HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has participated in a discussion panel at the Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF), which is organised under the patronage of HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, at Armani hotel Burj Khalifa. Other participants in the discussion panel included HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Tsuyoshi Nakai, CEO of Japan Cooperation Centre Petroleum (JCCP), and Dr Chun-Yuan Gu, President, AMEA Region, ABB, China. The session was moderated by Kim Kelaita.
The Forum, which was held under the theme ‘The Evolving Face of Asia: The Rise of Future‑Focused Leadership,’ brought together a number of world leaders who discussed different topics related to leadership. These includes climate change, humanitarian work, education and healthcare, responsibilities of new media, the disruption of a new financial ecosystem, and entrepreneurship.
“It gives me a great pleasure to be here today at the Asian Business Leadership Forum held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, and in association with the UAE Ministry of Economy. Today, people of the world have joined hands to protect the planet from the adverse effects of global warming in an attempt to ensure a greener and sustainable future. As part of its global responsibility, the UAE has been at the forefront of the implementation of green strategies to support sustainability,y following the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The path to a sustainable future relies on green energy, sustainability and innovation, when the UAE has made a series of remarkable achievements based on different strategies and initiatives, including the UAE Vision 2021, UAE Centennial 2071, UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 among many others,” said Al Tayer in his speech at the forum.
“The UAE has taken stringent measures to address climate change, by preserving natural resources, expanding clean energy and implementing green growth plans. All these contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, and we have already been working for quite some time to achieve these strategic goals. Dubai is leading the way in promoting sustainable energy as it steadily works to diminish its carbon footprint while maintaining a secure, reliable and affordable supply of power and water. In this regard, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is implementing innovative solutions to improve supply side efficiency, apply demand side management (DSM) initiatives, and reduce transmission and distribution losses, under the umbrella of our smart grid initiative. Dubai has established ambitious clean energy targets with DEWA, playing an instrumental role in increasing its renewable energy targets, managing energy demand, and further reducing its carbon footprint,” added Al Tayer.
“We work to implement all future plans and objectives in adherence with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy. The strategy aims to provide 75% of the Emirate’s energy from clean energy by 2050, to become the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050. This is why we are building the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with an installed capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030 based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, with investments totalling AED 50 billion. The solar park will contribute to reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year. Our strategy involves moving from a carbon-intensive economy to a greener one, via the AED 100 billion Dubai Green Fund that encourages green investment and fosters green growth. Also, Dubai has developed a Carbon Abatement Strategy targeting a reduction of 16% in Carbon Emissions by 2021,” said Al Tayer.
“Our electricity and water generation projects to improve efficiency will make cumulative savings of up to AED 70 billion and will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 235 million tonnes by 2030. In addition to that, we are supporting the DSM Strategy 2030 to reduce energy and water demand in Dubai by 30%. DEWA has launched a number of initiatives to enhance the efficient use of electricity and water through our DSM programmes, including building retrofits and offering investment opportunities of up to AED 30 billion until 2030. Under the Shams Dubai Initiative, we encourage building owners to install solar photovoltaic systems at their premises and connect them to the distribution grid, thereby producing green energy and benefiting from a net metering scheme. Furthermore, we are contributing to greener mobility by providing Green Charger stations in various areas in Dubai,” he added.
“We are committed to supporting joint actions to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the United Nations, for clean energy, innovation and climate change. We will continue the focus on helping to overcome the negative effects of climate change and mitigating global warming by reducing carbon emissions from development sectors such as production, manufacturing, transportation, waste and others in cooperation with our partners from both the public and private sectors for a happy and sustainable future. I hope that ABLF will help in facilitating a quick transition to a green economy all over Asia to achieve the green goals of most of the countries in the continent in the years to come,” concluded Al Tayer.
Replying to a question about the main challenges to the implementation of the National Climate Change, Al Tayer said, “We are guided by the visionary leadership of our wise leadership represented by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The UAE aims to be the best country in the world by 2021 as stipulated by the UAE Vision 2021. Climate Change is a global issue and therefore a joint action should be taken from around the globe. The UAE has many federal and local strategies, including the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 that sets a 50% target share for clean energy within the total energy mix by 2050, and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which sets a target of a 75% share of the clean energy within the total energy mix by 2050. We had major challenges to overcome to strengthen the Green Economy. These are prices, efficiency, regulations, and engagement with the private sector. We mitigated these challenges through the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and its 5 main pillars. These are infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, and an environmentally-friendly energy mix. We adopted the IPP model to enhance public-private partnerships and achieve the lowest prices for electricity in the world. We established a strong regulatory framework (RSB) to encourage private sector investments. We achieved the highest levels of efficiency in our solar projects. We established platforms for Green Economy, such as the World Green Economy Summit (WGES).”
Answering a question about the role of government in the implementation process, as this may be a strong interest point for potential investors in Dubai's sustainable future, Al Tayer said, “In Dubai, the Government issued a law to Regulate the Participation of the Private Sector in Electricity and Water Production in the Emirate of Dubai, and established the Regulatory & Supervisory Bureau for electricity and water (RSB) that will encourage private sector investments. Through the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, we launched major projects including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar park in the world. Production capacity will reach 5,000 MW by 2030. Also Dubai, launched the AED 100 billion Dubai Green Fund to finance investments in clean energy. We also established the IPP model to strengthen public private partnerships. We prepared the right capabilities for capacity building to meet future demands for the green economy.”
Answering a question about DEWA's role in translating the vision of UAE's future-focused leadership across all sectors of business and community life, Al Tayer said, “DEWA’s vision is aligned with the UAE vision 2021 and working to achieve its goals to be the best country in the world by 2021. Dubai has launched many strategies including the DSM Strategy to reduce power and water consumption by 30% by 2030 through 8 main programmes. These include building regulations, building retrofits, district central cooling, water reuse and efficient irrigation, specifications of energy efficiency, outdoor lighting, and the Shams Dubai Initiative to install solar panels on buildings. Dubai also launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, the Water Security Strategy, and the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021 to reduce carbon emissions by 16%. DEWA’s electricity and water generation projects to improve efficiency will make cumulative savings of up to AED 70 billion and will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 235 million tonnes by 2030. DEWA’s clean desalination energy requirement will be met by 100% clean energy initiatives using photovoltaic solar power, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Electric Thermal Storage (ETS). We created markets and jobs by establishing a demand side management company (Etihad ESCO) to retrofit 30,000 existing buildings in Dubai to improve their energy efficiency, as well as launching other major projects. For society, DEWA approved 12 main programmes to provide 27 social and humanitarian initiatives that directly support the three themes of the Year of Giving 2017 initiative. Over the last few years, DEWA’s CSR efforts have contributed to an increase in community happiness, from 82% in 2013, to 89.01% in 2016. Our total CSR expenses for 2016 was 7.59% of revenues. We have been issuing sustainability reports since 2013 according to the best international world class framework, GRI. We are recognised as the first organisation in its sector in the Middle East and North Africa to issue a GRI G4 Sustainability Report. This is part of the Standards Pioneers Program among the first 100 organisations worldwide to adopt New Standards for the 2016 report. DEWA has achieved outstanding results through the Sustainability Culture Indicator, achieving 88.7% in 2016, an increase of 3.7% over the previous year and exceeding the global average.”