As electricity demand soars globally, utilities operators must figure out how to further penetrate the market worldwide with cost-effective renewable energies to lower the carbon intensity of electricity production, according to panelists at the opening sessions of the second day’s strategic conference at the World Utilities Congress (WUC).
The first edition of WUC is hosted by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and sees global leaders and industry experts from the utilities sector convening for the second day in Abu Dhabi.
Day two’s conference highlight was the ministerial session titled ‘Balancing decarbonization and energy security” which was a key session that brought together global leaders to gain deeper insights into different decarbonization pathways. Speakers included; Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud, Saudi’s Minister of Energy, and Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud
During the session, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud said: “The energy sector is suffering holistically from so many things, such as running out of capacity at all levels, be it upstream, downstream, in manufacturing, and supply chains. This causes disruptions in the supply chain, which is a phenomenon that affects other sectors.”
He added: “The world needs to work collectively, responsibly, and comprehensively providing us with a strategy for the world’s economy. Two things need our focus: supply chain issues and services issues, including energy. This is fundamentally why we are here today and it is the most profound two topics that we need to focus on.”
During the panel, Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei remarked: “I can say with confidence that the energy transition is already happening. It is a journey that needs to be managed very wisely in order to avoid an adverse flip that can happen if the consumers and public will have to pay an excessive energy bill.
We need to continue investing in cleaner conventional energy sources, to avoid an increase in price and the use of higher emission energy sources like coal. We must also continue our investment in R&D and piloting technologies to help reduce the cost of the green source and carbon capturing that should eventually become cost-effective.
He added: “Hydrogen will also play an important role in enabling us to achieve carbon neutrality, it is an enabler for the decarbonization of many industries like steel, cement, particular petrochemical, and many others. This is why UAE will continue to work on this critical subject with the aim to be a major producer and exporter of hydrogen in its different forms.”
Industry leaders came together to share insights during a Global Leadership Panel ‘Building the bridge to a carbon-free future through energy diversification’. Both government and industry participants discussed the energy transition and the increase in global electricity demand, and the need to reduce the carbon intensity of electricity production to enable a carbon-free future.
In the same panel session, Farid Al-Awlaqi, Executive Director of Generation from TAQA, said: “I think we have seen the generation sector undergo a massive transformation. We plan to continue developing utility-scale projects that are in line with our strategy to be the recognized low carbon power and water champion, here at home and internationally.”
Al -Awlaqi added: “We are on a journey of optimization and decarbonization. This isn’t just about developing large-scale projects, but at TAQA, we are also looking at enhancing our O&M capabilities and providing a comprehensive turnkey service of energy solutions that helps us, our partners, and customers reach net zero.”
The second day of the World Utilities Congress also witnessed the ‘Nuclear Energy Leadership Forum’, which convened global industry professionals, to explore the deployment of safe, reliable nuclear energy generation, technological advancements in nuclear energy, and the latest in research and development of nuclear science and technology. The forum saw important topics discussed such as ‘Securing ESG investments for a net zero economy,’ ‘The latest innovations and advances within the nuclear sector – what does the future hold? and ‘Attracting talent for the green energy transition’.