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Workshop at Masdar Institute Highlights GCC’s Uptake of Clean Energy Solutions

Over 35 Experts Attend EU-GCC Event Organized by Masdar Institute, GRC and Greece’s National Technical University of Athens (ICCS-NTUA)

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 05 December, 2013 – More than 35 high-ranking delegates from the European Union (EU) and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries analyzed the multiple initiatives launched by the GCC countries for improving the uptake of clean energy solutions and the EU’s ambitious targets and actions for reduction of emissions by 2050, at a workshop’ in the UAE.

Hosted by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, the ‘EU-GCC Renewable Energy Policy Experts’ Workshop was organized by the Decision Support Systems Lab at the National Technical University of Athens (EPU-NTUA, of ICCS), in cooperation with the Gulf Research Center (GRC) and Masdar Institute. The workshop was part of the EU-funded public diplomacy project on “Promoting Deeper EU-GCC Relations” and was actively endorsed by the “EU-GCC Clean Energy Network”, an initiative created jointly by the EU and the GCC to catalyze cooperation among the two regions on clean energy topics of common interest.


Each of the five sessions was introduced with a background paper followed by moderated discussion among the participants. Select experts who contributed to the high-level discussions included academics and specialists, members of various research institutes and policy officials from both the EU and the GCC regions. A publication presenting the session papers and policy recommendations for EU-GCC renewable energy policy cooperation will be produced at the end of 2013.

Mr. Hamza Kazim, Vice-President, Finance & Operations, Masdar Institute, welcomed the gathering while Dr Mihai Stuparu, Ambassador, Head of EU Delegation in the UAE, offered a high-level address on promoting ‘EU-GCC Energy Relations’. Prof. John Psarras, Institute of Computers Communications Systems (ICCS-NTUA), EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, addressed the gathering on ‘existing co-operation synergies and initiatives’.

Mr. Hamza Kazim said: “The discussions at the workshop reflect the GCC region’s strong expertise in clean energy with suitably trained professionals to implement current projects and take the industry forward. The Masdar initiative and locating IRENA in Abu Dhabi strongly reflect the region’s edge in the special skill base and we believe the industry will gain additional strength in the coming years. We hope the workshop helped to facilitate further cooperation between the EU and GCC regions.”

Delegates at the event discussed the potential for cooperation in the promotion of clean energy at high policy level. The talks encompassed both opportunities for bilateral agreements in various areas as well as exploration of common positions with respect to negotiations in multilateral forums. The Abu Dhabi workshop also comes on the heels of a report by the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) that has indicated 75GW of renewable energy projects worth US$200 billion are already in the pipeline, making the region a global power player in the sector.

The workshop was divided into five sessions. The session on ‘EU-GCC energy policy co-operation in the field of Renewables: Status and Prospects’ was chaired by Dr. Toufic Mezher, Professor – Engineering Systems and Management, Masdar Institute. The keynote/paper presentation titled ‘EU-GCC renewable energy policy co-operation: Exploring opportunities’ during this session was analyzed by Dr Rabia Ferroukhi, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Dr Haris Doukas, NTUA, Greece, Dr Andrea Masini,  HEC Paris, France.

The session on ‘Promoting co-operation on Energy Efficiency & Demand Side Management’ was chaired by Dr Hanan Al-Buflasa, Asst. Professor, University of Bahrain, and included a keynote/paper presentation on ‘Investigating DSM solutions’ applicability in the GCC environment’ by Dr Afshin Afshari, Professor of Practice – Engineering Systems & Management, Masdar Institute, Prof. John Psarras, NTUA, Greece, and Dr George Anastassopoulos, Greek Energy Services Company (GRESCO).

The session on ‘EU-GCC co-operation for integration of Renewables in the Grid’ was chaired by Dr Kostas Perrakis, Electricity Networks Coordinator, Regulatory Authority for Energy, Greece.  The keynote/paper presentation for this session titled ‘Challenges Facing Grid Integration of Renewable Energies for the GCC Region’ was offered by Prof. Adel Gastli, Kahramaa-Siemens Chair in Energy Efficiency, Qatar University, and Javier San Miguel Armendariz, from CENER (Spain).

Dr Panagiotis Chaviaropoulos, Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Greece, chaired the second day’s session on ‘EU-GCC co-operation potential in the field of Renewables: Technology and Research perspective’. Dr. Matteo Chiesa, Associate Professor – Mechanical Engineering / Materials Science and Engineering, Masdar Institute, and Juergen Kern, Institute of Technical Thermodynamics (DLR), Germany, delivered the keynote/paper presentation titled ‘Renewable Energy Sources Research & Development prospects and opportunities for EU-GCC cooperation’.

The concluding session on ‘Promoting EU GCC co-operation on Water and Power generation’
was chaired by Prof. Andreas Poullikkas, American University of Sharjah and the key note/paper presentation titled ‘Opportunities for Operations Management & Planning of the Energy-Water NEXUS’ was offered by  Dr.  Amro Farid, Assistant Professor – Engineering Systems and Management. Masdar Institute.

Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.

Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.  With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.

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