wsbf pictures
Bernard Dagher, President & CEO, Grid Solutions at GE Renewable Energy (Middle East, Turkey & Africa) Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE is ‘leading’ in the movement towards reducing carbon emissions and adopting a more sustainable approach to energy production, said Bernard Dagher, President & CEO, Grid Solutions, GE Renewable Energy (Middle East, Turkey & Africa).

UAE was “one of the 40 nations included in US President Joe Biden’s leader summit around climate change,” said Dagher. The country “not only has committed to cutting emissions by a quarter by 2030, but it has already put an energy strategy for 2050”.

Dagher was speaking at the World Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) on Monday. The event, which is being held in Dubai, has brought together business and government leaders who are committed to innovating and creating positive change in the region and beyond.

The exclusive closed-door event — a joint initiative by Gulf News, the leading English-language news source in the UAE, and IFIICC, a global organisation committed to empowering trusted sustainable strategic partnerships — discussed issues and topics that are shaping the national, regional and global sustainability landscape. “UAE is looking at the full equation, balancing the supply sources, and efficiency,” said Dagher.

UAE aims to become a major hydrogen producer, and to reduce carbon emissions by 24 per cent by 2030. Plans include investment in green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy, like solar power as well as using carbon-capture technologies to create what is known as blue hydrogen.

Dagher believes countries should avoid emitting excess carbon and if they cannot avoid, they should reduce and capture. “We can capture that CO2 that we cannot avoid or reduce, that’s a very important part, but more important are the hybrid industries, because today we’re going to all live with a certain mix of energy,” said Dagher.

Renewable energy is now at ‘grid parity’, said Dagher. This happens when an alternative energy source can generate power at a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) that is less than or equal to the price of power from the electricity grid.

He added that it has become economically sustainable to produce renewable energy without government support. “It’s good to have renewable sources and it’s good to drive electrification of industries, but if you don’t connect the load and the supply to each other, then you’re not getting anything.”