ABU DHABI: Over 160 countries on Thursday endorsed the growth of renewable energy in a balanced global energy portfolio and noted the leading role of the UAE and Middle East.
Capping three days of discussions involving government delegations, business leaders, NGOs, and global organisations, ministers in the Declaration of the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (Adirec), called for a doubling of the world’s share of renewable energy by 2030 under the leadership of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
Held this year as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which saw 30,000 participants, Adirec is the fifth IREC, building upon successful outcomes in Delhi in 2010 (DIREC), Washington in 2008 (WIREC), Beijing in 2005, and Bonn in 2004.
Adirec this year also complements the General Assembly of Irena, the 159-member country organisation headquartered in Abu Dhabi.
“Adirec and Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week spotlight the huge transformation in both global and regional energy markets, with billions of dollars of new renewable energy projects in the Gulf alone,” the UAE’s Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and MD and CEO of Masdar, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, commented.
The renewable energy market in the Mena region is rapidly expanding, with a diverse range of countries announcing projects and policies to harness the region’s abundance of renewable energy resources for economic growth and energy security enhancement.
With its strong demographic growth, urbanisation and expanding economy, as well as high temperatures, the Mena region is experiencing marked growth in energy and electricity demand, which conference participants and Irena estimate, could be met by renewable energy on a cost-competitive basis.
Supporting the discussions, REN21 launched the Renewables Global Futures Report, providing a mosaic of credible renewable energy futures, as well as the Executive Summary of the Mena Renewables Status Report, which highlights the new investment opportunities in the Mena region and the improving direction of underpinning policy frameworks.
“With the world’s energy dynamics becoming increasingly complex, there is a need for greater global integration and collaboration to address how the world will power its future generations. The future of renewable energy looks very different today than it did a decade ago.
The recent unanimous declaration by the UN General Assembly designating 2014-2024 as the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All underscores the importance of energy to sustainable development and the need for increased use of renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency, and the sustainable use of traditional energy resources.
“The UAE has shown tremendous leadership in this area and will continue to do so. I would like to thank the UAE for the excellent collaboration with REN21 on Adirec and beyond,” chairman of REN21, Mohamed El-Ashry said.
Adirec is jointly organised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of Energy and Climate Change; Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted clean energy company; and REN21, the Paris-based renewable energy policy network.