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Thu 10 Jan 2019 11:11 AM

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Renewable energy investment may 'slow down' in economic downturns, says Masdar CEO

Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said that he is 'optimistic' that governments and companies around the world are committed to the Paris Agreement

Renewable energy investment may 'slow down' in economic downturns, says Masdar CEO
Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.

The deployment of renewable energy around the world is dependent on the growth of national economies and may slow down in the event of a downturn, according to Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.

Speaking at the UAE Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Al Ramahi said that renewable energy has become “mainstream”.

“[In the near term] you’ll see growth in renewable energy like you’ve seen over the past five years,” he said. “There should be more investment into renewable energy, that’s true, but this is driven by growth in economies.”

Al Ramahi added that “if we forecast or project that the global economy is potentially going to be slowing down, particularly in China, then potentially the deployment of renewable energy in countries like China is going to slow down.”

Any slowdown, he added, could also negatively impact that targets set by the Paris Agreement in 2016 to mitigate global warming.

However, Al Ramahi said he remains optimistic about the future of renewables.

“The world understands the importance of climate change … regardless of what the trends are, sometimes they shift right or left,” he said.

“The organisations and companies like Masdar at the global level are committed to decarbonisation and the green economy. You can see it across the whole world.”

Al Ramahi added that many companies in the fossil fuel economy are working with Masdar and similar companies on major projects around the world, which he said is a sign that “they are also committed.”

In the UAE, the country’s ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ calls for clean energy to contribute 50 percent of its power by 2050 , as well as a 70 percent reduction in its carbon footprint.

According to the plan, the country will invest AED 600 billion ($163.36 billion) by 2050 to meet growing energy demand.

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