Egyptian President El-Sisi delivers opening ceremony keynote speech
Abu Dhabi, UAE, January19, 2015 – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces today attended the eighth World Future Energy Summit, a key platform as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). The keynote speech of the opening ceremony was delivered by His Excellency Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Attracting more than 32,000 people, ADSW is the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on addressing the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development.
Commenting on the opening ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed underscored the critical role that energy has on promoting economic growth, national stability and social opportunity. His Highness also emphasized that the United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, is committed to driving innovation and advancing technology that ensures markets, countries and citizens of the world have access to sustainable power well into the future.
His Highness also praised Masdar’s role in extending the UAE’s energy leadership to include renewable energy – a move, which in less than a decade, has resulted in country transitioning into a true energy leader.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi delivered the keynote address and stressed the need for greater cooperation in the fields of energy and sustainable development. The President went on to say that Egypt is committed to addressing its long-term energy security and will expand its reliance on renewable energy by 20 percent by 2020. The President outlined that this target will be achieved through a comprehensive energy strategy, which includes reforms that support the adoption of all sources of energy. As part of the strategy, Egypt plans to build 4,300MW of solar and wind power over the next three years. He also stressed that Egypt must leverage its strategic geographic location and infrastructure to make the country an economic hub.
In closing, the President extended an invitation to the Egypt Economic Forum, to be held in Sharm Al Sheikh, in March 2015, where Egypt’s economic vision and its unified regulations and investment opportunities will be shared with the global community.
The core theme of ADSW 2015 is innovation, and how new ideas and technologies, can propel solutions that promote sustainable development. This being the UAE’s ‘Year of Innovation’ – a federal initiative promoting innovation as a strategic pathway to strengthen the country’s economy and global competitiveness – ADSW reinforces the effort by promoting technology development and attracting investment in priority sectors, such as renewable energy, transportation, water and education.
“Renewable energy is a critical component for building a sustainable future and has today graduated from an expensive alternative to a competitive technology of choice,” said H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar. “We have seen growth in the sector as a result of the sharp decline in costs and the steady rise in technology efficiency. In fact, renewable energy remains the fastest growing source of energy, propelling investments to grow 16 per cent in 2014 and reaching more than $310 billion. This growth is a result of the commercial opportunity of renewable energy, coupled with the world’s growing demand for electricity.
“This is a historic year for the UAE,” said H.E. Al Jaber. “As the country embarks on its ‘Year of Innovation’, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will help attract investment and cultivate partnership in order to accelerate technologies that can benefit our country.”
To jumpstart the UAE’s push to further integrate innovation into the fabric of the country’s economy, the program at ADSW is designed to encourage new thinking, collaboration and real-world action by focusing on timely issues affecting sustainable development. Some of the key issues highlighted this year include the power of partnership and technological innovation.
The power of partnership – how working together can drive commercial solutions – will be examined by highlighting key projects in the UAE. One project spotlighted is Al Reyadah, an Abu Dhabi-based project that would not be possible without the union of cross-discipline partners.
Al Reyadah – a cutting-edge carbon, capture, usage and storage (CCUS) joint partnership – combines Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s experience in the oil and gas sector with Masdar’s know-how in clean technology to deliver a commercially viable CCUS system. The program captures and sequesters industrial carbon, enhances oil recovery and delivers environmental benefits.
The UAE community will be able to see first-hand how innovation and technology can advance a brighter future.
The Solar Impulse 2 – a solar-powered plane that will fly round the world without using a single drop of fuel – will be in Abu Dhabi during ADSW as it prepares for the historic flight. Hosted by Masdar, the plane is an example of how pioneering pursuits – and imagination – can drive innovation. For example, the plane’s technology partners had to anticipate and solve for the complex challenges and conditions the pilots and the plane would undergo.
The World Future Energy Summit, now in its eighth year, is the world’s foremost event dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. The conference program and exhibition engages key leaders – from policy and business to academic – to address the importance of deploying renewable energy, the growing business opportunities in the Middle East and the need to drive innovation and investment in order to diversify the energy mix.
Taking place January 17-24, ADSW hosts several annual events: the fifth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency; the third International Water Summit; the second EcoWASTE exhibition; and the seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony.
Through Masdar, and global platforms like ADSW, Abu Dhabi has emerged as an international energy hub, promoting the adoption of sustainable development, renewable energy and raising awareness to the growing challenge of water scarcity.