Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-04-01

World Future Energy Summit: Transforming the Future of Energy

The annual World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi is the leading global industry event and exhibition for future energy, cleantech and sustainability. The 2020 edition witnessed another year of success, with independent onsite research projecting that buyers will place orders worth billions of dollars within the next annual business cycle. It was hosted by Masdar as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, a global platform for accelerating the world’s sustainable development, and is held annually at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
 
The event’s international attendee numbers grew by 11 per cent compared with 2019, while the number of countries represented reached 125, up around 17 per cent year-on-year. Attendance during the four days of the Summit was estimated close to 34,000. Over 27 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed during the event, which hosted around 840 global brands.
 
“This is a great result and shows once again that the market for renewable energy, and other sustainable technology, continues to expand,” said Grant Tuchten, Group Event Director, World Future Energy Summit. “Since the event’s first edition in 2008, renewables and sustainability have moved firmly into the centre of economic planning in the UAE, GCC and globally. We are very proud of our contribution to this growth, supporting new business opportunities as we transition towards environmentally sustainable best practice across the Middle East and beyond. The World Future Energy Summit can look forward to further success in the future.”
 
The 2020 edition attracted a strong contingent of GCC exhibitors, including Al Marafiq, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), and Saudi Aramco from Saudi Arabia, as well as the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA). This edition also demonstrated the event’s increasing importance to markets neighbouring the GCC, such as the sub-continent and Africa, including a strong 155 per cent increase in exhibitors from India.
 
Focus on Green Tech
Start-ups also performed strongly at the World Future Energy Summit, with the event supporting new ideas through the Climate Innovation Exchange 2020 (CLIX), which matched entrepreneurs and investors to accelerate growth for innovative business concepts. A total of 50 start-ups exhibited this year, including 41 as part of CLIX.
 
Around 62 per cent of investors at CLIX 2020 expressed their intention to commit to investment opportunities collectively valued at AED 62 million, according to an independent survey conducted by GRS Strategy and Research. This takes the total amount committed by way of investment pledges since the first edition of CLIX in 2018 to AED 310 million.
 
Hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), CLIX 2020 featured 42 innovations, handpicked from record 1,402 applications received from 128 countries.
 
Engineer Fahed Al Hammadi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Green Development and Climate Change Sector at MOCCAE, said: “Yet again, CLIX has fulfilled its mission of connecting entrepreneurs and investors to deliver sustainable solutions that will impact us all. The success of CLIX demonstrates that the world has embraced innovation as the most effective tool in tackling climate change. More importantly, it has realised that young people form the backbone of the environmental sustainability movement.”
 
The World Future Energy Summit named the most innovative sustainability start-ups at CLIX 2020 across four categories:
In the Future of Energy category, the winner was Liquidstar from Hong Kong for its ‘Sun Bucket’ miniature power walls.
In the Future of Food and Agriculture category, the winner was PlasticFri from Sweden for its plant-based, non-toxic material that would replace plastics.
In the Future of Mobility category, the winner was Ampaire from the U.S. for its hybrid electric plane.
In the Sustainability in Space category, the winner was Satlantis Microsats from Spain for its space imagers.
 
Renewable Energy Growth 
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the GCC’s renewable energy market, which grew nine-fold to US$11 billion from 2008 to 2016, was further boosted by the Energy Expo & Forum and the Solar Expo & Forum, which took place at the event.
 
Taking Abu Dhabi’s government-led renewable energy initiatives to a global level, exhibitors and speakers included the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and its subsidiaries the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), and TRANSCO; and Masdar.
 
Solar Expo exhibitors included solar power developers such as Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée (CNIM), EDF, Engie Group, Marubeni, Skypower, and Taaleri Energia; smart grids firms Huawei, Ingeteam, Fronius, and Sungrow; solar trackers NEXTracker, PiA Solar, and Soltec; and solar panel manufacturers LONGi Solar Technology.
 
Furthermore, the Energy Forum sessions included insights by senior executives from regional and international public and private sector leaders, such as the China National Nuclear Corporation, the Clean Energy Business Council MENA, the GCC Interconnection Authority, GE Power Digital, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Masdar Clean Energy, and TRANSCO.
 
Smart City Initiatives
The UAE’s pioneering smart cities initiatives – including smart services, the 5G rollout, AI projects, and hyperloop – are supporting the strong growth in the Middle East and Africa’s smart cities tech market, which the International Data Corporation (IDC) says will reach US$2.7 billion by 2024, industry experts said at the World Future Energy Summit.
 
Supporting regional and global smart cities development, the Smart Cities Expo & Forum saw robust conference discussions and the latest innovations from BMW, Circ e-scooters, Cubic Art Technologies (CATEC), Hyperloop, Tesla, along with the national pavilions of Japan and The Netherlands that showcased innovative technologies.
 
The Smart Cities Expo & Forum brought together the key smart cities stakeholders from the region and world. These included Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, and Tadweer; innovators such as ekar, IBM, Hyperloop One, and Killa Architectural Design; financiers such as HSBC; and industry associations such as the GSMA.
 
Sustainability: A Billion-Dollar Opportunity
The world’s latest innovations in sustainable tech – from highly efficient solar photovoltaic panels, to solutions that can convert humidity into water, and waste bins that can automatically sort recycling – were on display, highlighting a market opportunity worth an estimated US$9 billion.
 
The exhibitors for solar and other energy technology offered a wide range of cutting-edge technology, each meeting important challenges. Solar photovoltaic (PV) innovations included AE Solar GmbH’s Smart Hot Spot Free PV Modules to reduce power output loss, Aerocompact GmbH’s CompactMETAL metal roof system solar PV modules, HEI Technology International GmbH’s HEI Power Tube of vertically integrated cylindrical solar PVs, and Jinkosolar Co., Ltd.’s Tiger modular and efficient solar PV.
 
Beyond solar generation, ABB Switzerland showcased its integrated ABB Ability Virtual Power Plant, while Agile Wind Power AG’s Vertical Sky were the first large, economically scalable vertical-axis wind turbines. Energy storage innovations included AC Biode’s Biode AC electrodes, Ingeteam Power Technology S.A.b.’s 3-phase transformer-less battery inverters, and Energy Vault's energy storage for renewables to deliver baseload power.
 
Covering the broader scope of the sustainable economy, for smart cities, healthier and more sustainable buildings can be enabled by building management system with technology innovations from Dabell and Enerbrain. With the world facing a water crisis, Drinkable Air Technologies LLC’s drinkableair AWG machines and C8 Atmospheric Water Generator that can convert humidity into water created a lot of buzz. In waste management, Bin-e’s smart bin that can automatically recognise, sort, and compress waste attracted a lot of attention. While AlgiKnit’s Algae-Derived Yarn showcased yarn derived from kelp biopolymers.
 
Useful Innovations
Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center – Tadweer, highlighted a range of new technologies and signed several agreements during the World Future Energy Summit and EcoWASTE Exhibition and Forum, committing to excellence and innovation in waste management services and recycling.
 
Tadweer investments will include bringing a new, fully electric street sweeper to the Middle East for the first time, offering a zero-emissions waste collection solution. The vehicle, which was on display at the Smart Cities Forum, can operate for up to eight hours on a full charge, with a capacity of three cubic metres. It is an ideal solution for metropolitan areas.
 
Another important investment displayed by Tadweer was a new smart mosquito trap, an innovation, which was deployed across Abu Dhabi from February, supporting the effective control of mosquito-borne illness. Smart traps monitor mosquito activity by trapping mosquitoes, then classify their different types, measure the density and infestation level at specific locations, and collect environmental data such as temperature and humidity.
 
The EcoWASTE Forum brought together industry experts and thought-leaders to discuss the latest advances in the industry, as well as demonstrated global best practices. Discussions considered new approaches to sustainable waste management, diversion of waste from landfill, waste-to-energy initiatives and more.
 
EcoWASTE also featured the Youth Circle, an initiative in partnership with the Federal Youth Ministry, to engage young people with the waste and recycling conversation. The discussions raised awareness of the challenges and opportunities in waste management, inviting young thinkers to consider topics including the economic value of waste, environmental awareness, and the social responsibilities of waste producers.
 
Other agreements by Tadweer included an MoU with Barari Natural Resources Company to raise the operational efficiency of fertiliser and organic waste factories in Abu Dhabi, Al Khatim and Liwa, with an estimated operating capacity in excess of 13,200 tonnes per year.
 
Reference Text/Photo: 
 

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