Abu Dhabi reaps benefits of its eco-investing

WAM ABU DHABI, 23rd January, 2014 (WAM) — A U.A.E. paper said that many major conferences fail to excite the general public, but the energy meetings in Abu Dhabi over the last week stand out from the crowd.

“With declarations of genuine global significance emerging from the combination of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s assembly, the World Future Energy Summit, the awarding of the Zayed Future Energy Prize as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and associated meetings related to the energy sector, the emirate was this week the absolute centre of the renewable energy debate,” Abu Dhabi based English language daily, The National said in an editorial comment.

For a nation determined to create a knowledge-based economy and reap the immense potential for growth in renewable energy, this augurs well. While recognising pioneers in the field – such as the lifetime achievement award to Wang Chuanfu, founder of Chinese battery maker BYD – other projects that particularly shone through offered the potential to generate power while simultaneously reducing waste.

“One was ADNOC’s groundbreaking carbon-capture project that will pipe carbon dioxide produced at Emirates Steel into one of Abu Dhabi’s onshore oilfields, simultaneously sequestering this greenhouse gas while increasing the rate of oil recovery and extraction,” wrote the paper.

Another is the proposal by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, TAQA, to build a Dh3 billion waste incineration plant that will not only reduce the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill sites but also generate 100 megawatts of electricity, with the potential for that input to double. A similar plant is proposed for Sharjah, where streaming to take out recyclables has already diverted 60 per cent of what would once have been sent to the emirate’s landfills.

The conference also saw Masdar reaffirm its credentials as a global centre of excellence in the renewables field, including the official opening of the Siemens building, a 20,000 square-metre regional headquarters for 700 staff of the German engineering company. The high-tech building delivers on its promise of saving energy, using 45 per cent less energy and 50 per cent less water than a conventional structure.

“These are exactly the sort of projects and industries that suit the UAE because they offer the prospect of skilled high-wage jobs for Emiratis and broaden the nation’s growing reputation for expertise in the energy industry far beyond just extraction and processing,” concluded the paper.


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