S08 WFES Day 4 2015 Country Pavillion _ Tech Focus_Layout 1 21/01/2015 16:23 Page 27
Sami Khoreibi Chief Executive Officer
Enviromena Power Systems
Over its eight years, how would you summarise the role of the World Future Energy Summit in promoting solutions to the world’s energy challenges? A: Enviromena has been operating in the region ever since the first World Future Energy Summit in 2007 and we have attended all eight events. The event has always been an exciting platform for governments and policy makers to make announcements, and for businesses to catch up on the latest technologies and meet other regional and international companies. Understandably, activity slowed down during the downturn, but over the past few years we have witnessed the summit evolve into even more of a global stage, bringing together industry experts from across the world to focus on a broader theme of sustainability. We have been very excited to see what this year has brought. How would you rate the UAE in terms of its approach to and adoption of future energy technologies and research? A: The UAE ranks as a pioneer in renewable energy and has always led with the largest projects in the market. We set up our headquarters here in Abu Dhabi in 2007 due to the vast opportunity for renewable energy made available by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Today, the Institute is well established and its graduates are making valuable contributions in the renewable energy space. Which projects in the Middle East have you been most excited or inspired by in regards to their contribution towards the region’s sustainability goals and why? A: The UAE’s upcoming rooftop solar projects will have a huge impact on energy use as they will enable users to consume energy under a net metering system. This is the first time a stable legal framework to facilitate the usage of solar PV has been implemented in the region. Has the Middle East’s recent history as an oil and gas hub, as well as the associated wealth, helped or hindered its adoption of sustainable ideals, and what roles can oil
and gas companies play in supporting future energy developments? A: Populations in Middle Eastern countries are growing rapidly, which in turn increases the demand for power. To meet these needs, the development of sustainable energy systems is vital to ensuring energy conservation. Energy has always been a key industry in the Middle East, so adopting renewable energy was a natural progression. In your opinion, what could the region do better when it comes to supporting the development of future energy technologies? A: Throughout the Middle East, traditional hydrocarbons have always been heavily subsidised by governments. Historically, this hindered the development of future energy technologies and made it difficult for renewable energy companies to compete on a cost basis. Declines in renewable energy technology costs over the past few years have, however, helped make the cost of renewable power production more competitive. Do you believe ‘green’ economic policies can work in the Middle East, or is the region already at the forefront of the global innovation in regards to sustainable development? A: We are seeing strong advancements taking place in Middle East economic policy. The cost of renewable technology has fallen and new energy policies are adapting to this change. Examples of this are the rooftop solar projects in Jordan and in Dubai, which enable consumers to connect their renewable energy production to the grid and receive financial credit for it. As the cost of producing solar energy continues to fall globally, governments are realising that green energy policies will save them money in the long run. Finally, what are your predictions for 2015 – can we expect this year to prove to be a success for the adoption of sustainable energy and energy diversification, as well as innovation within the sector? A: 2015 is going to be a record year in terms of government programmes being announced and solar projects being deployed across multiple
countries in the Middle East. Over the past three years, many pilot programmes have been launched across the region, and in 2015 we are expecting a large number of programme installations off the back of this. Enviromena has installed a total of 45MW across the MENA region and we are in the
process of installing another 28 MW – this includes a total of 73 projects either built or that are under construction. We understand the region thoroughly and are passionate about creating a more sustainable and cost-effective energy market. We are excited to see what 2015 has in store for us.