ABU DHBAI- More than USD 15 billion worth of projects and funding was announced at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and its co-located events, the International Water Summit and EcoWASTE Exhibition, which took place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018 from 15 – 18 January, hosted by Masdar. The deals, which combined a number of local, regional and international agreements, strengthen the UAE’s position for advancing renewable energy and clean technology.
With WFES entering its 11th year, the event established a new direction for the energy ecosystem, bringing together global innovators, industry leaders and policy makers to shape the transformation of the industry. Over the four days, 850 exhibiting companies from 40 countries welcomed more than 33,000 attendees. More than 100 start-ups participated in WFES 2018, where over 10,000 pre-arranged business meetings were held. Exhibiting companies and a total of 18 national pavilions showcased some of the world’s latest and most advanced technologies, which are expected to play an integral part in the future of the energy industry.
Naji El Haddad, Group Event Director for the Middle East at Reed Exhibitions, said: “As a business-first event that provides a global platform for all those involved in the energy sector, the World Future Energy Summit 2018 has proven one of the most successful editions to date. The figures speak for themselves and have exceeded all expectations. “These business successes were bolstered by new additions, including the Climate Innovations Exchange, pairing cleantech innovators with international investors. Our new Dialogue Hall that hosted the conferences also brought a cutting-edge and engaging platform for speakers and delegates,” El Haddad added.
During the four-day World Future Energy Summit, the International Solar Alliance hosted its first-ever gathering in Abu Dhabi, and signed a letter of intent with YES Bank for its first financing commitment of up to USD 5 billion by 2030. The organization also signed nine solar projects across five ISA member countries, including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, India and Spain.
Saudi Arabia announced its intention to launch up to USD 7 billion worth of renewable energy projects in 2018, as part of the country’s plan to have 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind capacity installed by 2023. The majority of the funding is expected to be spent on solar plants, with four (GW) of solar energy projects to be contracted throughout the year.
Held in the Dialogue Hall at ADNEC, the WFES conference hosted high-level speakers, including local ministers and foreign dignitaries, such as H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Turki Al Shehri, Head of the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (MEIM) in Saudi Arabia. A range of experts presented at the new Dialogue Hall, including Tarik Hamame, an advisor at the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen), and technology futurist Ian Khan.
International Water Summit
The sixth edition of the International Water Summit, held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), saw the announcement of two landmark water-related projects. Firstly, ADWEA announced the completion of a USD 435 million strategic desalinated water reserve in the capital. Constructed in the Liwa region, the megaproject will house 26 billion liters and is the world’s largest manmade water reserve.
On day two, ADWEA announced a USD 1.2 billion project to build the world’s largest reverse osmosis water desalination plant in Abu Dhabi, with operations set to begin in October 2021. The greenfield reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant will have a capacity of 200 million imperial gallons of water per day, and will be located at the Taweelah power and water complex, approximately 45 kilometres north of the capital.
IWS saw the third edition of the Rain Enhancement Awards celebrate the most promising research projects, with three research groups from the USA, Russia and China receiving grants of USD 5 million. The annual award programme helps tackle challenges surrounding global water stress by encouraging and facilitating innovative solutions.
Abu Dhabi’s Centre of Waste Management (CWM) – Tadweer announced five contracts totaling USD 45 million of investment in waste management projects during the EcoWASTE Exhibition. The contracts, signed with a range of local and international private companies, are set to expand environmental waste solutions throughout the emirate, as well as generate significant job opportunities.
Contractors that signed with CWM Tadweer include Green Energy Solutions & Sustainability LLC, which will implement the Middle East’s first Landfill Gas to Energy project that will produce around 5 megawatts of energy by September 2018.
Meanwhile, Masdar and Bee’ah announced financing commitments that had been secured for the Sharjah Multi-Fuel Waste-to-Energy Facility. The facility comes as part of the Emirates Waste to Energy Company – a joint venture between Masdar and Bee’ah – and will have the capacity to treat 300,000 tonnes of waste and a power capacity of 30 MW.