Exploring new energy futures, critical innovation areas and creative strategies

ABU DHABI: The 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) kicked off in Abu Dhabi yesterday, gathering ministers, CEOs, policy-makers and industry practitioners from 150 countries including Kuwait to explore new energy futures, critical innovation areas and creative strategies. The WEC leads delegates through a four-day interactive program designed to address the most critical issues facing the global energy industry today, under the theme "Energy for Prosperity", which runs from 9th-12th September, Emirates News Agency (WAM) said.

This Congress is the world's premier energy gathering, offering a unique opportunity for participants to better understand energy issues and solutions from a global perspective, WAM added. UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, during a speech at the conference opening, reaffirmed UAE's commitment to maintaining and promoting a fully diversified energy mix and remaining a reliable supplier to global energy markets.

Addressing global energy leaders and policymakers at the 24th World Energy Congress currently underway in Abu Dhabi, Al Jaber detailed the mega trends affecting the rise in energy demand driven by population growth and the spending power of middle class consumers. "Over three times the amount of energy currently consumed by all of Europe will be added to global energy demand in the next two decades. To meet this demand, we will need an inclusive response that integrates and optimizes a fully diversified energy mix," he added.

ABU DHABI: Attendees take pictures of a robot during the opening ceremony of the 24th World Energy Congress (WEC) in the UAE capital. — AFP

He added that in a world that needs more energy with fewer emissions, ADNOC will continue to priorities responsible production as it expands its operations. He stressed that meeting the world's energy needs, responsibly and economically will require a renewed spirit of partnership. He noted that this includes partnerships with new sets of investors, who value long-term sustainable returns; partnerships between energy companies where best practices are shared, technology is leveraged, and capital efficiency is maximized; as well as partnerships between consuming and producing nations that recognize the shift in demand from West to East.

For his part, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, Suhail Al-Mazrouei said, UAE's strategy is to rely on 50 percent of clean energy. Adding UAE is directing its investments towards clean energy and encouraging the world to try to diversify energy sources. The opening ceremony was also attended by, Kuwaiti Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel, Undersecretary at the ministry of Electricity and Water Eng. Mohammad Boushehri and acting Chargre d'affaires at the Embassy of Kuwait in the UAE Sheikh Sabah Al-Malik Al-Sabah.

This year's Congress will feature 80 panel discussions, focusing on the entire energy spectrum, including oil and gas, electricity, development of clean coal, nuclear power and renewable energy, as well as transport, energy efficiency, finance, investment, consultancy, among others. The World Energy Congress is the world's largest and most influential energy event covering all aspects of the energy agenda with delegates from over 150 countries. The triennial event which started in 1924 is organized by the World Energy Council and is taking place in the Middle East for the first time.