Abu Dhabi to host leaders for the 2020 World Future Energy Summit

Published: 8 July 2019 - 11:05 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

The World Future Energy Summit, will host an unrivalled gathering of top-level government and business leaders when it returns to Abu Dhabi in January 2020, further reinforcing its place as the leading global event and business marketplace for future energy, cleantech and sustainability.

Hosted by Masdar and part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the World Future Energy Summit has a strong track record of bringing together the complete range of stakeholders needed to achieve genuine change, including from government, private sector majors and SMEs, technology providers, and finance. Visitors and delegates for 2019 included 13 heads of state, around 120 government ministers and 3,000 C-level executives. While the main focus is renewable energy and solar, the extended programme includes water, waste management, and smart cities.

Around USD 10.5 billion worth of new business was announced during the 2019 edition, and that figure is expected be higher in 2020 as the global and Middle East market for renewables continues to experience strong growth.

“The World Future Energy Summit provides the perfect platform that connects government, business and finance to enable the advancement and transfer of ideas, technology and investment to stimulate sustainable development and growth,” said Grant Tuchten, Group Event Director.

“The event facilitates the acceleration of sustainable development and innovation. We have the policy makers, the buyers and the vendors of sustainable solutions, the investors and financiers, and innovators bringing new ideas, all coming together in Abu Dhabi.”

Held annually, the World Future Energy Summit will include exhibition and forum programmes across five main pillars: energy, solar, water, waste and smart cities.

Data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that renewables now account for 63 percent of new capacity added to the global supply of electricity. Installed renewable energy capacity grew by 7.9 percent worldwide in 2018 – adding around 171 gigawatts (GW) of additional supply to reach a total of 2,351 GW.

In the Middle East, with its high levels of solar potential, supply grew by 7.1 percent or an extra 1.3 GW, to reach a total of around 20 GW installed capacity, while the GCC states are planning an additional 7 GW of new power generation from renewable sources by the early 2020s. The installed capacity of renewable energy in the GCC grew four-fold just in the period from 2014 to 2017, and the region is placing renewable energy – and sustainability more generally – at the centre of economic planning.

“Renewables are now the largest source of energy growth, accounting for around two-thirds of the increase in global power generation, with rapid adoption driven by dramatically falling costs,” said Grant Tuchten. “Looking forward, much of the growth potential is in developing markets, with China, India and other Asian countries accounting for almost half the growth in the world’s renewable power generation.”

In 2019, the World Future Energy Summit attracted more than 800 exhibitors on the show floor, with around 33,500 attendees during the event’s four days. More than 80 percent of visitors have purchasing power within their organisation. As a platform facilitating knowledge-exchange, the World Future Energy Summit hosts industry forums that offer expert-led sessions and networking opportunities at the strategic, commercial and technical levels.

The event focuses on clean energy, including a specific programme for solar, attracting some of the world’s largest buyers and sellers of renewable energy technology. Other pillars include water sustainability, which will offer solutions to the MENA region’s significant water scarcity challenges; EcoWASTE, in partnership with Tadweer, covering sustainable waste management and recycling; and smart cities, which will look at how the latest digital innovation and IoT technology can help improve quality of life and happiness in the urban environment.

Supporting green-tech innovation and start-ups, the Climate Innovations Exchange – also called ‘CLIX’ – will return for its third edition, hosted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. First staged as part of the World Future Energy Summit in 2018, CLIX connects entrepreneurs with investors. The CLIX 2020 pillars will include sustainability in space – which features technology that can be deployed from space to help sustainability on Earth – the future of food and agriculture, the future of energy and the future of mobility.

CLIX provides a marketplace for start-ups to meet with key stakeholders and investors, in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021 commitment to support start-ups to achieve technological advancement. The focus is on innovations ranging from concept stage to the early stage of commercialisation, with entrepreneurs able to meet the financial backers who can take their ideas to the next level. These include incubators and accelerators, angel investors and venture capitalists, and traditional institutions such as banks.

The World Future Energy Summit will be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), from 13 - 16 January, 2020.

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