Home » ESG Mena at the World Future Energy Summit: Day One Roundup

ESG Mena at the World Future Energy Summit: Day One Roundup

by Mohammad Ghazal

The World Future Energy Summit, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), is the world’s leading business event for future energy and sustainability. This year, in its 14th edition, the summit is bringing together thousands of business and political leaders, industry specialists, academics, and technology pioneers, to accelerate sustainability and the global transition to clean energy. Featuring six exhibitions and five dedicated forums, the summit will focus on energy, water, EcoWaste, solar, smart cities, climate, and the environment.

The summit’s opening ceremony was attended by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and a number of other world leaders, heads of state, and dignitaries.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, CEO of ADNOC Group, and COP28 Chair, explained that this year’s ADSW carries “a special significance” because it is also the year the UAE holds COP28, in what he described as a “critical decade for climate progress.” Looking ahead to COP28, he explained that it must be a COP where the global north and global south communicate and listen to each other, make good on sustainability goals and deliver a new, transformative deal on climate finance.

As the official media partner of The World Future Energy Summit, ESG Mena is on the ground attending the three-day event. Here, you’ll find insights into the latest innovations, event announcements, exhibitions, and interviews with those pioneering innovation in transport, waste management, finance, data, education, and more from day one.

The Solar Expo and Clean Energy Forum: Big investment in renewables ahead

The Solar Expo and Clean Energy Forum opened with His Excellency Engineer Sharif Alolama, Undersecretary for Energy and Petroleum Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, delivering a keynote speech on the Emirates’ clean energy journey, revealing that energy diversification is already underway.

It was also detailed that the UAE plans to invest $163bn in clean and renewable energy sources within the next decade.

The Water Forum: The promise of reverse osmosis technology

The Water Forum included a presentation exploring water decarbonisation and panel discussions on the water sector’s path to net zero and how to ensure socio-economic strength through water resilience.

The water decarbonisation presentation at the Forum featured Bruce Smith, Executive Director, Strategy & Planning of Emirates Water & Electricity Company (EWEC), who told delegates that 90% of Abu Dhabi’s water is predicted to come from reverse osmosis desal plants in the next decade.

EcoWaste 2023 Exhibition and Forum: The circular economy and creating inclusive spaces

This year’s EcoWASTE Exhibition and Forum is the 9th edition, bringing together over 40 local, regional, and global companies. Organised in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company (Tadweer), this year’s theme is: “The future of waste management in a circular economy,” with a particular emphasis on the participation of women in the waste management sector. Subsequently, the first day of EcoWASTE saw a panel held to discuss the role of Emirati women in carrying out sustainability projects and explored challenges women face in the sector and ways to encourage more female participation in the field in universities.

At EcoWASTE, Al Masaood Commercial Vehicles and Equipment (CV&E) also showcased its latest environmentally friendly trucks from global brands UD Trucks and Renault Trucks, which offer sustainable waste management solutions. The company said its participation in the event emphasised the need to deploy more sensible and sustainable waste management solutions and reflects its pledge to help deliver a more sustainable future.

Green Hydrogen Innovation Hub debut

The Summit debuted the Green Hydrogen Innovation Hub this year, with the GCC poised for a key role in the global hydrogen market. Running alongside the Energy Expo & Forum, the hub seeks to address hydrogen’s potential and innovation across eight key ecosystem sectors, including:

●          Electrolysis and conversion technologies,

●          Transport solutions,

●          Zero-emissions mobility,

●          Decarbonisation of industrial production processes and of buildings’ power consumption,

●          Large-scale storage,

●          Carbon capture,

●          Utilisation and storage,

●          Waste to hydrogen, and

●          Hydrogen to ammonia conversion technologies.

The hub brings together innovators from South Africa, Australia, the UK, the USA, and Spain, demoing solutions that could accelerate hydrogen adoption in the regional and global energy transition.

Highlighting innovation and inspiring solutions in health, food, energy, and water

This year, the Zayed Sustainability Prize, first created in 2008, received a record 4538 entries from 152 countries. Worth $3 million, it awards five categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools. This year’s winners, who were presented with their prizes by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, include:

●          In the health category: Associação Expedicionários da Saúde (EDS), Brazil

●          In the food category: Insect, France

●          In the energy category: Neurotech, Jordan

●          In the water category: LEDARS, Bangladesh

●          In the Global High Schools Category:

1.         Fundacion Bios Terrae – ICAM Ubate, Columbia

2.         Romain-Rolland Gymnasium, Germany

3.         East Africa – Arusha Campus, Tanzania

4.         Gifted Students School Niniveh, Iraq

5.         Dhaka Residential Model College, Bangladesh

6.         Kamil Muslim College, Fiji

ESG Mena talks with Nasir Al Shamsi, Managing Director Sustainable Mobility at Bee’ah

On the first day of the Summit, ESG Mena’s Chief Editor, Fawzia Yassmina, met with Nasir Al Shamsi, Managing Director Sustainable Mobility at Bee’ah, to discuss the importance of sustainable transport and the company’s plans to achieve lower carbon emissions in 2023.

When discussing the factors influencing the adoption of eco-friendly vehicles, Al Shamsi said that there’s a whole ecosystem beyond government that needs to align, including finance, regulators, and infrastructure. Further to this, commenting on how Bee’ah is changing the landscape, Al Shamsi cited ION, a JV with Crescent Enterprises, the deployment of its Ultra Rapid Chargers for electric vehicles, its launching of the first fleet of tesla vehicles on platforms such as Uber, and its operation of the largest fleet of autonomous vehicles in Masdar City.

Regarding challenges related to transport in the region, Al Shamsi said there is some reluctance around the adoption of autonomous vehicles. However, he explained that the majority of accidents within transport are down to human error, something that a computerised system eliminates. Additionally, Al Shamsi said there are infrastructural constraints, for example, addressing GPS issues around highrises, but highlighted that this is an area Bee’ah is targeting with GPS amplifiers.

ESG Mena in conversation with Nouf Wazir, Senior Engineer at Bee’ah Energy

ESG Mena’s Chief Editor, Fawzia Yassmina, caught up with Nouf Wazir, Senior Engineer at Bee’ah Energy, to learn more about the Waste-to-energy project. Wazir explained that Sharjah Waste to Energy plant is the first in the UAE and the wider Arab region and will be processing non-recyclable general waste and transforming it into clean energy. The amount of waste that can be treated stands at 300,000 tonnes of waste a year, generating 30 megawatts (MW) yearly.

Wazir also gave insight into the waste-to-hydrogen project, which is still in development. The project will transform wood and plastic waste into energy via gasification to produce Syngas, from which hydrogen can be extracted to be used in hydrogen-fueled trucks.

A look ahead

ESG Mena will be on the ground for the rest of the Summit with all the latest insights into new projections and innovations. This includes Thursday 19th, when we will be attending Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, hosted by ADGM in partnership with Masdar. On-site, the team will be interviewing key executives to discuss ESG and sustainability-related finance, so stay tuned.

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