Advanced Technology Research Council, Department of Energy Join Forces to Resolve UAE’s Complex Water and Energy Challenges
Abu Dhabi-UAE: July 11, 2023 – Today, the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), the overarching entity mandated to shape Abu Dhabi’s technology R&D ecosystem, along with its subsidiaries ASPIRE and the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), has joined forces with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) to launch the Water Security & Clean Energy Forum. This transformative initiative brings together government and private sector entities to address the pressing water and energy challenges faced by Abu Dhabi and the wider country.
In line with the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, the forum convened industry regulators, operators, scientists, researchers, and sustainability leaders to outline advanced technology solutions ahead of the prestigious COP28. The forum hosted back-to-back workshops dedicated to Water Security and Technology; New Sources of Energy Production; and Clean Energy Production Technologies. They then examined use cases and defined the detailed parameters of the challenges through insightful and transparent discussions among C-suite participants from across the ecosystem.
His Excellency Eng. Awaidha Murshed Ali Al Marar, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said: “In line with the UAE's ambitious initiatives and endeavors towards a sustainable future, the Department of Energy is committed to working closely with its strategic partners to play an active role in contributing to the achievement of our shared goals. While we are aware of the pivotal role that technology plays in unlocking future sustainability solutions, we aim to consolidate our partnership with the Advanced Technology Research Council and accelerate our progress towards achieving our sustainable development goals in the energy and water sectors.
“Harnessing the potential of advanced technology and strengthening our collaborative framework is critical to enhancing its positive impact and ensuring a bright and prosperous future for generations to come.”
His Excellency pointed out that the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi has championed efforts to ensure water sustainability and its efficient use. It has issued regulations and policies that aim to achieve profound benefits from recycled water, in addition to supporting national efforts aimed at preserving water resources. The contribution of multiple stakeholders, ranging from various economic industries to individuals, is essential to the development of vital policies that catalyze the growth of current and future consumption rates, including the efficient planning and enhancement of Abu Dhabi's and the UAE's water security.
His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC, underlined the forum's significance, stating, 'ATRC was established with a clear mission: to redefine the research and development sphere in Abu Dhabi and the wider the UAE, and accelerate transformative technology outcomes for a more sustainable and prosperous future. Today's Water Security & Clean Energy Forum serves as a strategic platform for stakeholders to collectively leverage the immense potential of advanced technologies. By doing so, we are paving the way toward a cleaner and more secure future for water and energy, benefiting individuals and society alike.'
The forum workshops elicited pragmatic insights into areas of future technology focus. The first session, Water Security and Technology investigated the challenges concerning water quality and chemistry in desalination plants and explored viable methods to improve wastewater purification systems and reduce operating costs of desalination plants, including those related to reverse osmosis.
Next, New Sources of Energy Production examined the implementation of new potential sources of energy in the UAE such as geothermal, wind, and biosolid utilization with the goal of diversifying the country’s energy mix and significantly reducing its carbon footprint.
The final workshop, Clean Energy Production Technologies delved into the principal issues of mitigating climate change such as reducing the carbon impact of hydrocarbon fuels, the deployment of industrial-scale carbon capture technologies, the production and use of smaller modular reactors (SMRs) and the production of hydrogen for export and internal use.
Prof. Phil Hart, Chief Researcher at the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Research Center (RSERC), TII, said: “The UAE is at the forefront of driving a sustainable future in the Middle East, with bold plans for renewable energy and water security. Through strategic partnerships and forward-looking initiatives, the country is accelerating the adoption of innovative technologies that reduce emissions and maintain the valuable resources. Our collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy reinforces the vital link between energy efficiency, water security, and the holistic advancement of society.'
The Water Security and Clean Energy Forum held at the Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi, provided an exceptional opportunity for almost 100 government and private sector industry experts to contribute to the sustainable development of the UAE, with participation from TAQA, ADNOC, ENEC, TRANSCO, EWEC, SWS, Masdar, AADC, ADDC and EAD among many others. Through collaboration, technology gaps and breakthrough solutions were identified and discussed, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future.