Dr Ahmad Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, today delivered the keynote speech at the formal inauguration of the ninth World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the anchor conference and exhibition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which ends January 23.
Quoting a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimating that doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030 could increase global GDP by more than 1%, Dr Belhoul argued that the business case for clean energy was now beyond doubt.
“Nowhere is the business potential for clean energy greater than here in the Middle East,” he said.
“While the UAE will remain committed to its historic role as a global leader in all the energies, conventional and alternative, the policy and economic imperatives of renewable energy are now aligned.”
“Both policy makers and business leaders value the long-term price stability of an asset class that is removed from the fluctuations of global commodity markets,” he said.
Dr Belhoul added that after pursuing a number of successful projects overseas, Masdar was now turning its attention to the many opportunities in the region, and called on financial institutions to throw their weight behind the sector.
“Globally, investment in renewable energy must double if expansion targets are to be met, to at least US$500 billion per year. Regional financial institutions must act to ensure our industry secures the capital it needs to grow.”
Dr Belhoul also noted that the numbers of buyers attending ADSW this year had increased sharply compared to 2015, underlining the business potential of the clean energy sector across MENA.