By Shola Akingboye, 12 January, 2022
The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (“TAQA”), one of the region’s largest listed integrated utility companies, has announced it will be the official host of the World Utilities Congress, a new global exhibition and conference addressing the future of low carbon power and water supplies, with the patronage of HH. Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of Abu Dhabi.
Organised by dmg events, the Congress will be an in-person event taking place in Abu Dhabi in May 2022. It will be supported by the UAE’s Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC).
The World Utilities Congress is an opportunity for the global power and water industry to converge and discuss trends and technologies impacting future power and water demand. The focus will be on the proactive measures for decarbonisation, curbing carbon emissions and attracting the long-term capital investment needed for a sustainable future.
Utilities are already at the heart of delivering global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, whilst keeping the world supplied with vital energy and water. The challenge to decarbonise is immense and requires sector leaders to share knowledge and most importantly – work together. Coming six months after COP26, the World Utilities Congress will provide a platform to help the industry reflect on the next phase.
In the UAE, the ‘National Integrated Energy Model’ was recently launched to support the UAE Energy Strategy to increase the contribution of clean energy into the country’s total energy mix to 50 per cent by 2050. There is also a major shift underway towards energy efficient water production, by way of reverse osmosis desalination.
Event host TAQA is at the centre of the UAE’s efforts having recently announced its 2030 strategy for sustainable and profitable growth. The company is setting out to become a champion of low carbon power and water for Abu Dhabi and will leverage the UAE’s strong global relationships to further the growth of its power and water portfolio at home and internationally.
The World Utilities Congress will give power and water utility leaders an unrivalled opportunity to explore innovation and technological advances across the global industry, whilst addressing challenges of rapid urbanisation, decarbonisation, decentralised energy, customer empowerment, sector convergence and more.
To be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) as both an exhibition and conference, the World Utilities Congress will grant the utilities industry direct access to growth opportunities in the UAE and wider MENA region, as well as with the fast-growing economies of Asia.
H.E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure commented: “The ministry’s objectives include strengthening the country’s focus towards renewable energy or clean alternative energy that uses safe, environmentally friendly and reliable technology in line with the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.”
“Our strategic recommendations for the future show that increasing investments in renewable energy projects will allow us to make a very significant impact in future-proofing the energy sector and prioritising renewable production technologies,” His Excellency further commented.
Jasim Husain Thabet, Group CEO and MD of TAQA, commented: “We are excited to host the World Utilities Congress in Abu Dhabi and hope it will enable us to meet with our peers from around the world to learn from each other and to work together for a sustainable future. Developing low carbon power and water is not just a matter of doing good, but it is also good business. As we at TAQA embark on our own journey, we value our partners and are proud to be part of a sector that is fundamental to delivering a better tomorrow. This new global conference and exhibition will provide a great opportunity for the sector to showcase ideas, solutions and best practice in front of an audience that matters.”
H.E. Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), highlighted key structural and operational developments in Abu Dhabi’s water and power sector which have been instrumental in paving the way for the transformation of the emirates utilities towards a more sustainable system that enables an efficient green transition.
His Excellency said: “A rapid transformation is taking place in Abu Dhabi’s water and power sector and it is shaped by major trends of profound shifts to clean and renewable energy, technological advances, energy efficiency, and demand management. Such advances will require more flexible regulatory frameworks, advanced smart grid management, more integrated resource management systems and an adaptive network to drive sustainable development and an efficient energy transition. With this in mind, we view the World Utilities Congress as an important event that brings local and international expertise together to focus on delivering integrated transformation for the water and power utilities and we look forward to a successful inaugural edition in 2022.”
H.E. Saood Mohamed Al Hosani, Undersecretary, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said: “We are honoured to be partnering with TAQA for the World Utilities Congress and I am looking forward to the great insights, opportunities and outcomes that will no doubt emerge from this event. The World Utilities Congress is an excellent platform for industry experts and leaders to come together and discuss the latest innovations and technological advancements shaping the future of this industry. We are confident that Abu Dhabi will continue to maintain its position as an increasingly attractive destination for domestic and international tourists through its involvement with such impactful and thought-provoking events.”
H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said: “The utilities sector will play a significant and strategic role in tackling climate change through increasing electrification of the energy sector, and decarbonisation of power production. As part of the UAE’s transition to cleaner energy sources, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will generate up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs for the next 60 years ahead, with zero carbon emissions, offering a proven solution to climate change, and we look forward to sharing the UAE model with experts and policy makers at the World Utilities Congress in 2022 to identify viable solutions that ensure a reliable, sustainable grid to support economic and social growth.”
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, commented: “ADNEC consistently collaborates with our partners across the government and private sectors. We resolutely support the creation of new exhibitions and conferences, and look to welcome them to the UAE’s capital. In doing so, we create value for the whole of Abu Dhabi, increasing the direct and indirect economic contribution of the business tourism sector to the emirate’s economy, alongside transferring knowledge and advanced technology into the UAE.
“ADNEC is fully prepared to host the exhibition and conference for the World Utilities Congress 2022, ensuring its quality is aligned with Abu Dhabi’s regional and global reputation. Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre’s highly flexible facilities and infrastructure will meet and exceed participants’ and organisers’ aspirations, in line with the highest international standards for the sector.”
Christopher Hudson, President, dmg events, organiser of the World Utilities Congress said: “The World Utilities Congress will enable the energy and utilities sector to forge new strategic partnerships that will help shape the future of the global utilities industry. Through the exhibition, the energy industry will be enabled to showcase the latest technologies, products services and solution to support the drive to net zero.
We are delighted to have been chosen to pioneer the World Utilities Congress, and are committed to ensuring that it will be a dynamic event that will invoke innovation, creativity and strategic progress across the industry.”