A solar plant north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia -- renewable energy is used to create green hydrogen

Sharif Al Olama, Under-Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI), on Tuesday inaugurated the Solar and Clean Energy Conference as part of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), being held in Abu Dhabi.

The three-day event, organized by Masdar to promote future energy and sustainability, will focus on advancing the climate change agenda, which was highlighted during COP28 last year.

During the Solar and Clean Energy Conference launch, Al Olama highlighted the importance of collaboration to achieve a sustainable energy transition, which is currently the top priority for the entire world.

"The energy transition must be orchestrated to propel economies forward while at the same time curb emissions and uphold energy security. Despite commendable efforts in this domain, the momentum must be amplified," he was quoted as saying by WAM.

"Energy poverty, particularly in many parts of the developing world, is a sad reality. We possess the means, the technologies, and the expertise required. Empowering those currently lacking access to energy is not merely an issue of equity and compassion; it is the cornerstone for our collective prosperity and sustainability," he added.

"The energy landscape is undergoing profound transformations, presenting novel avenues for decisive leadership and action. The UAE has been at the forefront of this ongoing energy transition in the region and among other nations reliant on fossil fuels," he further said.

Al Olama recalled that the UAE has been the first in the region to sign the Paris Agreement, showing that the country is committed to using more eco-friendly energy sources. Now, the country is working on using several sources of energy to diversify its energy portfolio.

"Substantial investments have been channeled into enhancing our clean energy capacity. We have allocated over AED600 billion to local clean energy initiatives. Consequently, our clean energy capacity is on course to reach 19.8 GW by 2030," he said.

Al Olama shared that the country has invested in nuclear energy, noting that the launch of the 5,600-megawatt Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, with its fourth and final reactor almost online, "exemplifies our commitment to leveraging nuclear power for peaceful purposes."

After becoming operational completely, the plant will be able to cater to up to 25% of electricity requirements from a carbon-neutral source.

The summit will feature a total of six conferences including Solar, Eco Waste, Water, Clean Energy, Smart Cities, and Climate & Environment.