Renewable energy capacity needs to triple by the end of this decade if the world is to meet climate targets, Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Masdar, said in his keynote speech at CERAWeek in Houston, Texas.
Speaking ahead of the COP28 climate conference in the UAE in November, Dr Al Jaber said that “this year, the world will evaluate exactly where we are when it comes to climate progress through the first Global Stocktake. And we know we are way off track. We need a major course correction.
“Power generation is the sector where the biggest impact can be made in the shortest amount of time. By 2030, renewable energy capacity needs to triple. This is the decade to diversify portfolios, future-proof companies and provide the clean energy the world needs.”
However, Dr Al Jaber warned that “for high-emitting sectors, renewable energy is not enough,” with aluminum, steel, cement and many other heavy industries making up 30 percent of global emissions.
“Decarbonising economies at scale requires an ‘enabling ecosystem’ that connects policy, people, technology, and capital,” he told delegates. “Policymakers must create the incentives that move the market in the right direction. Industry needs clear policies to guide long-term investment decisions. The right regulations will stimulate breakthrough technologies to unlock battery storage, bring down the cost of carbon capture, and develop and commercialise the hydrogen value chain. And people need to be empowered to work together, break out of their silos, and unify around a common cause.”
Meeting climate goals will also require greater levels of financing, Dr Al Jaber warned, highlighting that the International Energy Agency estimates spending on the energy transition needs to more than triple from last year’s US$1.4 trillion.
“Capital must come from all sources: governments, the private sector, institutional investors, private equity, industry, and international financial institutions,” he said.
Dr Al Jaber also discussed the potential of hydrogen in the energy transition. “As a nascent technology, entrepreneurship, partnership, and collaboration will be key to building out the entire hydrogen value chain,” he said. “And we in the UAE are ready to partner with all those who want to join us to make it happen.”
CERAWeek, taking place this week in Houston, is one of the leading energy conferences worldwide, bringing together top industry leaders and policymakers to address the challenges and opportunities of reducing emissions while supplying the needs of a growing global economy. Masdar is an Industry Level Partner for this year’s event.
Masdar Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi will be speaking on a panel session, titled “Global Power: Strategies for the trilemma,” on Thursday, March 9, while Philip Haddad, President & CEO, Masdar Americas, will be speaking on the panel “Reliable Energy Systems for Net Zero” on the same day.