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Energy Summit project value approaches $4b

Trend indicates growing interest by private sector

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The combined value of renewable energy projects confirmed for the Project Village at the 2012 World Future Energy Summit (WFES) is approaching $4 billion (Dh14.68 billion), organisers said.

"With another 10 projects expected to participate, the value of developments within the Project Village for 2012 may easily surpass $4 billion," said Naji Al Haddad, WEFS Exhibition Director.

"Those projects are on top of the large-scale investments in renewable energy under development by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's multi-faceted renewable energy company and host of WFES, and other companies exhibiting at the summit next January 16-19 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre [Adnec]," said Al Haddad.

He said that 25 projects, spanning photovoltaic power, wind energy, solar thermal, waste-to-energy, concentrated solar power and other technologies, have already been confirmed for the Project Village, which sheds light on some projects from the Mena region, India and other countries.

Philipp Sonnauer, Siemens sales and bid manager at the renewable division in the Middle East, said the transition to clean energy will be hastened in the near future with the rise in oil prices. "Such evolutions and advancement in renewable energy is greatly becoming a priority for many countries in the Mena whether they are oil or non-oil producers," added Sonnauer.

According to a report by the WEFS, the Project Village complements a growing pipeline of renewable energy initiatives from the world's largest concentrated solar power plant Shams 1, located in Abu Dhabi's Western Region, to the 1,000 megawatt London Array wind farm.

Al Haddad said: "Through the Project Village we bring together the decision makers that can action real progress on existing partnerships and agree on new collaborations. Confirmations for the Project Village for 2012 indicate the growing involvement of the private sector in the renewable energy space and reflect Abu Dhabi's leadership in developing renewable projects in the Middle East and overseas markets."

Al Haddad added that flagship projects already confirmed for the Project Village include a 200 megawatt wind farm in the Gulf of Suez; a 160-megawatt solar power plant in Morocco and the $400 million Shams Ma'an photovoltaic power plant under way in Jordan.

The annual summit engages political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities in response to the need for sustainable energy.