Abu Dhabi: 16 October 2014: The critical, interrelated relationship between energy, water and food was highlighted today at the ‘Powering Progress Together’ conference, jointly hosted in Abu Dhabi by Shell and Masdar.
The conference, held for the first time in the Middle East, examined the key challenges around securing access to energy, water and food, a critical issue for governments, industries and societies worldwide.
The concept of the energy, water and food nexus is founded on the fact that water is needed to produce nearly all forms of energy; energy is used to move and treat water; and energy and water are needed to produce food. All these interconnected vital elements are facing a growing challenge globally as energy demand continues to rise and is expected to double by 2050 due to population growth and rising prosperity.
The United Arab Emirates is not immune to this challenge and is currently undergoing tremendous economic growth, which in turn increases demands for energy, water and food. Against the backdrop of climate change – which exacerbates the situation – the UAE government is taking bold action.
“The UAE has limited access to sustainable sources of water and food, and must protect and extend the life of our hydrocarbon resources,” said H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Energy at Mubadala and chairman of Masdar. “In response, our leadership is taking proactive measures to safeguard access to essential resources, which are fundamental to economic growth and social prosperity.
“Through Masdar, we are diversifying the energy mix through clean, sustainable power sources and leading cutting-edge research to couple renewables with the latest in seawater desalination technology,” said Dr. Al Jaber. “As a result of taking action, we’re also strengthening our local economy, adding knowledge-based industries and enabling the UAE to remain competitive in the 21st century.”
During his keynote speech, Mr. Andy Brown, Upstream International Director, Royal Dutch Shell, said: “Shell is proud to have been associated with Abu Dhabi’s growth for the last 75 years through various partnerships. I am certain that these partnerships will continue and will strengthen as we explore, together, creative ways to sustain Abu Dhabi’s remarkable economic growth but also to address the world’s need for economic development. This event is taking place in partnership with Masdar, which with its extensive work on renewables and clean technologies, embodies Abu Dhabi’s aspiration to be a leading international player in the future of sustainable energy.”
The conference brought together a number of high profile local, regional and international experts who addressed the pressing issues in two separate panels: Water Solutions and Energy Solutions and CO2 Management.
The conference provided an open platform to exchange ideas and share new perspectives and viewpoints. Participants included speakers from the UAE Ministry of Energy, Masdar, ADNOC, the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi, World Resource Institute, Veolia, the International Renewable Energy Agency and others.
The event was honoured by the presence of HE Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and HE Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADNOC who was present at the conference to view the interactive discussions aimed at fostering a shared dialogue about present and future energy challenges.
The conference, initiated by Royal Dutch Shell in 2012, was held in Abu Dhabi to support and complement the key pillars of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Economic Vision, which intends to build a sustainable, diversified and value-added economy in the UAE.