More than US$8 billion of international cleantech and renewable energy projects are expected to be on display at the Project & Finance Village during the sixth World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi from 15 – 17 January 2013.
The Project & Finance Village was introduced in 2011, and this year’s Village at WFES 2012 attracted 27 projects worth over US$5 billion from the Middle East, India, North Africa and other regions, providing an influential platform for project developers, entrepreneurs, banks and financiers to connect.
Naji El Haddad, Show Director for WFES 2013, expects 40 projects to be exhibited during next January’s Project & Finance Village under the theme ‘Powering the Future of Cleantech and Renewable Energy Investments’.
“Investment in cleantech and renewable energy continues to grow globally, and the Project & Finance Village at WFES 2013 will play a crucial role in future investment by allowing companies, investors and developers to showcase their plans, enable investment and create financial rewards for world-class ideas.”
Next January’s Project & Finance Village at WFES 2013, in association with Ernst & Young and supported by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, will have increased participation from banks, donors and cleantech entrepreneurs, and discussions will include new topics such as renewable energy in rural areas.
Mr Nimer AbuAli, Ernst & Young Middle East and North Africa Cleantech Leader, says the connection between innovators and investors is essential in the development of cleantech solutions.
“We believe the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi is an important platform to engage leaders, decision-makers and innovators to develop new ways of shaping the future of renewable energy. While the widespread use of alternative energy in our region is low, we are seeing a steady increase of early stage projects focused on raising awareness around cleantech and sustainable development across multiple sectors.”
“As our region develops, it is critical that we diversify away from purely petro-based energy, we have reached a pivotal moment where we must look to invest increasingly in renewable and clean energy to fulfill domestic consumption and to conserve valuable energy reserves,” comments Mr AbuAli.
The International Renewable Energy Agency, which recently announced a US$50 million funding cycle for renewable energy projects in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, has endorsed the Project & Finance Village at WFES 2013.
Frank Wouters, Deputy Director-General of IRENA, believes that there has never been a better time for promoting renewable energy in the developing world. “Costs have fallen, demand is growing, and renewables offer an unprecedented opportunity to broaden access. But we need finance to make this a reality.”
Governments and businesses are taking advantage of the keen interest in the sector, with global investment in clean energy totalling US$56.6 billion in the third quarter of 2012, according to Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
“The third quarter figure is roughly equivalent to investment in the whole of 2004. The location of some of the biggest projects financed in Q3 this year highlights the geographical shift that is taking place in clean energy, with newer markets in South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa picking up steam,” said Mr Liebreich.
The sixth World Future Energy Summit, from 15 – 17 January 2013, hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy company, is the centerpiece of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) and will be co-located with the inaugural International Water Summit, also hosted by Masdar.
During this time, WFES 2013 will also be the host venue for the prestigious biennial International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi (ADIREC). ADSW will open with the third session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).