06/06/2022 – Event / Utilities / World Utilities Congress / UAE / Power / Water / Digitalisation
Inaugural edition of World Utilities Congress successfully concludes with digitalisation and decarbonisation as key themes
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the inaugural edition of the World Utilities Congress saw a successful conclusion on the third and final day of the event.
The three-day exhibition and conference – held in Abu Dhabi, hosted by TAQA and organised by dmg events – gathered over 10,000 trade professionals and 120 exhibiting companies who sought to promote proactive measures to digitalise power and water systems, control emissions, and attract long-term capital investments. The Congress brought together over 200 industry expert speakers, over 1,000 conference delegates, and hosted more than 50 strategic and technical conference sessions, including a Nuclear Energy Leadership Forum.
Over the course of three days, leaders and industry experts from the region, and around the world, tackled critical issues and explored solutions during the conference sessions, enabling the continued pursuit of a greener present and future. The sessions also shed light on the importance of embedding future-focused digital transformation strategies as a response to evolving market and customer needs.
On day three, topics such as ‘Efficient integration of renewable energy into power grids’, ‘Entering the golden age of utility reinvention – how is digitalisation redefining utility business models?’, ‘Integrated power and water strategies for smart cities development’ and more were also discussed.
Towards a more sustainable future
Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, and host company of the inaugural event, commented: “The inaugural edition of the World Utilities Congress was a huge success, which speaks not only to the critical importance our sector plays in delivering a more sustainable future, but also to the unique position of Abu Dhabi to enable this change. In partnership with dmg, we hosted more than 10,000 visitors, two ministerial sessions and strategic and technical discussions that are helping shape the future of the utilities industry. I would like to thank our partners, sponsors and peers who, through collaboration and a deep-seated commitment to knowledge-sharing, made this inaugural event a success.”
Christopher Hudson, President from dmg events, the organisers of the World Utility Congress said: “The success of the first World Utilities Congress in Abu Dhabi has been incredible to see. In organising this event, we have helped our peers from around the world to learn from each other and to work together for a sustainable future. The World Utilities Congress has been the perfect opportunity for the sector to showcase ideas, solutions and best practice in front of an audience that matters.”
The day’s panellists included Dr. Afif Al Yafei, CEO of Transco; Reji Kumar Pillai, Chairman of Global Smart Energy Federation; Frederic Godemel, Executive Vice President for Power Systems and Services at Schneider Electric; Mothana Bahjeat Qteishat, Senior Managing Director at Jinkopower; Mahmoud Sulaimani, Managing Director of Siemens Energy Saudi Arabia; Mohit Shrimal, Assistant Vice President at Huawei; Danilo Moresco, Vice President and Global Industry Manager, Power and Water, Energy Industries at ABB; Marco Janssen, Vice President of Operational Excellence at TAQA; Dina Tsiambaou, Partner at Deloitte; Saqib Mahmood, Director, Digital Transformation at the National Water Company; Martin Piesker, Head of Digitalisation at Siemens Energy for the Middle East and North Africa; and Michael Naber, Founder and CEO of Simerse.
During his participation, Dr. Afif Saif Al Yafei, CEO of TRANSCO, Chairman of the World Utilities Congress Technical Committee and member of the Executive Committee, noted that each renewable source comes with its own characteristics, making planning incredibly important. “Comprehensive studies, modelling, and multi-stakeholder engagement must be well executed in order to allow for the seamless integration as well as to ensure the reliability and integrity of the grid. We are also witnessing how peak renewable power generation is coinciding with peak energy use in the UAE,” he observed. “This enables the utilisation of renewables for various purposes including electricity generation, and cooling – which is essential for the region.“
During his session, Danilo Moresco, Vice President and Global Industry Manager, Power and Water, Energy Industries at ABB, said: “Our purpose at ABB is driven by our willingness to achieve a more productive, sustainable future, and we absolutely believe that sustainability and efficiency should be planned into all operations.”
The instrumental role of digitalisation
The role of digitalisation in this sector is instrumental to achieving our sustainability goals. And both lowering carbon emissions and enabling decarbonisation requires smarter handling of the energy produced and supplied. With the most up-to-date digital technologies, utility companies can collect, contextualise and analyse data for full transparency and measurability. This capacity to take action will help them to optimise energy efficacy, accurately track greenhouse gas emissions and with reporting across supply chains, as well as enabling more effective monitoring of carbon offsets.”
The first edition of World Utilities Congress 2022 was held with the support of The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC). The event's list of partners and sponsors included; The National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed); Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC); Baker Hughes; Frost & Sullivan; Boston Consulting Group; Endress + Hauser; Toshiba, Schneider Electric and Publicis Sapient.