Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, led a high-level delegation from the UAE to the Second Assembly of the International Solar Alliance, ISA, in India. The UAE delegation included Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA.
Held in New Delhi on 31st October, the Second Assembly of the ISA drew the participation of high-profile invitees, ministers and representatives from ISA member countries, officers from international organisations, multilateral agencies, and financial institutions to discuss their specific energy needs. The event provided an ideal platform for collaboration in addressing the identified gaps through a common and agreed approach.
Speaking on the occasion, Suhail Al Mazrouei said, "Energy is the backbone of the UAE’s economy, and our country is working to diversify both – its energy sources and its economic sectors. 2017 saw the launch of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 – the country’s first unified energy strategy that focuses not only on supply but also on optimising demand. By 2050, 50 percent of the country’s energy will come from clean sources, including 44 percent from renewable sources."
He added, "Due to well-aligned government processes and the forward-thinking vision that went into formulating the UAE Energy Strategy, the country has managed to implement sustainable energy projects and reduce the cost for solar power significantly – from 5.84 US cents in 2015 to the new world record of 1.7 cents submitted for Phase 5 of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – that amounts to a nearly 80 percent cost reduction."
Highlighting the important role of ISA, Dr Nawal Al Hosany added, "The Alliance has an exceptional track record of facilitating large-scale funding and developing programmes to promote access to affordable finance. We are here today to take the achievements of our solar industry to a whole new level through advancing the technology, incorporating region-specific social aspects, and driving innovative business initiatives.
She added, "From leading multiple billion dollar renewable energy ventures to hosting the IRENA headquarters, the UAE is committed to finding new renewable energy solutions to age-old challenges through partnerships, knowledge exchange, capacity building, and access to finance."
The UAE is a founding member of the ISA that was established by the Paris Declaration at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) in 2015, where it was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. The UAE joined the Alliance in late October 2017 and was officially approved as a member in February 2018.
The Alliance currently includes more than 121 prospective member countries, located either fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. It aims to help developing countries harness 1,000 GW of solar power by 2030 through raising US$1 trillion and providing the necessary technical assistance to support the goal.