Organizers of next January’s World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, hosted by Masdar, have used a recent roadshow to France to capitalize on the growing commitment to energy efficiency by French companies.
Energy efficiency is rapidly gaining traction in France as executives are paying increasingly more attention to their companies’ energy usage practices, according to a media statement. According to the Institute for Building Efficiency, 72 per cent of French building executives say energy management was very or extremely important to their organizations during 2012 compared to 53 per cent in 2011.
Further, 50 per cent of the respondents said they had invested in energy efficiency over the past year, and 48 per cent had invested in renewable energy.
Naji El Haddad, WFES Show Director at Reed Exhibitions, said, “France is showing a strong commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy to secure their industry in the future, through lighting improvements, HVAC and/or controls improvements and onsite renewable energy. In fact, France is taking a leading role within the European community in this area.”
“Following a recent delegation to Tokyo, the WFES roadshow continues to highlight the renewable energy investment potential of the UAE and the region,” said the statement.
“The delegation to France outlined the market opportunities in solar and wind power in the GCC. 25 GW of installed solar capacity in the GCC and 2.2 GW of installed wind power capacity in the Middle East are being considered by 2020, according to leading consultants Frost and Sullivan, and international companies are looking favorably at investing in this region.
“The attendance of the French president, Francois Hollande, at the opening ceremony of this year’s World Future Energy Summit, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, provided a timely boost to the French companies exhibiting at WFES 2013 as he urged greater investment in new energy and energy efficiency,” the statement continued.
“We can act together to create the world of renewable energy. It’s an architectural challenge, an urban challenge and an economic challenge. It’s our economic duty to promote these kinds of energies like the ones we are promoting today, and we are obliged to make our planet livable for the next generation,” said Mr Hollande during his keynote speech.
Mr Hollande also praised the sustainability efforts of the UAE, commending the country for its efforts in developing Masdar City as a city of the future.
Jean Francois Goumy, Head of Energy, Environment and Chemical Engineering at UBIFRANCE, the French agency for international business development, said WFES is a vital platform that helps governments and developers find solutions to reducing energy costs.
“WFES is the gateway to the MENA region for French companies in the clean energy sector”, Goumy said. The event has opened doors for French companies to do business in the region, including GDF-Suez, the world’s largest energy company, EDF, Areva, Veolia Environment, VINCI, Bouygues,Eiffage, Alstom, Saint-Gobain and Schneider Electric. “UBIFRANCE facilitates a successful national pavilion each year at WFES where France showcases its last innovations, mostly brought by dynamic SMEs. Each of these firms, leaders in their field, sees significant benefits in exhibiting at WFES, and we look forward to having a bigger and stronger presence at WFES in 2014,” added Goumy.
The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) reports that France is targeting a 23 per cent share of renewable energy sources by 2020, a figure that compares well with other countries in Europe. The country boasts a wealth of renewable energy sources, including wind, geothermal energy, biomass and solar, with the main source of its renewable-generated electricity derived from hydropower.
“Energy efficiency will be a key focus on both the conference and exhibition floors at WFES 2014. The strong awareness of, and interest in, energy efficiency in France will encourage more French companies to display their innovations in the renewable energy sector and seek further investment opportunities,” said Mr El Haddad.
The World Future Energy Summit is a global event that brings together world leaders, policy makers, business leaders, financiers and entrepreneurs to address the key issues affecting the future of energy. The event is hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy company, and is the centerpiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global platform that addresses the interconnected challenges that affect the widespread acceleration and adoption of sustainable development and renewable energy. WFES will be co-located with the second International Water Summit and the first EcoWaste, also hosted by Masdar.