The Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) H.E. Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar addressed a high-level gathering at the first day of the Future Sustainability Summit (FSS), which takes place over two days during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020.
H.E. Al Marar pointed out the limitations of existing energy sources and emphasised the role of renewable energy in driving the world towards a carbon-neutral future.
“Traditional energy sources, as we all know, are finite. This limited nature of traditional energy sources, coupled with the urgency of climate change, have made it imperative that key players in the energy sector come together to outline a plan of action for the years ahead.”
He added that platforms like the Future Sustainability provide opportunities to discuss, debate and collaborate on pressing topics that impact the future of energy and the future of our planet.
As the world’s appetite for energy grows, it is critical to shift focus to clean energy sources. Abu Dhabi has been a frontrunner in embracing change to make the transition to clean energy despite being an oil and gas dependent economy. Diversification of energy would also imply a diversification of the emirate’s economy.
The United Nations has developed an approach to sustainability that relies on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 7 on the list is ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’, calling to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
He spoke about the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which targets an energy mix that combines renewable, nuclear, and clean energy sources to meet the UAE’s economic requirements and environmental goals and gave an overview of Abu Dhabi’s clean energy projects.
From the water sector with advanced reverse-osmosis desalination plants, to the electricity sector with solar energy facilities such as Noor Abu Dhabi with a 1,117 MW capacity, and from the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Al Dhafra region to the District Cooling Regulations and the District Cooling Applicability Regulations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi has it all covered, as it forges ahead on the path to clean energy.
Sustainability is an all-encompassing concept with social, environmental and economic impact and energy transition lies at the heart of it all. Youth are a key stakeholder in the world’s quest for a sustainable future and so is technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), virtual batteries, cloud computing, machine learning are some of the key drivers of the future and will steer the way towards sustainability.
H.E. Al Marar further added: “It is our responsibility to draw a map for the [energy] sector, outlining the steps to take in the short and long terms. The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy has set its sights firmly on implementing the emirate’s plans for sustainability with vital projects and launching the Abu Dhabi Integrated Energy Model.”
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which runs from January 11 to 18, 2020 at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, is a global platform for accelerating the world’s sustainable development. The week brings together policy makers, industry specialists, technology pioneers and the next generation of sustainability leaders from around the world to debate and discuss the future of sustainability.