UAE Minister comments on energy future

Posted on 14 October 2013

Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, the Minister of Energy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Gao Jifan, Chairman & CEO of the China-based Trina Solar, commented on the changing conditions of the world energy sector in a session summing up the discussions on 14 October at the Daegu 2013 Congress.

“We recognize that change is part of this industry, and it is clear that major changes are underway,” said Al Mazrouei, speaking about the future of energy. “The supply costs of certain energy forms are reaching unprecedented lows, while others are reaching peaks.” He said that the UAE sees “opportunities” and “tensions” in the shifts. The UAE is on its way to expanding its oil production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017, improving global energy security, Al Mazrouei said. The UAE is also expanding its infrastructure, such as the opening the Habshan-Fujairah pipeline in July 2012. The pipeline can transport up to 1.5 million barrels a day of crude. Al Mazrouei also pointed to a good environmental record. The UAE, he said, is the first producer in region to introduce a policy of eliminating gas flaring whenever technically possible. Still, he declared, traditional energy is “not enough,” and efficiency in energy consumption is needed, along with the education of the next generation of energy problem-solvers.

Trina Solar Chairman & CEO Gao Jifan expounded on the benefits if solar photovoltaics (PVs) go mainstream in the coming decades. He cited solar energy as having minimal environmental impact, the difficulties conglomerates would have dominating an industry in which households directly participate, and the ideal use of solar power in developing countries with scant electricity infrastructure. Drawing on a history of falling costs since the mid-2,000s in China and Germany, he expected a further reduction in both costs and subsidies, making PV more viable. “Solar energy is still young, but there have been big advances in the past 15 years,” he said.

This news story is based on the closing session, “Special Addresses”, at the 2013 World Energy Congress.