More than 26,000 attendees, including 3,000 delegates, 650 exhibiting companies and 20 national pavilions are expected to attend the “World Future Energy Summit 2012” (WFES) which opens in Abu Dhabi next month.
The high-profile event is being hosted by Masdar at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from January 16 to 19.
Now in its fifth year, the WFES is the world’s leading event committed to promoting advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and waste and water technologies.
The annual summit engages political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities in response to the growing need for sustainable energy.
Leading chief executives including Ditlev Engel, president and CEO of leading wind turbine maker Vestas, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, president and CEO of Schneider Electric, and Mark Carne, executive VP of Shell International are among other industry and policy specialists taking part.
It is being held under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
With global industry expected to play a major role in realizing the region’s ambitious renewable energy agenda, the summit has attracted an impressive line-up of international business and policy experts, said the event organisers.
Countries across the Middle East are ramping up renewable energy investment, with some states aiming to have renewable sources account for more than 40 per cent of their energy mix by 2020, remarked WFES exhibition director Naji El Haddad.
He said the summit will see industry experts discuss the opportunities for further increasing local capacity in renewable energy solutions.
“Day two of the summit will examine in detail how the private sector can help achieve large-scale implementation of renewable energy, and what governments need to do to encourage the involvement of the business community,” El Haddad explained.
With 10 Arab states setting quotas for renewable power generation ranging between 5 and 42 per cent, closer alignment between the public and private sector will be key,” he added.
Analysts estimate that delivering on those goals will require a three-fold increase in renewable energy capacity across the Mena to at least 27,000 megawatts.
Even countries that have not set targets are still investing in large-scale renewable energy projects, such as Saudi Arabia, which last year unveiled a 2-megawatt rooftop solar power installation at the Jeddah-based research institute KAUST.
On the theme ‘Powering Sustainable Innovation,’ WFES will stage both a high-level conference and exhibition, with companies from all over the world promoting their latest products and services.
El Haddad pointed out that bringing about a domestic renewable energy sector in the region is about creating jobs and economic diversification as well as generating more power from sustainable sources.
“WFES 2012 will be a valuable platform for all stakeholders committed to seeing such an important industry take root in the region, from investors to technology providers to policy makers,” he added.