The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2018 opened its doors to some of the world’s most important sustainability stakeholders at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The event, and its co-located events, International Water Summit and EcoWaste Exhibition will continue throughout the week, closing on January 18.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, attended the Opening Ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) on January 15, before presenting awards to nine winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
During the opening, a keynote speech was delivered by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chairman at Masdar, in which he said that Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week marks a significant milestone as the country celebrates the centenary of its founding father. Dr Sultan went on to say that over the last decade, the Zayed Future Energy Prize, underpinned by the legacy of Sheikh Zayed and the vision of the leadership, has inspired leaders, governments and industries to work collectively to reach for a better tomorrow and to safe guard the world for the next generation.
“We are in the middle of an unprecedented global energy transition, with growing populations, expanding economies and advancing technological innovations”, said Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, in a speech to open the Ministerial Panels.
The minister praised the efforts of the UAE in reducing costs for solar production and the work of local private sector company’s such as Majid Al Futtaim, which has committed to becoming net positive by 2040.
The minister’s opening keynote was followed by a number of panels which focused on Easternisation, the trend of Asian economies becoming global leaders in clean energy innovation and deployment. Other panels included: ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’, a discussion with Nicolas Hulot, Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition, France; Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister, Ministry of Energy, UAE; and Andan Z Amin, director- general, International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
The panel provided excellent context around the challenges facing the energy industry and the solutions that are being developed to transform the industry globally.
Al Mazroui noted the progress being made by the UAE to ensure that renewable energy makes up 50 per cent (44% renewable and 6% nuclear) of the country’s total energy mix by 2050. The minister stated that the country’s targets will be reviewed every five years and readjusted based on affordability, sustainability and the security of supply of the energy sources.
The World Future Energy Summit Innovation Partner, Japan, is showcasing its forward-thinking approach to technology at the event. Its presence will revolve around the concept of ‘Vision Centric Innovation for the Next 100 Years’, drawing on the need for innovation to be vision based with a view to shaping the world for future generations.
The Japanese pavilion, located in Hall 8 and 9, is hosting more than 10 companies, including Kodansha, Toshiba, Meltin and iSpace, which are showcasing technologies that are set to play a significant role in ensuring a more sustainable world. The companies are displaying robotics capabilities, treating event visitors to experience and interact with the latest robotics technologies being deployed to solve issues around water security and energy storage.
ispace, a lunar robotic exploration company that develops micro-robotic technology to provide low-cost and frequent transportation service to and on the Moon, is showcasing the world's most lightweight and smallest landers and rovers, which will be deployed to explore water resources on the Moon. The company recently announced that it will use the revolutionary technology when it leads two lunar exploration missions in 2019 and 2020.
Speaking at the event, Takahiro Nakamura, chief operating officer at ispace, commented: “Our vision is to expand the planet and its future. We believe that by 2040, the Moon will be inhabited by 1,000 people, with more than 10,000 visitors each year. With water resources critical to this development, ispace’s robotic technology will be crucial in providing access to the lunar surface, exploring its water resources and creating a world where the Earth and the Moon are one ecosystem.”
Water Summit Opens
The International Water Summit opened today, welcoming more than 150 exhibitors from more than 20 countries. The event, which is in its 6th year, has a special focus on breakthrough smart technologies that are being developed around the world to address pressing water challenges in arid regions.
The 2018 edition also features Innovate@IWS, a competition seeking to discover the most promising smart water technologies, and will connect participants to potential clients and investors creating access to opportunity, capital and growth.
The 5th Edition of EcoWASTE Exhibition was inaugurated by Falah Al Ahbawbi, chairman of Tadweer. It has a future-centric agenda committed to advancing sustainable waste management and recycling across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena).
Day two of the World Future Energy Summit will see more than 20 local, regional and global investors visit the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) to assess investment opportunities in the technologies and solutions on show, which solve challenges in three critical areas; air pollution, clean mobility and agriculture.
The participating investors have expressed their interest based on what they perceive as a major change in strategies away from conventional investments. Clean tech and sustainable energy start-ups have become more attractive than ever before due to the drive towards a more sustainable energy mix and the potential that the industry holds.
CLIX will connect investors with the innovative climate change concepts and solutions, with the hope to unlock funding ranging from $300,000 to $2.5 million. Hosted under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) in collaboration with Masdar and the Zayed Future Energy Prize, and sponsored by Krypto Labs, the Department of Transport and Nawah Energy, the inaugural edition of the programme will take place in Hall 9 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.