YFEL Launches New Project Concepts, Hosts Ministerial Panel and Debate at WFES 2013
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 15 January, 2013 â€“ A high-level ministerial panel on sustainable energy, launch of the first small-scale pilot project to generate electricity for off-grid operations in the UAE, an overview of â€˜Masdar Energy Challengeâ€™, and a debate on key industry issues marked the first dayâ€™s participation of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program, a key element of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2013 and an outreach initiative of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
An elite group of select YFEL members interacted with government heads, energy industry leaders and innovators at WFES 2013 that opened on 15 January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). The three-day event is being organized under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince onf Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Nearly 30,000 participants from 150 countries have convened for the Middle Eastâ€™s largest event on sustainability that is part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2013.
Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and Adnan Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), addressed the gathering at the YFEL stand. Panelists endorsed the â€˜Sustainable Energy for Allâ€™ initiative launched by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and guided by his High Level Group that brings all key actors to make sustainable energy for all a reality by 2030.
A team of seven Emirati â€˜greenâ€™ entrepreneurs has developed a project to bring clean-energy rice-husk gasifiers to farms and ranches across the UAE, with initial support from the YFEL. Titled â€˜Moving toward a Sustainable Environment: Replacing Diesel-based Generators with Eco-friendly Rice-Husk Gasifiersâ€™, the project was inspired by their visit to rural areas in northern India, where villagers were generating electricity through clean, inexpensive rice-husk gasification, rather than diesel-powered generators.
The â€˜greenâ€™ seven â€“ Mohamed Al-Sharhan, Abdulla Al Shamsi, Iman Ustadi, Ameirah Aldahmani, Jasem Al Hammadi, Walid Shakari, and Sultan Al Awadhi â€“ have selected the Awafi area of Ras Al Khaimah for the first-phase of implementation. This region, which is home to ranches, Ghaf trees and mild weather in winter, will witness the first small-scale pilot project. If the technology and system prove successful, the team will establish a company to install rice-husk gasifier systems in farms and ranches across the UAE.
The pilot will provide customers across Awafi with cheap and eco-friendly electricity that meets energy requirements in a way that can replace their current use of diesel generators. With zero emissions, no government formalities, easy operation without the need for technical expertise, lowest-cost electricity and low-cost maintenance, the project supports Abu Dhabiâ€™s move towards a low-carbon economy in the UAE as outlined in the Vision 2030 plan.
Earlier in the day, YFEL members had an opportunity to offer a three-minute presentation on their project proposals.
Dr Steven Griffith, Executive Director of Institute Initiatives and Professor of Practice, Masdar Institute, moderated the first debate that was titled â€˜Should China, India and the U.S. be required to immediately place legally binding limits on their greenhouse gas emissions?â€™
Dr Steven Griffith said: â€œChina, US and India are the worldâ€™s largest greenhouse gas emitting countries and therefore will need to provide leadership in the curtailment of global emissions if we are to achieve our global climate objectives and prevent global warming from reaching severely damaging levels. At the same time, China and India are developing economies and immediate commitment to aggressive and binding commitments to GHG emission limitations may impact their development. If this holds for India and China, the US is less inclined to impose emissions reduction requirements that could reduce the countryâ€™s competitiveness. This creates a dilemma because delay in imposing significant and legally binding emission reduction targets makes achieving our global climate objectives increasingly costly and improbable.â€
Part of the Masdar Instituteâ€™s Outreach program, YFEL offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad an opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the worldâ€™s biggest challenges â€“ achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change. It also aims to bring young professionals closer to government representatives, business leaders and other organizations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability.