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Inaugural edition of World Utilities Congress successfully starts in Abu Dhabi

Jasim Husain Thabet, Group CEO and managing director of TAQA. (Image source: World Utilities Congress)

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi executive council and chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure for the UAE, inaugurated the first edition of the World Utilities Congress

The World Utilities Congress offers an unrivalled opportunity for the global power and water industry to converge and discuss trends, and explore technologies and innovations influencing future power and water demand, right here in Abu Dhabi and hosted by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA). The first day of the event witnessed wide participation from global leaders and industry specialists.

Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, stated in his speech, ?Over the past few years, we have noticed a rapid transformation in the water and electricity sector in Abu Dhabi, which is characterised by a trend towards increasing clean energy sources, renewable energy, developing smart electricity networks, energy efficiency and demand management programmes, applying concepts of integrated resource management and technology use.

?Climate change issues are high on the agendas of governments, investors and companies, and it is clear that traditional strategies are insufficient to reach carbon neutrality. Even with improved energy efficiency and the introduction of massive amounts of renewable and clean energy, biofuels, batteries, and technologies carbon, there is a need for innovations and collaborations, which will enhance the use of digital solutions and artificial intelligence mechanisms,? continued Al Marar.  

During the opening ceremony of the World Utilities Congress 2022, Jasim Husain Thabet, group CEO and managing director at TAQA, highlighted, ?Now, more than ever, there is a real demand from individuals, communities and governments to move towards a more sustainable way of life, combatting climate change and reducing CO2 emissions. And that is going to demand transformation on a grand scale. Collectively, we must work together to literally rewire the energy system.?

As part of TAQA?s commitment to supporting the UAE?s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the World Utilities Congress is powered by clean energy in partnership with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).

Speaking on the partnership Othman Al Ali, CEO of EWEC, said, "The World Utilities Congress is set to become an important global event, providing a platform for water and power leaders to provide insights on the rapid transformation taking place in the utilities sector to decarbonise water and electricity production. We are delighted to be the Clean Energy Partner with event hosts TAQA and organisers dmg events, where EWEC will provide Clean Energy Certificates, guaranteeing 100% carbon free electricity consumption for the Congress. 

Energy ministers came together to share insights during a Ministerial Panel Session ?Building a solid foundation for a resilient and sustainable utilities sector,?  and discuss strategies they are using to futureproof their national water and power sectors, while also keeping to medium and long-term decarbonisation goals.

A global leadership panel entitled ?Meeting rising power and water demands, while keeping on track with net-zero carbon goals? took place on the first day of the event.

The first day of World Utilities Congress also witnessed the kick off the ?Nuclear Energy Leadership Forum?, which convenes global industry professionals for three days, to explore the deployment of safe, reliable nuclear energy generation, technological advancements in nuclear energy, and the latest in research and development of nuclear science and technology.

During his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Nuclear Energy Leadership Forum, Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and CEO at ENEC, highlighted, ?Our leaders have consistently made clean energy a strategic priority, actively investing in clean energy technologies to deliver an energy mix that combines renewable, nuclear and clean energy sources to meet our economic and sustainability goals.?

Hosted by TAQA, and organised by dmg events, the three-day exhibition and conference will run until 11 May 2022 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, gathering over 10,000 trade professionals and 120 exhibiting companies with the aim of promoting proactive measures to digitalise power and water systems, control emissions, and attract long-term capital investments. The Congress will also bring together over 200 industry expert speakers, over 1000 conference delegates, and host more than 50 strategic and technical conference sessions.