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World Energy Congress ends on a successful note

ABU DHABI, September 12, 2019

The 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) concluded today (September 12) with a call from the leading energy experts on the need for courageous entrepreneurship to tackle tomorrow’s key energy issues, using 5G to stimulate a drive towards sustainability and discussing ways that can lead to faster, better and cheaper energy.

Maintaining the momentum of the previous three days of high-level discussions, the closing sessions at the WEC welcomed some of the UAE’s highest profile business leaders as well as distinguished industry figures, exciting young thinkers and government ministers under the theme of ‘Innovation: The pathway to prosperity”.

Thursday saw extensive debates covering issues critical to the future of energy production, supply and distribution and how bold entrepreneurship can shape the culture of innovation needed in rapidly changing world, said the event organisers.

The day’s keynote speech saw Khalifa Hassan Alforah Alshamsi, Etisalat’s Group Chief Corporate Strategy & Governance Officer, explain how the newest generation of mobile technology can be harnessed to promote sustainability in the energy sector.

His address, titled ‘Leveraging 5G to drive sustainability and enable innovation in the energy sector’ outlined how improved communication between individuals, companies and entities, including greater access to information and better utilisation of the internet, can boost the ongoing drive towards sustainability.

Alshamsi said: “5G is a new piece of technology that can revolutionise new industry. It is not only about speed but yes it will be phenomenal for VR and AR experiences.

"5G is a fundamental tool that will benefit cities, countries, factories and refineries because 5G is the cornerstone for industry and key for the future of digital," stated the top official.

“To make the most of what 5G can offer, it is all about collaboration and innovation. This will not happen by just sitting down in the office. We have to connect our minds together and have to experiment. We can do anything if we have the will,” said Alshamsi.

As well as bringing together key figures from the energy sector, WEC also supported and inspired the leaders, innovators and thinkers of tomorrow, said the organisers.

The session ‘Start-up Energy Transition: The power of the bold’ saw a panel of experts, among them the winners of this year’s Start up Energy Transition Award, debate, discuss and predict the most pressing energy challenges the world will face in years to come.

Marwan Bin Haidar, Executive Vice President of Innovation & The Future, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), joined the delegates to consider the new business models, technologies and ideas that will be at the forefront of the industry’s ongoing transition.

Bin Haidar explained that all companies must “innovate or stagnate” and that incorporating brave and bold new ideas developed by start-ups is key to a successful future for established firms.

“The company receives new, bold ideas and solutions while the start-ups can benefit from years of experience and understanding of the industry,” he stated. “In this way, everyone benefits,” he added.

Andreas Kulmann, Chief Executive of the German energy company Deutsche Energie-Agentur, echoed Bin Haidar’s comments adding that for start-ups “being bold is one thing, but being smart is another”.

“Discovering what is important for all partners and what is important for the market can be difficult, but if start-ups are smart, bold and very well prepared to grow and develop collaboration, they and their partners will flourish,” he noted.

At the session ‘Pitch perfect: Best of the Start-up Energy Transition (SET)’ Michele Fiorentino, the chief investment officer, Adnoc, joined a panel of judges to consider the ideas set out by SET finalists to discover the next global game-changing idea or invention for the energy sector.

An interactive, energetic and highly engaging event, the SET finalists were challenged to outline the benefits of their idea, its practical uses and why investors should get behind them as part of a professional pitch.

Start Up Energy Transition (SET) is a global innovation platform supporting disruption in energy transition. Selected from a total of 450 applications from 80 countries, 10 startup finalists pitched their innovative ideas to stakeholders, investors and members of the business community.

Included in the final 10 were Germany-based zero emissions company ONO, and home renewables business DC Power Company Limited from Australia.

“Improving urban mobility while facilitating faster delivery of goods is ONO’s aim,” said Veronica Louis, the Ono’s Chief Communications Officer. “Our Pedal Assisted Transporter (PAT) improves access in crowded cities and boroughs while also reducing emissions, pollution and congestion.”

Emma Jenkins, the co-founder and CFO at DC Power Company Limited, explained how the company places households with solar panels at the centre of today’s power transition.

“Individual households will be able to trade energy with the market resulting in an increased transition to renewables,” she added.

The closing plenary of the 24th WEC celebrated the event’s achievements and successes as well as reflecting on the innovative ideas and bold solutions that were formulated over four impactful days.

Dr. Christoph Frei, Secretary General & Chief Executive Officer, World Energy Council, moderated the final plenary of the week that celebrated the achievements of the first WEC to be held in the Middle East.

Speaking in front of an assembled audience, His Excellency Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, said the previous days were an important step towards helping to reshape the future of the energy industry.

He said: “It has been an excellent event and the overall result of the discussions between ministers of the governments have led to an excellent outcome. We have agreed that all of us are committed to reduce the emissions that we produce and make sure that we can all work together to help serve the whole industry well.

“It is also important to understand that any type of energy is going to help us going forward. We have to make an impact so that in the future, we have cleaner air and water that will benefit the world.”

Joining Al Mazrouei on stage was Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy, Russian Federation. As hosts of the next World Energy Congress in 2022, Mr Novak said Russia will embrace the opportunity to build on Abu Dhabi’s success in hosting the energy industry’s flagship event in three years time.

Novak said: “I would like to invite all those present here to attend the Russian Energy Week as the perfect opportunity to follow up on the achievements of the WEC in Abu Dhabi.

“Major trends in the industry including the need to modernise production, capacity and grid management, the need for huge capital investment in the sector, for AI, for improved efficiency, the renewables and hydrocarbon mix and much more have all been discussed at great length by leading experts right here in Abu Dhabi.”

Dr Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry and Chair of WEC, addressed the audience for the final time and outlined the importance of staging the event in the region and the impact it will have on the Middle East and UAE for years to come.

He said: “In the past few days we have had the opportunity to examine a wide range of issues impacting our industry. We have delivered a diverse mix of energy leaders and practitioners from around the world.

“Representing all forms of energy, they have been united in their mission. This Congress agreed that our collective thinking, collaborative strategies and concerted efforts will lead us to our goals.

The 24th WEC brought to an end to Younghoon David Kim’s role as the Chair of the World Energy Council.

Kim addressed the audience of business leaders and industry figures from around the world for the final time before thanking them for their support. He ended his speech by handing over his role to Jean-Marie Dauger, who will officially take over as the chair of the World Energy Council.

Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, flew into Abu Dhabi and personally invited the thousands of global experts to the next staging of the World Energy Congress in 2022.

The audience witnessed a presentation that highlights the vision of Russia and the energy sectors and what to expect three years from now in St Petersburg.

Kozak said Abu Dhabi has set the benchmark for success, but Russia will strive to exceed expectations at the 25th World Energy Congress while building on the solid foundations that have been laid by the UAE capital over the last four days.

In his farewell speech, Al Mazrouei, took the opportunity to express his gratitude for the thousands of attendees that travelled to Abu Dhabi as well as the support of all the sponsors that helped stage one of the most important Congress’ that the UAE has held.

“We are very proud of what we have done in Abu Dhabi and we are going to work with Russia as one team through the World Energy Council to deliver a better and more inclusive WEC in 2022.

“We have seen great interaction between young and inspired entrepreneurs of all industrial companies this week. We have learnt a lot this week and we are promising that we will improve our policies and continue to upgrade to ensure the future is bright for all generations, not just here in the UAE but all around the world,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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