In an interview with ESG Mena, Dr. Mostafa AlGuezeri, Managing Director of UAE & Oversight Countries at Hitachi Energy, discusses the group’s innovations, technologies to help achieve zero neutrality and sheds light on partnerships in the region.
What is Hitachi Energy doing to contribute to the NET Zero goals? What are the company’s latest tech innovations globally and regional implementation in the region?
Hitachi Energy has been driving towards carbon neutrality within its operations along with a Sustainability 2030 plan. This strategic initiative is aimed at reinforcing our commitment to act and move ahead in a sustainable way. It is drawn from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)and is designed to advance in four key areas: Planet. People. Peace. Partnerships. With this, we placed sustainability at the core of our purpose.
Through Sustainability 2030, we aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 in our own operations. Furthermore, we target to reduce our emissions along the value chain by 50per cent, supporting the SDGs.
Today we have achieved 100per cent fossil-free electricity in our operations, in line with our purpose, “Advancing a sustainable energy future for all”. Hitachi Energy has reduced its CO2 emissions by over 50 per cent as compared to 2019. Additionally, we aim to reduce approximately 175 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions per year, which is equivalent to removing over 35,000 passenger cars off the road. Together with our customers, partners, and stakeholders, we aim to advance the world’s energy system to be more sustainable, flexible, and secure.
In April 2021, we took a major step with EconiQ, our eco-efficient portfolio of products, services, and solutions, that has been proven to deliver superior environmental performance. It is sustainability-oriented in design to deliver a better, more environment-friendly performance when compared to conventional solutions.
Technology transfer is the core of the region’s vision. What is your respective strategy on this?
Technology transfer has been proven to accelerate advancements in a variety of fields and has been the main driver of global economic growth over the last few decades. At Hitachi Energy, we pioneer technologies with our partners and customers and enable the digital transformation required to create innovative solutions by leveraging on both digital and energy platforms. With digitisation accelerating the convergence between different technologies, the energy industry needs strong partnerships to create a more secure, sustainable, and scalable infrastructure. We have always supported our customers’ sustainability efforts including the decarbonisation of the energy and industrial sectors. We believe that collaboration and diversity of thought are key to unlocking new value in an evolving energy landscape.
Electric trucks are coming to the region. What is your contribution to infrastructure and What about the future charging capabilities such as solar charging?
As the world is transitioning to a cleaner energy system, we are witnessing a rapid growth in the global demand for electric trucks, especially among companies that operate large fleets.
Recently, we announced our contribution to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in its journey towards a sustainable transportation future by supplying the country’s first charging infrastructure for electric truck fleets. The fast-charging Grid-eMotion® Fleet, expected to be in operation by the end of 2023, will help the UAE come one step closer towards its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. This solution will make it possible for fleets of middle-mile commercial e-trucks to charge simultaneously in a single location.
Grid-eMotion Fleet offers a unique range of benefits for fleet operators of trucks or buses. This grid-code compliant and space-saving grid-to-plug solution provides fast charging to maximise the use of each vehicle. It can be installed in new and existing logistics centers and scaled flexibly as the fleet gets bigger and greener. Grid-eMotion Fleet offers a seamless charging infrastructure that includes a robust and compact grid connection and multiple charging points, making it a well-suited solution for heavy-duty trucks requiring high-power charging.
The Middle East region is one of the most productive places to generate solar energy on the planet. As a global manufacturer and supplier of robust transformers and power quality products for large solar power plants and grid connections, we believe the integration of solar charging will help utilise the rich solar resources available and take us further in our journey to a sustainable energy future.
What are your solutions, risks, and opportunities in the MENA region for Grid expansion? Please cite some examples for the same.
Hitachi Energy is a leader in the global market in grid connections and power quality solutions, with over 15,000 installations worldwide. We believe in investing in the evolution of the energy system to make development in societies and industries more sustainable.
Our Grid-eXpand™ range modular and prefabricated grid connection solutions make it faster, simpler and more efficient to integrate utility-scale renewable energy sources and expand power grid capacity to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable energy system.OurEconiQ™ SF6-free high-voltage products, and with its IdentiQ™ digital twin, also aid in delivering exceptional environmental performance and improve the management of power grid assets efficiently.
In Qatar, Hitachi Energy provided its grid connection solution for Al Kharsaah solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, the country’s first utility-scale solar PV plant. The installation will avoid 26 million metric tonnes of CO2 and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Qatar by 25 percent by 2030.
In Egypt, we worked with Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), and placed our state-of-the-art power quality solution, SVC Light®, to improve grid stability and expand transmission capacity. Located in the Owainat development area, the project is in line with the UN’s SDG 7 – to ensure all people have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
Recently, we also signed a contract with the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) to upgrade the Al Fadhili high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station in Saudi Arabia. The station is part of a larger project to interconnect the power grids of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. The upgrade in the facility will allow the exchange of up to 1800 megawatts of electricity between the countries and improve the stability of the connected grids.
Additionally, we are also strengthening our collaboration with the GCCIA to ensure power security and accelerate the GCCIA’s journey to becoming a global hub in grid interconnections. We also aim to help create a dynamic electricity market for the region and the world, in general and will aim at global power security for today’s generations and those to follow.