Posted on January 17, 2014

Industry professionals from around the world will convene in Abu Dhabi for the 7th World Future Energy Summit (WFES), hosted by Masdar, from 20-22 January, to discuss the latest challenges and solutions in renewable energy, clean technology and sustainability.

Naji Haddad, Show Director for the Summit, said the conference programme will engage political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities in response to the growing need for sustainable energy. “WFES is where leaders come to talk and collaborate: world leaders, business leaders, thought leaders. They will all be at WFES to share their personal perspectives and inspirational stories, and offer real world solutions.”

Approximately 125 experts are expected to deliver thought-provoking speeches on topics such as waste-to-energy -- covered for the first time at WFES -- the role of natural gas, energy efficiency, the need to better utilise readily available technologies, and the changing dynamics of consumer behaviour. “The opening day of WFES will set the global energy context and consider the opportunities and challenges facing the industry in the year ahead. Day two will focus on innovation and how it can be encouraged to develop the next generation of sustainable energy technologies,” said El Haddad.

El Haddad said the contribution of industry experts will be crucial to determine how the world will focus its future efforts on sustainable practices, opportunities and investments. Energy storage is a case in point, which will be highlighted in a conference session moderated by Dr. Ali Nourai of DNV GL Energy.

“WFES is a highly credible conference for meeting and exchanging ideas with other thought leaders,” said Dr. Nourai. Our opening day sets the global energy context and the opportunities and challenges facing the industry in the year ahead. With a firm focus on the state of play of the more established renewable energy technologies, and the changing energy landscapes of cities and their infrastructure, our distinguished panellists debate and discuss the key issues in renewable energy today.

Among those speaking at WFES for the first time are Jos Verbeek, Lead Economist at the World Bank; Kate Hampton, Executive Director at Climate Change at Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; Paddy Padmanathan, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power; and Masakatu Toyoda, Chairman and CEO at The Institute of Energy, Japan.

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“People are flocking to cities like never before in human history,” said Jos Verbeek, who will participate in the session‘Energy and Society – Transforming Cities’ on January 21. “With over 80% of global goods and services being produced in cities, urban areas have been spectacular in improving people’s livelihoods and in reducing poverty. However, to maintain that momentum, reliable and affordable green energy is a must and is one of the biggest challenges urban centres face going forward.”

Paddy Padmanathan, CEO ACWA Power, will speak on the plenary panel ‘Transforming the Energy Mix’ on day three of WFES 2014, January 22. “ACWA Power is focused on reliably delivering electricity and desalinated water and is becoming increasingly involved in developing renewable energy. WFES has established itself as the premier event focused on this sector, bringing all stakeholders under one roof: policy makers, private sector experts, and leaders from civil society.”

Other renowned authorities addressing conference delegates are Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar; Wim Tomas, Chief Energy Advisorat Shell Netherlands; and Daniel Kammen, Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkley. The 7th annual World Future Energy Summit will be co-located with the second edition of the International Water Summit and the inaugural EcoWASTE exhibition, also hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, from January 20-22 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

WFES 2014 is the centerpiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, held from January 18-25, an annual platform on the inter-connected challenges impacting the widespread adoption of renewable energy and the acceleration of sustainable development.