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10th World Future Energy Summit demonstrates business case for sustainability
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10th World Future Energy Summit demonstrates business case for sustainability

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With the cost of solar energy plummeting, the World Future Energy Summit 2017 (WFES) will showcase an unprecedented range of financially profitable clean energy solutions, opening up opportunities for green tech companies as the MENA region moves to achieve ambitious sustainability targets. 

Figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) show that the installed cost of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar generation in the UAE fell around 75 per cent between 2008 – the year of WFES’ first edition – and mid-2014, dropping from US$7 per watt to less than $1.5 per watt. In late 2014, bids to build a 100MW PV project in Dubai broke world records for cost-competitiveness, with the lowest bid at US5.8 cents per KWh. By June 2016, a Masdar-led consortium won the bidding for phase three of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with a levelled cost of electricity of just US2.99 cents per KWh. 

Masdar CEO, Mohamed Al Ramahi, said, "The MENA region’s appetite for investment in renewables has grown with the decline in cost and advancement in technological efficiency. This has further driven the growth of the market. Renewable energy is now an efficient and commercially attractive means to address growing energy demand. Regional leaders such as Masdar, and platforms such as the World Future Energy Summit, which is held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest sustainability gathering in the region, have been helping to drive the industry forward and reinforce the business case behind diversifying our regional energy-mix." 

WFES was created to drive the business of clean energy, offering a marketplace where suppliers of new technology can connect with buyers. Since 2008, the economics of that marketplace have changed dramatically, and WFES 2017 brings together solutions that are not only sustainable, but are increasingly the more cost-effective option. That is especially true when the long-term returns required for new-build infrastructure are factored in. 

Part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) from 16th to 19th January, and hosted by Masdar, WFES 2017 will bring together ADSW’s theme of ‘Practical Steps Towards a Sustainable Future’, with the WFES goal, ‘Sustaining the Clean Energy Consensus, Empowering New Players’. 

Deals made at WFES have been at the centre of a surge in renewables across the MENA region, particularly solar power. Some of the key projects in the GCC include a 100 MW utility-scale plant due to open in Mecca in 2018, Kuwait has signed a contract for a $385 million, 50MW plant; in Abu Dhabi the Shams concentrated solar power (CSP) project went online in 2013. 

Scheduled to follow the 2016 COP 22 meeting in Morocco and annual sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, WFES 2017 will bring together the world’s leading renewable energy professionals, policy makers, innovators and investors. The 2016 edition hosted 30,000 attendees from 150 countries, and 600 exhibiting companies. 

Along with WFES itself, the four-day exhibition and conference programme now features five co-located events highlighting targeted aspects of sustainability. Each event makes a strong business case for innovation within its field. 

Among these, International Water Summit (IWS) in partnership with ADWEA emphasizes water security issues, while EcoWaste, in partnership with Tadweer, offers solutions that turn environmental waste into a valued resource. For 2017, WFES Solar Expo and WFES Energy Efficiency Expo are being expanded as co-located events, showcasing the latest in solar technology and smart building solutions. The WFES Sustainable Transport Zone will also return, offering the latest solutions in energy-efficient vehicles. 

WFES, the centrepiece exhibition, will be the largest-ever gathering of renewable energy and sustainability experts in the Middle East and North Africa, hosting prominent global thought leaders from the public, private, and academic sectors. 

WFES 2016 hosted a record 1,735 executive buyers from 1,322 companies and 75 countries. 











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