By Ed Attwood
UAE clean energy CEO addresses opening session of World Future Energy Summit.
Renewable energy continues to make "absolute sense" despite the impact of the global economic downturn, the CEO of Abu Dhabi's green energy company said on Monday.
Speaking at the opening of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) held in the UAE capital, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said despite the "time of economic concern" he was confident that "renewable energy retains its relevance and continues to make absolute sense".
He added: "With the world population going to 9 billion by 2050 and energy demand doubling we cannot afford to falter, the time is now, it is our responsibility and our duty to share our energy."
Abu Dhabi emerged at the forefront of global renewable energy issues last year as a result of the decision of the International Renewable Energy Agency to base its headquarters there.
With the continuing work at Masdar, WFES is seen coming at exactly the right time for Middle East companies to get the best out of international networking opportunities.
Also speaking at the opening session, President Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, said Abu Dhabi represent the future.
"The UAE is jettisoning the past and embracing change. I am here to learn about your pioneering work in renewable energy and carbon neutrality. It is easy to become despondent but I remain optimistic...The smart money is green money."
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish prime minister, told delegates that Turkey was aiming for 30 percent of total electricity capacity to be renewable energy-based by 2023.
The third edition of WFES will see analysts, executives and politicians from more than 100 countries, with the focus on the actions necessary to balance demands the world is facing between an economic and social need to boost energy infrastructure to fuel economic growth and environmental imperatives that must be met to ensure sustainability.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that 70 percent of the increased energy demand to 2030 will come from developing countries.
Meanwhile, the other 30 percent of this growth will emanate from developed economies, which will continue to witness growing demand as they get wealthier, and as their population expands with increasing migration from the developing world.
The US-based Energy Information Administration has said that global energy demand is expected to soar 44 percent over the next two decades, fuelled heavily by the emergence of economic heavyweights such as China and Russia.