The pace of transition to clean energy is accelerating, as cheaper prices for renewables helps to make emerging technologies like hydrogen more viable, Masdar Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said on the opening day of MEA Energy Week, organized by Siemens Energy.
“The direction of the energy sector has not changed – its speed of travel has simply increased,” AL Ramahi said in the first panel session of the virtual conference. “As renewables have become cheaper and more versatile, they have found their way into more solutions, such as mobility, energy storage and building infrastructure. They are also making other technologies more viable, such as hydrogen” – a solution that Masdar has long been studying, the CEO said.
Masdar has “played a significant role” in helping to make renewables more cost-competitive, having set a number of benchmarks for electricity tariffs in its near-15-year history, Al Ramahi told the virtual audience. The company was established in 2006 to support the UAE’s diversification and is helping drive up renewables’ contribution to the country’s energy mix, he said.
Masdar is a key partner for MEA Energy Week, taking place October 19-21 under the theme ‘Shaping the Energy of Tomorrow.’ Other partners include the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK); the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ghorfa); and the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS).
Niall Hannigan, Masdar’s Chief Financial Officer, also participated in the first day of the event, speaking on a panel dedicated to financing energy systems to realize the potential of sustainability. The panel examined the holistic and competitive financing models needed to enable the shift toward more sustainable energy systems, and explored how power supply can be enhanced for emerging markets. Masdar has been actively involved in originating and driving utility-scale renewable energy projects in countries in the Middle East and in Central Asia.
MEA Energy Week aims to address the challenges and opportunities that the energy industry faces as it looks to improve access to energy and meet growing demand, while also doing so in an environmentally and financially sustainable manner. Sessions on October 20 include panels on the decarbonization of the hydrogen industry, digitalization, and preparing societies for energy evolution. For the final day, sessions will cover managing grid complexity, and a focus on the large-scale industrialization of hydrogen.