Energy sector transformation the ‘new normal,’ says Al Falasi

ABU DHABI, 7th August, 2018 (WAM) — The energy sector is constantly evolving, transforming and experiencing a rapid pace of change across all sectors said the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy Under-Secretary. “It’s the new normal,’ said Mohammed Juma Al Falasi, adding that the development of energy resources will drive the country’s economy for decades to come.

Commenting on the upcoming Singapore International Energy Week, SIEW 2018, Al Falasi said that it will act as a global platform for all stakeholders to discuss the engine of the growth – energy.

The forum, which will be held from 29th October – 2nd November, will be held under the theme, ‘Transforming Energy: Invest, Innovate, Integrate’. It will focus on targeted research and development, and how digital technology can create an innovative ecosystem that can help meet energy efficiency goals while boosting the overall economy.

He went on to explain Abu Dhabi’s five most pressing energy priorities. First, he said, is enhancing energy security to meet future demand. “Abu Dhabi has a strong a diverse energy supply and much of the world is moving away from oil and gas for its electricity generation, like what the UAE is doing now. Our investment in renewables and nuclear power generation projects is testimony of that.”

The second priority, Al Falasi continued, is boosting energy efficiency and environment sustainability. “This will be done by developing appropriate infrastructure, while preserving the environment,” he explained.

As for the third, Al Falasi noted that achieving seven percent renewable generation by 2020, especially in Abu Dhabi, remains a priority. “Since Abu Dhabi is designated as the permanent headquarters for the International Renewable Energy Agency, the UAE has worked tirelessly to provide necessary resources and capacities to support IRENA’s strategy, goals, and future plans. This is congruent with the UAE’s view that renewable energy is the energy of the future.”

He added that diversification of the energy mix is a key strategy to ensure future energy security and the UAE will continue to explore and invest in alternative energy, emerging technologies, and innovation in the sector.

Developing human capital and harnessing growth enablers, is the fifth energy priority, which will generate the productivity and competitiveness it needs to drive sector growth, and meet the challenges of the future, Al Falasi highlighted.

The department is also attracting more energy investments from the private sector, as by 2030, the department intends to build a sustainable and diversified, high value-added sector that encourages enterprises and entrepreneurship, while providing more accessible and higher-value opportunities for all stakeholders.

“Abu Dhabi will benefit from the liberalisation and deregulation of some elements of its utilities sector – mainly power generation – in the past, which is key to ensuring robust, demand-sensitive power and water provision, he continued.

Another example of private sector investment in renewable generation is the world’s biggest photovoltaic solar plant, which is set to start operating by April 2019.

Al Falasi concluded by saying that exchanging expertise with regional and international partners have helped the department gain knowledge on how the utility sector and business models are evolving, preparing for future challenges, responding to the pace of technological and digital change, and harnessing the capabilities of research and development for future competitiveness, among others.


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