Tag Archives: UAE

COP23 Renewable Energy Day: Action on Climate and Accelerating Energy System Transformation

Governments of Fiji, Germany and United Arab Emirates together with IRENA and Deutsche Post DHL Group, host ‘COP23 Renewable Energy Day’ to accelerate energy transition

A year on from the Paris Agreement coming into force, COP23 under Fiji’s Presidency and hosted by Germany, is firmly positioned as the COP for implementation and action on climate. With that in mind, more than 300 delegates attended COP23 Renewable Energy Day, organised by IRENA together with the Governments of Fiji, Germany and the UAE and Deutsche Post DHL Group, to accelerate the energy transition.

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Here’s a short breakdown of what happened during the day:

Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA welcomed delegates with this opening statement. “Renewable energy is good for climate and good for growth, which is the key message that we are bringing to this climate change conference,” setting the stage for address that made a case for strengthening renewable energy ambition in the pursuit of climate and economic goals. “If we are serious about tackling climate change, we need to decarbonise the energy sector,” he said. “We believe that energy transition is not only technically feasible but also economically attractive as it will fuel economic growth and create new employment opportunities.”

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The Energy Transition

Investments will flee decline and flood to growth

The energy transition will be fast, dramatic and soon, said Trusted Sources energy strategist, Kingsmill Bond, to Renewable Energy Day attendees, explaining the inflection point for renewable energy and peak fossil fuels is just around the corner – which will result in private capital fleeing areas of decline and flooding to areas of growth, such as renewables.

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Amani Abou Zeid, the African Union’s Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure; Rainer Baake, Germany’s State Secretary for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; and Sebastian Kind, Argentina’s Undersecretary for Renewables, in the Ministry of Energy and Mining then discussed perspectives on the transition.

Rainer Baake, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany – co-hosts of the event said renewables are central to economic growth and are key to the Paris Agreement.

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“Renewable energy is a key element for a profound and accelerated global energy transition that will not only fundamentally modernize our economies, create growth and innovation, but it will also help to successfully implement the Paris Agreement.”

Co-host the UAE, offer further support to the economic case for renewable energy

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE said: “The rapid deployment of renewable energy has been the dominant force in the global efforts to address climate change, and the UAE is proud to be playing its part. The UAE firmly believes that renewables makes economic sense, which has been proven by the creation of jobs and industries. We will continue to scale-up renewable energy deployment through the region’s first national Climate Change Plan 2050 to meet our ambitious NDC targets.”

The United States remains committed to the Paris Agreement

Achieving the goals set within the Paris Agreement remains a key priority for the US too, said California State Governor Jerry Brown, who emphasised that climate action is taking place right across America.

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“Climate change is real, and it presents a threat to global security and prosperity that is beyond comprehension. At a state level, at a city level and at a business level right across the United States of America there is recognition of that threat, there is collective intention to fight it, and there is tangible progress in the pursuit of a sustainable future,” said Governor Brown.

“This conference has offered us (the US) a tremendous opportunity to communicate the fact that the US remains committed to the Paris Agreement and we look forward to building the alliances and partnerships necessary, across governments and industry, to accelerate sustainable solutions and help us avoid the worst effects of climate change.”

Under Governor Brown’s leadership the state is in the process of adopting one of the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the world: a new energy law will require California to produce 50% renewable energy by 2026, 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2045.

Renewable Energy Day hosts Deutsche Post DHL Group, is a major German company with bold low-carbon targets of its own. Their CEO Frank Appel, shared how corporations have a responsibility to help reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy..

Dr. Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post DHL Group said:

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“Our commitment to be zero emission by 2050 requires a fundamental rethinking of our business activities. For Deutsche Post DHL Group, re-evaluating our business decisions through the prism of sustainability has resulted in us questioning our established way of doing things. More than ever before, we are harnessing the energies of our employees in creating a company-wide spirit of innovation and sustainability to provide solutions not only to benefit our customers but also to be a benchmark in our industry.”

Explorer and pilot of Solar Impulse — the world’s first solar-powered plane to circumnavigate the globe — Bertrand Piccard, spoke about the need to push the energy transition beyond existing boundaries. And Alexy Tarasov, Head of the Laboratory of New Materials for Solar Energetics at Moscow State University, described the future solar technology that will help transform the energy sector.

China – the world’s largest renewable energy market – is at the forefront of the global energy transition. The Chinese energy industry is also making enormous strides in addressing the country’s environmental challenges. A special address by Shu Yinbiao, Chairman of State Grid Corporation of China, and a presentation by Zhang Lei, CEO, Envision Energy, shared their insights on the ongoing paradigm shift in China.

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It was a day of optimism for the future of our climate, and bullishness on the trajectory for growth in renewable energy and as the programme wound to an end, Monika Jones, Deutsche Welle presenter and the event’s moderator, reminded us that…

A stream of the afternoon sessions can be re-watched on IRENA’s Facebook page, or on this page below.

Spurring Renewable Energy Deployment in Central Asia

Abu Dhabi workshop gathers Central Asia regional stakeholders to explore strategies for seizing its vast renewable energy potential

Covering an area of over 4 million square kilometers and sitting at the crossroads of East, South, and West Asia, the countries of Central Asia have for millennia been at the centre of the exchange of ideas, people, and technology. And today, the region’s countries are sharing and collaborating to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
Continue reading Spurring Renewable Energy Deployment in Central Asia

Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

Thirty kilometres from the bustle of downtown Abu Dhabi, lies a remarkable undertaking that could one day change the environmental impact of air travel.

Set on a two-hectare farm down the road from the IRENA Headquarters building, a pilot project conducted by Masdar Institute’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) is bringing private sector firms together to answer ‘is it possible to create a sustainable jet-powering biofuel?’ Continue reading Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

IRENA Director-General Meets with UAE Vice President

Since winning the bid to host the International Renewable Energy Agency in 2009, the United Arab Emirates has been a strong supporter of the Agency and has made considerable strides in achieving domestic renewable energy ambitions. The UAE is actively pursuing the development and deployment of renewables, and an IRENA REmap assessment (PDF) suggests the country could save billions of dollars annually by switching from fossil fuels to renewables.

On 1 August 2016, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited IRENA’s headquarters to show his support for the agency and engage with IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin on the Agency’s achievements. Continue reading IRENA Director-General Meets with UAE Vice President

Solar and Wind Now the UAE’s Most Cost-Competitive New Energy Sources

Solar and wind are now the cheapest sources of new energy supply in the United Arab Emirates, according to a report released today by IRENA, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Marking the country’s first public comparison of different energy technology costs and potentials, the Renewable Energy Prospects: United Arab Emirates report finds the UAE could achieve a 10 per cent share of renewable energy in its total energy supply – and almost 25 per cent in the power sector – resulting in energy system savings of USD 1.9 billion (AED 7 billion) annually by 2030.

“The UAE’s strategy of innovation and diversification has placed it at the fulcrum of the massive transformation of the global energy landscape that has already begun. Renewables have decisively emerged from a niche technology to a major component of the energy mix and have been the majority of global power capacity additions for the last three years. The dramatic technology cost declines we are mapping present a real possibility to move to a sustainable energy future even in the hydrocarbon producers in the MENA region.” – IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin

The report cites sharp declines in renewable energy costs in the UAE, as well as rising costs for natural gas as domestic production declines and the country turns to more expensive imported sources, as the key drivers for renewable energy’s financial attractiveness. Local solar PV costs, for instance, have fallen by 80 per cent since 2008, while the cost of new gas supplies in the UAE has grown from under $2.5/MMBtu in 2010 to $6-8/MMBtu for domestic production and $10-18/MMBtu for imports today, even after the recent decline of oil and LNG prices. The report estimates that solar, wind, and waste-to-energy are preferable for power generation when new gas is above $8/MMBtu – making them immediately competitive in the UAE, where natural gas supplies almost 100 per cent of power.

The report also reveals that solar costs are poised to decrease even further. In January, the tender for the second phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai was awarded to the lowest bidder for under six cents per kilowatt hour for a 25-year fixed contract. This is the lowest solar price ever achieved worldwide.

“This report is an eye-opener. It provides policymakers and investors with an objective cost baseline, making the clear case that renewables, and especially solar, will have a much larger role sooner than we ever expected in the UAE and Middle East.” – Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute

The report is one of the first three country analyses under IRENA’s REmap 2030 programme, which evaluates how the world can meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All goal of doubling the global share of renewable energy by 2030. The project maps how renewable energy can grow in the power, industry, buildings, and transport sectors.  Health and environmental benefits are also included in the analyses, and in the case of the UAE, they could amount to additional annual net savings of USD 1 to 3.7 billion by 2030.

“The UAE made an early bet on energy diversification. We are investing broadly and letting technologies compete to produce the optimal supply mix.  As this report shows, there is now a clear financial case for renewables, even before we consider benefits like energy security, emissions, and job creation.” – His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IRENA and the Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The report notes that solar and wind are still challenged by intermittency, which will require natural gas to fill gaps in output.  However, the savings from generating solar power during the daytime, instead of consuming gas, are so great that they could justify 17,500 megawatts of PV in the UAE by 2030, up from around 40 MW today.