GCCIA successfully holds panel discussion on climate change and energy security at Expo 2020

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Leading industry experts tackle impact of climate change on future of energy security and effort to reduce carbon footprint and emissions

Expo 2020, Dubai: The Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), a joint stock company subscribed to by six Gulf States, successfully hosted a roundtable discussion entitled ‘Climate Change and Energy Security Forum,’ which was held at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Pavilion in Expo 2020, Dubai. Panelists, consisting of leading industry experts, discussed the key impact made by climate change on the future of energy security and the current efforts being made to help bring in a reduction in carbon emissions. 

Moderated by GCCIA CEO, Eng. Ahmed Al Ebrahim,the distinguished panel of experts included  Eng. Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi, Executive Director for Energy Policy, Department of Energy  – Abu Dhabi; Eng. Chris Peeters, CEO, Elia Group; Pierre Bernard, CEO, FOSG; Dr. Lawrence Jones, Vice President, International Programs of Edison Electric Institute-USA; Dr. Anes Dallagi, Project Director and Middle East Manager, EDF Power Systems and Transmission Engineering Centre and Dr. Amro Elshurafa, Research Fellow, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC).  

“We are truly overwhelmed at the strong response that we received today at the forum–having gathered some of the top minds in the energy industry today. Climate change has truly left a key impact on today’s environment and we feel that it is our responsibility to live up to this challenge and start developing solutions to help address it. We would like to thank today’s speakers for sharing their industry insights and perspectives with us. The GCCIA looks forward to organizing more forums during Expo 2020 Dubai to help address timely issues in the energy sector,” said Eng. Ahmed Al Ebrahim, GCCIA CEO.

During the event, members of the panel cited the important role that the GCCIA plays across grid interconnections and the process of integration between new, renewable energy sources. The experts also tackled the current challenges being faced by the energy sector and how the perceived solutions can help in the move to lessen the impacts made by climate change.

Eng. Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi, Executive Director for Energy Policy, Department of Energy – Abu Dhabi, stated: “We need to ensure energy security to help drive economic growth. Energy efficiency increases energy security. Energy should be a top priority for as it plays a central role to sustainable development.”

Meanwhile, Eng. Chris Peeters, CEO, Elia Group, cited the strong partnership of the GCCIA and the Elia Group, “Our relationship with GCCIA is more than a decade strong and look forward to brighter things ahead. Energy transformation is a key concern for us as Europe aims to be emission free. The next step is to be able to implement a system that will ensure renewable energy.”

Pierre Bernard, CEO, FOSG, said “Energy transition is important and very timely. We need to see the full picture. Policy makers should focus on creating policies aimed at preserving our resources while also continuing to educate our people.”

Dr. Lawrence Jones, VP, Int’l Program – Edison Electric Institute, says we need to take a holistic approach to energy transition, which is faced with three challenges–resilience, affordability and integration.  

Dr. Anes Dallagi, Project Director and Middle East Manager, EDF Power Systems and Transmission Engineering Centre, emphasized on “What the world needs now is affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. However, we also need to reduce carbon emissions for our future generations to benefit from.”

Lastly, Dr. Amro Elshurafa, Research Fellow, KAPSARC, spoke about the importance to lessen the use of liquid energy to help drop carbon emissions and achieve the diversification of renewable energy and conventional sources. He also emphasised on the importance of increasing reliability of renewable energy compared with conventional energy.

On the conclusion of the forum, Eng. Al Ebrahim thanked the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai represented by Commissioner General of the GCC Pavilion HE Mr Khalid Ibrahim Al Sheikh for hosting this event.

Recognizing electricity as an essential engine of development for all nations, the GCCIA is powered by its mission to form a resilient interconnection grid ensuring power security and economic benefits. Its vision is to become a global hub in grid interconnections emphasizing on innovation, resiliency, and sustainability–creating dynamic electricity market for the region and beyond.