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Paradigm shift in world energy

Social equity, poverty and education will be on the agenda at the World Energy Forum next month

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani
Solar power panels used in heating water at Grand Hyatt hotel.
Gulf News

Dubai: The World Energy Forum 2012 will seek to form a roadmap for a new paradigm for sustainable energy that will benefit all people and promote a global adoption of safe and sustainable sources of energy that are accessible to all, Saeed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy for Dubai (SCE) and Vice Chairman of the WEF 2012 Higher Organising Committee, said in an interview to Gulf News.

Moreover, he remarked that the forum will discuss ways to achieve social equity, face global poverty challenges, and solve the issue of access to electricity for 1.5 billion people around the globe and the impact of energy on education, health and infrastructure.

The World Energy Forum will be held for the first time outside of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, under the theme, ‘A Forum for World Leaders’.

Dubai will host the forum on 22-24 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre where world leaders, ministers and industry pioneers will meet together.

Al Tayer remarked that energy is the cornerstone for advancement and development and Dubai is hosting this forum at a stage where the UAE and Dubai in particular, have proactively initiated programs to diversify energy sources by adopting sustainable and green energy solutions and the objectives of UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE one of the foremost nations in the world by 2021.


According to the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, the government is looking to diversify its sources of energy, targeting renewable energy to supply one per cent of Dubai’s energy by 2020 and 5 per cent by 2030.

Moreover, Dubai launched a Dh12 billion solar project — the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park — that will ultimately have a capacity to generate 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power. The move comes as part of the emirate’s plan to diversify its energy mix and reduce dependency on oil and gas, Al Tayer said.

“While 99 per cent of Dubai’s energy production uses gas and one per cent using diesel, the energy strategy 2030 will reduce its dependence on oil and gas.”

“Twelve per cent of its future energy could come from nuclear energy and another 12 per cent will come from coal-fired power plants, 71 per cent will come from gas and 5 per cent from renewable energy,” he said.

While he added that the clean coal power project is in the pipeline.

Why Dubai

Al Tayer remarked that Dubai was selected to host the forum because of its geographic and strategic location and its status as a global hub of finance, business, trade, energy and tourism.

“Hosting the Forum will play a major role in further establishing Dubai as a key player on the global sustainability scene, especially as 2012 has been named International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the UN,” he said.

“As a global business and trade hub, Dubai will continue to establish itself as a global centre for creativity and knowledge—sharing by hosting events that garner international interest.”

By promoting World Energy Day, Dubai is demonstrating its shared vision with the rest of the world for sustainable energy solutions that will conserve our precious resources, and provide a sustainable future all the nations of the world.


DEWA, under the umbrella of the Supreme Council of Energy, has a lot of initiative in the fields of efficiency, reliability, sustainability, conservation, demand management, infrastructure investment, green building and network operation, and the forum would be an ideal platform to share the best practices, Al Tayer said.


Dewa contributed effectively to raising efficiency levels and energy conservation in Dubai. It has concentrated its efforts on reducing fuel consumption at its power plants. An excellent example of this is that DEWA has managed to generate 400 megawatts of electricity without using additional fuel, thanks to its innovative efficiency drive and its continuous and effective strategy that concentrates on the sustainability of resources and preserving the environment.

On the other side, DEWA achieved results that rival and even beat benchmarks for the private sector, surpassing 10 of the best European and American companies in efficiency, availability and reliability. Network line losses were recorded at 3.49% compared to 4.3% for the European and American companies mentioned. As for customer minutes lost per year, DEWA’s figures reached 5.8 minutes; a significantly better figure than that 16.4 minutes recorded for these companies. Improvements in production efficiency reached 20% from 2006 to 2011.

Through this initiative, the UAE aims to become one of the world leaders in this area as well as a centre for the export and re-export of green products and technologies, and to maintain a sustainable environment to support long-term economic growth.