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HE Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure, has reiterated the UAE?s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70% and increase clean energy use by 50% by 2050 during the inaugural Middle East Energy virtual event

h.e. suhail al mazrouei minister of energy and infrastructureduring the first day of middle east energySuhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure during the first day of Middle East Energy. (Image source: MEE)

?Today, renewables alongside new technologies and services are transforming the business of supplying and delivering power. For this energy transition, a more responsive and interconnected power system is emerging. This changing energy landscape offers new opportunities for both leadership and action,? said Al Mazrouei.

?Over the past 50 years, the UAE has been at the forefront of the ongoing energy transition in the region and among leading nations worldwide. We were among the first nations to ratify the Paris Agreement, thereby showing our commitment to the efforts toward a low carbon economy, which requires a low carbon energy system,? he added. 

Addressing the audience on the opening session, Energy diversification and the race to meet clean energy targets ? strategies to reach net-zero, was HE Eng Yousif Al Ali, assistant undersecretary - Electricity, Water and Future Energy Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, discussed the UAE carbon capture programme.

?The UAE is well-positioned to be one of the top producers of hydrogen in the world. The UAE is committed and working with confidence to reduce the nationwide carbon footprint, by working on the demand side, supply-side and working on our different energies and future technologies to reduce our carbon footprint,? he said.

Other notable speakers included Mohammed Angawi, regional climate change coordinator, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) West Asia; David Rennie, global head of Energy, Scottish Development International (SDI); Eva Ramos Torreblanca, director - Environmental Analysis and Economics, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi; and Farid Al Awlaqi, executive director ? Generation, TAQA Global ? with all underscoring a commitment to low carbon, renewables and clean energy through solar, wind and tidal as well as green hydrogen.

Elsewhere on the agenda on the opening day were high-level discussions and presentations, including Realising the potential of green hydrogen ? will this be the game-changer for the energy transition. The use of solar was highlighted in the session Increasing output of solar panels: latest innovations in PV module design and installation, which was led by Daniel Barandalla, solar advisory lead EMEA, UL Renewables.

Rounding out the panel discussions on day one was the Introduction to Utility Connected PV System and Design led by Kristopher Sutton, Middle East and Africa programme manager, Solar Energy International.

A series of Product Pitch sessions also took place. Brady Middle East showcased Lockout Tagout solutions to prevent electrical risks during maintenance, while Clenergy revealed the latest technology to track the sun and maximise irradiance capture.

Claudia Konieczna, exhibition director, Middle East Energy, said, ?The breadth of discussion on the opening day has underscored the eagerness of the energy industry to come together and plan for the future with clean and sustainable alternatives. Insights from around the world are reiterating the commitment of countries to diversify their energy portfolio and reduce carbon emissions.?  

The Renewable and Clean Energy Sector week continues until 19 May. Discussions on the agenda on day two include Enabling the adoption of Green Hydrogen in the region, Opportunities for floating solar, Latest developments in rooftop solar and Financing the energy transition.

Rory McCarthy, chief commercial officer at Yellow Door Energy, who is participating in the How will the corporates transition towards the ?New Energy? scenario session, said, ?Yellow Door Energy is proud to contribute our thought leadership to Middle East Energy 2021 and share how rooftop solar and energy savings initiatives can help corporations save money and achieve net-zero objectives. We look forward to the engaging talks by esteemed leaders in the industry. Together, we can accelerate the sustainable energy transition for a cleaner planet.?

Sponsored sessions include Models for developing rooftop and distributed solar and Riedon?s latest product launch for the energy sector.

The final day of the sector week, which takes place on 19 May, will include a deep dive into the Middle East Solar Industry Mid-Year report by Ahmed Nada, Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESAI). An interview with Frederic Wishart, general manager ? Steam Power Projects, General Electric, will discuss nuclear power's role in the energy transition.

He said, ?As today's most dependable source of carbon-free power, nuclear will play a key role in the transition to a carbon-free future. I am excited to join the conversation at MEE and discuss how nuclear energy can contribute to a low-carbon energy mix in the Middle East.?

Other sessions include Exploring the opportunities around the growing wind sector across the UK, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, PV modules post-shipment inspections and claims assessment in PV power plants. The final session will be Island Microgrid, a Philippines Case Study.

Sponsored content from Uniper will address the need to prepare for peak power. Anand Bansal, managing director, Uniper Energy Services MENA, said, ?It is an absolute pleasure to once again sponsor and be part of the Middle East Energy online event. MEE online is an excellent platform to engage with our peers and keep abreast of the latest trends and regional developments within the power industry.?

Running alongside the Middle East Energy sector weeks is the Energy Startup Hub. Run in partnership with Green Climate Ventures and sponsored by Schneider Electric, the hub provides global energy startups with a platform to showcase their innovations to a panel of investors and industry experts. 

The shortlisted applicants will be presenting a five-minute pitch each week, with the winner announced during the final week of the event. Entrants include One Moto, a brand of electric vehicles, designed and developed for inner-city commuters and the delivery community and Power-Blox AG - electrifying rural populations of southern countries.