The upcoming Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which will bring together some 32,000 global leaders from 170 countries representing government, industry, investment and research to Abu Dhabi, will provide an upfront look at affordable technologies to enable sustainable water resource management to help meet the Middle East’s rising demand for water.
Hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, ADSW is a yearly platform that addresses the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development. Running from January 17-24, ADSW includes the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the world’s foremost event dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology; and the International Water Summit (IWS), which provides a business approach to addressing water scarcity, sustainable growth and economic development in arid regions.
“The MENA region is in a truly unique position to solve the challenge of water security,” said Raed Bkayrat, vice president of development for Saudi Arabia at First Solar, which is participating in WFES. “While the region is quite arid, it also has one of the highest solar irradiances of any region in the world, and much of the population has ready access to seawater. Accordingly, solar photovoltaic projects are proving to be sustainable means of powering water desalination in the region, ensuring that the supply of clean water will keep up with the region’s increasing demand for it.”
Masdar took a major step by launching a pilot project to test energy-efficient desalination technologies – such as reverse osmosis and forward osmosis – powered by renewable energy.
The company awarded contracts to Abengoa, Degremont, Sidem/Veolia and Trevi Systems to build the desalination plants, which are expected to enable the implementation of cost-competitive desalination plants powered by renewable energy in the UAE and abroad.
“Engaging different sectors of the industry is really crucial to bring forward innovative solutions, as well as pilot projects that demonstrate to governments the value of new integrated systems,” Bkayrat added.
Both WFES and IWS will offer numerous keynote addresses, panel discussions and workshops as well as exhibitors introducing affordable technologies to enable sustainable water resource management.
Along with WFES and IWS, ADSW will include the second EcoWASTE and the seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Award Ceremony; it also coincides with the Fifth General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency.