Recap of the WEC24 in Abu Dhabi
image credit: Stefan in front of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi - credits SvW
- Sep 13, 2019 2:25 pm GMT
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Here is my personal recap of 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi
8-11 Sept 2019 - The opening words by H.E. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei were inspiring and gave the feeling that the world community understands the need for a turnaround on sustainable energy systems. It was also highlighted that the energy market (including all primary energy sources) is still one of the biggest markets in the world.
Overall many sessions were eye openers to the fact that every continent has another strategy and interpretation of how this sustainable, carbon-free future should be achieved. The German approach with a speedy nuclear phase out before 2023 and coal phase out by 2038 or earlier is not having the pull effect that the German decision makers may have hoped for. On the other hand the German term Energiewende is known even by Indians but today the mistakes have become obvious and expensive for the German tax payers.
In comparison to Germany the UAE are planning mega projects such as the huge PV power plant Noor in Abu Dhabi, which is the biggest solar project in the world and was built in only 13 months. The base load will be covered with a new nuclear power plant at the border to Saudi Arabia. Also Russia is still a leader for nuclear technology and no big changes in sight here. I did not see many Chinese companies or visitors. I guess they follow their own agenda anyway.
Other countries such as the US and Australia seems to be more focused on the modernization of their ageing grids. Due to the wide distances in their countries and also severe environmental conditions, they need especially decentralized solutions like rooftop-solar or small battery units. Some startups from SET100 showed solutions to stabilize the distribution grid, optimize microgrids, reach energy independence through battery packs at home or with blockchain based energy trading platforms. Really interesting business cases but the visitor attendance at the exhibition was pretty low to be honest.
Inspiring conference and fruitful discussions
Now I am back at work with many opinions and ideas about the future of energy and I am very excited to follow the development of the other SET100 companies. I got a good feeling for the potential of the Organic Flow Battery by CMBlu for different countries and also got leads for pilot projects all around the world.
I would like to say thank you to DENA & Etihad for the sponsorship of our participation. It was great to meet other inspiring startups, influencers, journalists, potential customers, future energy leaders and VCs. I really enjoyed the international exchanges about the future of energy.