His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi Delivers Keynote Address Highlighting Link Between Sustainability and Long-Term Prosperity
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 31 October, 2017: His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, inaugurated the 2017 joint ISES Solar World Congress and IEA SHC International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry (SWC and SHC 2017), which kicked-off in Abu Dhabi today.
More than 500 renewable energy researchers and industry experts are attending the event that is being hosted by the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, represented by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology -- the first institution dedicated to research in advanced energy and sustainable technologies in the region. Under the theme of ‘Innovation for the 100% Renewable Energy Transformation', the event is being held in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for the first time.
During his keynote speech, His Excellency Al Zeyoudi said: “The UAE leadership has always emphasized the importance of preserving our environment and natural resources. Our country has been at the forefront of the global renewable energy upsurge and the international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build capabilities in the field of clean energy and optimize the use of natural resources. The UAE Energy Plan 2050 aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 70%, increase clean energy use by 50% and improve energy efficiency by 40% by 2050, saving AED700 billion in the process.
“The UAE has been leading the region in mega renewable energy projects and shattering solar energy prices three times in the past two years in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We set a world record in low photovoltaic energy prices with a tender for a 350MW photovoltaic project attracting a bid of 2.42 US cents per kWh, proving once again that renewables make economic sense, not just environmental sense,” His Excellency added.
Additional keynote addresses were delivered by H.E. Fatima Al-Foora Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity and Future Energy at the UAE Ministry of Energy, Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Dr. Steve Griffiths, Acting Vice President of Research, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Dr. David Renné, President of the International Solar Energy Society, and Ken Guthrie, Chair of the International Energy Agency IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Program.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Griffiths said: “I would like reiterate the timeliness of this congress, and the potential importance of the projects and collaborations initiated and shared here. Your work in researching, developing, deploying, supporting, and legislating, for renewable energy technologies, will play an important role in achieving a truly sustainable energy system, which in turn will help humanity take another critical step towards achieving clean, reliable and affordable energy for all. I applaud you all for your efforts and dedication thus far, and urge you to continue your work to develop solutions to leverage the vast potential of renewable energy, particularly solar energy.”
Today, the global energy transformation is well underway, and solar is central to it. The chief driver of solar deployment is its business case, which has never been stronger. Costs have continued to drop dramatically, with PV projects now offered for less than 3 US cents per kWh as evidenced by record low costs here in the UAE,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
This energy transformation is reshaping the way electricity is produced, distributed and consumed around the world. With growing solar generation at both the large-scale and small-scale distributed level, a more decentralised and democratised energy system.
A total of 342 papers are being presented at the event, of which 175 will be oral presentations and 167 will be posters. Abstracts were received from 67 countries, with over 45% from European-based applicants, 20% from Asia, 9% from Africa, and 8% from the Middle East.
Faculty and research staff from the Khalifa University of Science and Technology have submitted 10 research papers for presentation at the conference and around 100 students are expected to participate in the Young International Solar Energy Society (ISES) Forum, being will be held on the first day of the congress.