Home » World Future Energy Summit’s 2024 edition records largest numbers to date

World Future Energy Summit’s 2024 edition records largest numbers to date

by Madaline Dunn

World Future Energy Summit (WFES) organisers have confirmed that this year’s three-day event was the largest in the 16-year history of the show. 

According to the event organisers, the event in Abu Dhabi saw record growth despite the unprecedented rainfall that led to floods throughout the UAE and restricted movement across the country. 

Running from April 16-18, the event, hosted by Masdar, saw more than 16,000 visitors from 106 countries attend, a 22 per cent increase from last year. 

The event also saw the international participation of more than 60 countries and nine national pavilions – a 53 per cent uptick.

This year hosted three new forums: Green Finance, e-mobility, and Pathway to 1.5C, complementing the five conferences focussed on EcoWASTE, Water, Clean Energy, Smart Cities, and Climate & Environment, as well as a Masdar-hosted Green Hydrogen Summit. 

In total, 150 dynamic sessions featured more than 350 expert speakers.

At the event, Francesco La Camera, the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), shared that IRENA’s latest capacity data shows the world is falling short of the 1,100GW annual renewable power requirement to stay aligned with the COP28 tripling of renewables objective. This is despite 2023 marking the largest surge of renewable power generation on record, highlighting the need for accelerated action. 

Elsewhere, the new Green Financing Summit hosted a frank discussion on the hurdles facing renewable energy investment and development. 

“The Summit, and its well-placed and influential audience, was the perfect place to present Pakistan’s first low carbon equity fund that is aimed at closing a gap in the financing spectrum for early-stage businesses in Pakistan and the catalytic roles development partners like USAID, UNIDO, REEEP, and PFAN are playing, to make this happen,” said Marko van Waveren Hogervorst of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

WFES also hosted the official launch of the 2024 Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) Solar Outlook Report, which highlighted solar’s growing contribution to the MENA region’s energy transition. 

The report, while highlighting the region’s 2023 solar capacity increase of two per cent, also revealed that MENA’s current power generation mix still falls significantly short of levels needed to replace the 87 per cent contribution of fossil fuels.

The ‘EU-GCC Cooperation on Green Transition’ project was also launched, with the aim of creating a joint platform to exchange best practices and expertise between the EU and GCC stakeholders. 

Leen AlSebai, General Manager of RX Middle East and Head of the World Future Energy Summit, commented: “The 2024 event will be remembered for two things: The adverse weather that struck the country as industry leaders gathered to discuss climate change; and establishing new benchmarks in change-making agendas across the entire energy sector spectrum – in turn impacting almost all touch points of our lives today.

Adding: “We will continue to build programmes that deal head-on with all the sector’s emerging trends, underlying resources, and industry collaboration needed to help address the change needed to further the adoption of clean energy and enact sustainable practices through policy revisions and technological innovation. Creating a new energy future requires bold, different thinking and this is the mission of the World Future Energy Summit, which continues to spur implementation of frameworks emerging from the COP gatherings.”

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