WORLD FUTURE ENERGY SUMMIT, 2011

Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

More than 25,000 delegates actively participated in the World Future Energy Summit, 2011 and rigorously discussed renewable and future energy solutions, innovations, investments, policy and vision. The WFES also covered a wide range of policy initiatives, future plans not confined only to energy policy, investment and funding, green buildings, clean transport, solar, wind and bio-fuels.

The opening ceremony witnessed a strong international presence as global leaders from both developed and developing nations expressed their commitment towards developing clean, renewable energy for future generations. During the WFES, 2011 the industry professionals, government leaders, academicians and environmental enthusiasts discussed the progress made in using bio-fuels, hydro-power, wind energy, solar power, electricity and other alternatives as of future energy sources.

Inauguration Ceremony

The four-day summit was inaugurated by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The summit was attended by a number of world leaders.

Main Organizers and Theme

It was organised under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s symbol of development and deployment of renewable energy and clean technologies. The fourth edition of WFES themed “Enabling future energy solutions finding practical answers to the energy security global challenge’, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Main Important Personalities

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, United Nations, His Excellency Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President, Iceland; His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari, President, Pakistan ; His Excellency Jose Socrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa, Prime Minister of Portugal; Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh; His Excellency Nikoloz Gilauri, Prime Minister, Georgia; Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria, Princess of Sweden, His Royal Highness Guillaume, Crown Prince of Luxembourg, and other royals and Heads of State were present on the occasion. Government and industry leaders, CEOs, high-ranking private and public sector officials also attended the opening ceremony.

General Shaikh Mohammed’s Thoughtful Statement

General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces said that visionary leadership of the UAE and guidance of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE is the driving force behind all the mega projects of sustainable development which is instrumental to bring comfort and ease in the lives of common people and economic stability for the generations to come. The WFES reflects our commitment and strong political will to provide a global platform for meaningful dialogue around renewable energy and clean energy innovation he added.

Gen. Shaikh Mohammed spoke proudly about the good work of the UAE in tackling challenges relating to renewable energy resources and climate change with the international community. He pinpointed the merging threats to mankind of earth not confined only to high levels of climate change, finding scalable sources of clean energy, and providing fresh water supply. He suggested the meaningful means to tackle these challenges which are given below as:

(a) Collective support of the international community to cope with the climate change
(b) Appropriate and result-oriented solutions and common ground to work together
(c) Rigorous collaboration, consultations and discussions to find an effective international response, both at the policy and legislation level
(d) Fostering innovation and clean tech solutions.

Ban Ki-moon’s Deliberations

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to have a “global clean energy revolution” due to its phenomenal rise around the globe. He predicted that in the next 20 years, global energy demand would be increased by 20 per cent mostly in developing countries where 1.6 billion still lack access to electricity and 3 billion rely on traditional biomass fuels for cooking, heating and other basic household needs. So, to make renewable energy available and affordable for all is the need of the hour he added.

He mentioned the different potential benefits of using renewable energy resources including minimising climate risk, reducing poverty, ensuring global economic growth, peace and the last but not the least human survival on this planet. He talked about the good progress on climate change last month in Cancun, Mexico, including developing a mechanism to share green technologies in which they had also agreed on a financially backed action plan to reduce annual deforestation, which leads to one-fifth of all carbon emissions. Moreover, he shared that these targets will require annual outlays of $35 billion i.e. Dh128 billion for 20 years.

Abu Dhabi: Important Platform and hub for renewable energy investments and resources

In the World Future Energy Summit 2011, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, welcomed Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at Masdar stand at the parallel exhibition and expressed the different mega projects of renewable energy in the United Arab Emirates. He praised the UN agencies’ role in spreading knowledge and awareness about uses and technologies of renewable and clean energy around the globe.

Shaikh Mohammed acknowledged that the active participation of the UN Secretary General in the 4th World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi gathers the attention and support lent by the largest international organisation to such world gatherings that have positive impact on the humanity at large. He expressed that “what we are seeing today in Masdar City is an extension of the far-sighted vision of the founding father, the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the wise policy of The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It was derived from our indigenous culture and values and originality of our heritage in preserving the environment and the optimum use of resources,” he further added.

He assured that we should pursue our efforts with the same enthusiasm, determination and perseverance and have the same vision to address future challenges even under the scarcity or depletion of our resources from underground energy riches. He explained that the quality of education to make our generations capable of giving and protecting gains with high sense of responsibility in pursuance of our wise leadership’s aspirations for handling future challenges efficiently may be useful to achieve our national and collective goals of renewable energy.

For his part, the UN chief said he was impressed with what he had seen at Masdar City and UAE’s initiatives on renewable and clean energy. He was of the view that by launching these pioneering projects the UAE is providing a living example and delivering a valuable message to others at the region and beyond.

He further added that Abu Dhabi has become an important platform for international cooperation in renewable energy through its advanced research work/projects being undertaken and implemented at Masdar City.

Energy Experts Suggestions

The energy experts belonging to many continents, CEO of the multinational companies and heads of the international corporations stressed the need to have a specific integrated energy policy addressing all the issues, including reducing carbon fuel subsidies globally to make renewables more competitively priced. They all valued the essential roles of the policy makers and statesman in this regard.

Suggestions

(a) Governments must have developed a well-designed, long term and consistent price support mechanism, which is able to adapt predictably over time to changes in technology and costs
(b) Prevalence of strong political will to bring changes and achieving desired goals of renewable energy resources and reducing levels of emissions.
(c) Urgent need for greater government involvement in moving things forward on renewable energy resources around the globe.
(d) More incentives for the private sectors to make huge investments in the renewable energy resources.

Masdar Initiative

The CEO of Masdar Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO expressed his valuable views on many interrelated subjects in the WFES 2011. He praised the remarkable achievements of Masdar in a very short span of time. He elaborated the objectives of the “Masdar initiative” and termed it a testament of his wise and visionary leadership’s determination to advancing renewable energy technologies, mitigating climate change, diversifying economy, and preparing the nation for a clean energy future. He mentioned that through Masdar, Abu Dhabi provides an open global platform for cooperation and partnerships to all.

He was of the opinion that this summit will encourage an open dialogue and promotes new ideas, innovation and investment, in the renewable energy and clean technology sector. He also stressed the importance of partnerships, collaboration and cooperation as energy is no longer confined to one single country, but the efforts of many together.”

He said that the future will bring nations closer to fighting climate change and getting results.” Energy must come from a mix of sources, which should include clean energy, cost efficient energy and clean fossils,” said Al Jaber. “We must create a competition, not within the mix, but for the energy sources, which will result in energy innovation. In parallel we must focus on energy efficiency and water conservation.”

Concluding Remarks

World Future Energy Summit, 2011 has brought new ideas of renewable energy resources. It has provided a business platform from where a public-private partnership can be initiated for the betterment of the people and environment alike. It has succeeded to highlight the dangers of emerging concerns of high levels of global warming, finding of new ways of energy production and providing of clean drinking water around the globe. United Arab Emirates vision and effective initiatives on renewable energy resources could be pioneering for the rest of the world to follow.

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