Abu Dhabi’s comprehensive energy strategy was presented to an audience of global leaders with the participation of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) at the fourth annual International Energy Agency (IEA) Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, which took place June 24-25, 2019, in Dublin, Ireland.
Representing DoE, the government entity mandated to safeguard excellence and sustainability in the UAE capital’s energy sector, was His Excellency Mohammed bin Jarsh Al Falasi, DoE Undersecretary, who presented his department’s analysis and plans for the future of energy in Abu Dhabi before world leaders and heads of the international energy sector.
Among those in the attendees were Leo Varadkar, Irish Prime Minister; Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director; Mark Menezes, Undersecretary of Energy, US Department of Energy; Zhang Yong, Vice-Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Hennadiy Zubko, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Construction and Housing.
Taking part in a panel discussion titled ‘Global Policy Insights,’ H.E. Al Falasi gave a presentation spotlighting Abu Dhabi’s energy scene and future trends, and outlined DoE’s roadmap for the energy sector. Among the key topics discussed was how DoE was established in March 2018 to be the key policy-maker and regulator of the Abu Dhabi energy sector during a period of paradigmatic shift away from fossil fuels towards renewables, a move which aims to reduce emissions and avoid runaway climate change.
The audience were introduced to Abu Dhabi’s role as a leader in modernising energy systems since unbundling the sector in 1998, and how over the past three decades the emirate has provided power and water to approximately two thirds of the UAE, sustaining both itself and other large parts of the Union. Additionally, the role of the UAE capital as a prime mover in opening the power sector to private sector investment, becoming the first entities in the region to initiate tariff reforms for both power and water – a fundamental shift to promote responsible use of natural resources and cost efficiency.
His Excellency Mohammed bin Jarsh Al Falasi, stated after his presentation: “The fourth IEA Global Conference on Energy Efficiency represented the perfect platform to show to the world’s most senior policy and decision-makers exactly how Abu Dhabi is pioneering a new model for energy. It is doing this by leading through innovation and by promoting a change in behaviour, notably by encouraging consumers to minimise their energy consumption and reduce emissions,”
“Abu Dhabi’s vision and leadership have laid out an ambition to further boost its leading position in the energy landscape by embracing technology to transition the energy sector towards a long-term sustainable energy solution. All of this underpins the emirate’s wider economic and social aspirations under Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.” His Excellency added.
The event was the first international activity DoE had undertaken with IEA since the two bodies signed a strategic partnership agreement in May this year. Under the terms of the agreement, the entities will enhance cooperation, promote training and capacity building, exchange knowledge and develop bilateral scientific, technical, legislative, administrative, and commercial expertise in the energy sector. The partnership will see DoE participate in the IEA’s programme of expert workshops and meetings.
The IEA works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its member countries, focusing on four main areas: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and worldwide engagement. Energy efficiency is a key focus area for the IEA, with the organisation conducting a range of activities on energy efficiency, including in-depth analyses and capacity building with policy makers in emerging economies. Its annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency draws a large international audience, bringing together dignitaries and senior leaders to advance global progress on energy efficiency.