solar plants and wind farms, energy efficiency, understanding Internet of Things (IoT) and smart-grid solutions, and gauging financial risks in large scale renewable projects.

The International Water Summit (IWS) supported by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and EcoWaste, in association with Tadweer, Abu Dhabi’s Centre of Waste Management, will be held concurrently with WFES.

The fifth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency and the seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards ceremony will also take place during ADSW.

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