UAE energy sector 'serving triple agenda'
Daegu (South Korea), October 19, 2013
The UAE has been balancing global energy supply, local energy growth and job creation as part of its three-pronged strategy, said a senior Emirati energy department official.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, the director of Energy and Climate Affairs, was addressing a high-level panel at the World Energy Congress (WEC) in Daegu, South Korea.
Entitled ‘Serving a triple agenda - International supply, local energy growth and the need for job creation’, the discussion sought to address the challenges of balancing the region’s vast reserves of petroleum and natural gas with its high economic and population growth, and increasing energy security pressures.
The panel also discussed environmental impact mitigation, and the urgent need for employment through the creation of jobs for the region’s millions of young people.
Al Zeyoudi called upon the world’s leading energy exporters to find a way to balance global exports with local growth and job creation, in order to support long term economic and social development at home and abroad.
He was joined on the panel by Hussain Al-Shahristani, the Deputy PM for Energy Affairs at the Government of Iraq, John Barry, the country chair Abu Dhabi and VP Abu Dhabi, Syria and Kuwait for Shell Upstream International, Wadie Habboush, the president and CEO of Habboush Group and Kamel Eddine Chikhi, the executive director of Sonatrach, Algeria.
Speaking about the UAE’s energy landscape, Dr Al Zeyoudi said the UAE was a regional pioneer in the diversification of its energy sources, which is enabling the economy to transition from one based on hydrocarbon exports to exportable knowledge.
“Hydrocarbon investments are more attractive than ever, but we are investing heavily in ensuring we are able to maintain our energy leadership beyond hydrocarbons,” he stated.
"The Mena region will remain at the heart of the hydrocarbon industry, but its future is now much more diverse,” remarked Dr Al Zeyoudi. “We see huge investment opportunities in renewable energy, nuclear and energy efficiency,” he said.
On its international investment strategy, Dr Al Zeyoudi said: "The UAE is a first mover in direct investment into international renewable projects. From the world’s largest offshore wind farm London Array, to a smaller but no less significant wind farm in the Seychelles and Africa’s largest solar PV plant in Mauritania, we are making a positive contribution to the acceleration of renewables across the world – supporting economic growth and mitigating climate change."
Concluding his address he said: “In addition to making smart, long-term energy investments, it is important to invest in education. You need a population that can identify and implement the most sustainable energy options.”
“For that reason, the UAE is investing heavily in energy education, through the region’s leading research institutes in both hydrocarbons and renewable energy,” he added.
The UAE has announced its intention to bid for the 2019 World Energy Congress when the process begins in January 2014. The WEC is held every three years; hosting the Congress in Abu Dhabi would mark the first time in the event’s 90-year history that it has been held in a member country of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.-TradeArabia News Service