The UAE and the wider region will drive innovative solutions to solve issues related to climate change, panelists on the fourth ASDSW Web Series agreed, with some of the most promising technologies still in early development stages.
“In the region, there is definitely potential for further growth and development of new technology, and further investment in new technology,” said Jean-Francois Chartrain, Chief Operating Officer, Tabreed. This investment would be not just beneficial to business but also to the environment, he said, leading to “a lower impact on the planet.”
Sophia Nadur, Managing Partner, bp Ventures (New Markets), said she saw “huge opportunities” to develop technology in the UAE and further afield. “There is so much potential in the region,” she said, citing companies that bp is working with through its joint venture with Masdar on The Catalyst, the region’s first clean technology accelerator. Working within a broader ecosystem is vital for bp “because even big companies don’t have all the answers,” she said. The Catalyst is based at Masdar City, “a stake in the ground” for Abu Dhabi’s commitment to sustainable urban development, she said.
Electrification, decarbonization and digitalization initiatives are becoming increasingly important “across all industries,” according to Muhamed Bou-Zeid, General Manager, Vestas MENA. For renewables, hybrid solutions, such as a combination of wind, solar and storage, could lead to greater grid reliability and round-the-clock output, he added. However, another area where he would like to see greater innovation is around “workable and transparent policy,” saying that it would be beneficial if governments in the region devised “policies that can help us collaborate more efficiently and drive the energy transition.”
The region is likely to benefit from development of hydrogen, the panelists agreed, with Nadur believing that so-called blue hydrogen will prove an economical solution, given the abundant natural gas resources here.
The ADSW Web Series is a year-round platform dedicated to continuing the sustainability dialogue. Hosted by Masdar, the ADSW Web Series discusses critical, relevant topics key to accelerating the world’s sustainable development and delivering a green recovery.