تحت رعاية سمو الشيخ خالد بن محمد بن زايد آل نهيان ولي عهد أبوظبي رئيس المجلس التنفيذي لإمارة أبوظبي

UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF HIS HIGHNESS SHEIKH KHALED BIN MOHAMED BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN CROWN PRINCE OF ABU DHABI AND CHAIRMAN OF THE ABU DHABI EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Co-Located with

Arabwaterforum Logo (3)

Supported by

Header Logos

STRATEGIC CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

Monday 16 September 2024

Tuesday 17 September 2024

Wednesday 18 September 2024

10:00 - 10:45

Opening Ceremony (By Invitation Only)

10:45 - 11:30

From COP28 to COP29: fast-tracking climate action from pledges to reality

Ministerial Panel

At COP28, the call to transition from fossil fuels rang clear. While the UAE Consensus’ push to move away from fossil fuels is a vital mile stone, implementing the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge will be critical in accelerating climate action. Ensuring a just and equitable transition that is rapidly scaled up will require significant investment and policy support, public-private partnerships, and the development of transparent plans encompassing electrification and grid infrastructure, emissions reduction, decarbonisation of heavy industries, demand side management as well as security of supply, and industrial competitiveness.

Attendee Insights

As the global shift towards sustainable energy sources accelerates, establishing tangible mechanisms to actualise the commitments made at COP will be crucial. Global ministers will discuss these mechanisms and pave the way for transforming pledges into concrete actions.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

11:45 - 12:15

Safeguarding water security

Ministerial Panel

By 2030, the global demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by 40%, with approximately 1.6 billion people having limited access to safe drinking water. Climate change will exacerbate water scarcity, as rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns will lead to more frequent and intense droughts, reducing freshwater availability, and affecting sanitation systems. According to the Global Water Partnership, substantial capital investments of up to $114 billion annually are necessary to address the mounting challenges to water security. Effective utilisation of available technologies and sufficient data are crucial to monitor and manage resources. Investment in climate-resilient water infrastructure is essential to enhance coping capacities, protect and restore freshwater ecosystems, and mitigate the impacts of water scarcity.

Attendee Insights

Hear from global ministers on the multi-faceted approaches being taken to tackle water scarcity and ensure water security.

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

12:15 - 13:00

VIP Exhibition Tour

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch & Networking

14:00 - 14:45

Industry leadership on the road to 2030 and beyond (UNEZA)

Global Leadership Panel

To unlock the potential of utilities in the global energy transition, it is essential to identify and tackle the existing structural, regulatory, and financial barriers that may impede progress. While a just and equitable transition will span decades, it will be propelled by advanced electrification, renewables-ready grids, and clean energy deployment. COP28 saw the announcement of the Utilities for Net Zero Alliance (UNEZA), a cross-border, multilateral alliance guided by IRENA and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions aimed at meeting decarbonisation goals and enabling the transformation of tomorrow’s energy systems. How will UNEZA propel action towards meeting net-zero goals set by the industry, and what is the guidance for utilities around the world to support achievement of COP28 pledges?

Attendee Insights

Hosting global network of UNEZA member companies, this session will provide insight on key topics including capital mobilisation, supply chain resilience, capacity building, technology development scale-up and transfer, and engagement with policymakers and regulators.

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

14:45 - 15:15

Balancing act: accelerating electrification while tackling demand disruption

Industry Dialogue

According to the IEA, global electricity demand is projected to double by 2026 as data centers facilitate rapid digital growth and wider adoption of emerging technologies. Additionally, increased investments in smart manufacturing and the reshoring of equipment production have further added to the demand, driving up the urgency for power utilities to meet this demand rapidly and sustainably. Balancing the electrification of energy systems with low-carbon power generation, while simultaneously tackling demand disruption, would necessitate game-changing policies, demand-side management programs, the establishment of energy super basins, and ultimately, an expansion of nuclear power generation.

Attendee Insights

Gain comprehensive understanding of the challenges associated with meeting rising demand sustainably, and the potential solutions and strategies to address this critical issue.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons1

Harnessing consumer behaviour to bolster energy efficiency and demand side flexibility

15:15 - 16:00

Decoupling growth from emissions

Global Leadership Panel

The transition to net-zero necessitates a significant scale-up of clean power generation, requiring an integrated approach across power infrastructure and customer solutions. For utilities to strike a balance between business objectives and climate agenda in the current energy landscape, it is imperative to address Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions while maintaining an affordable supply. Demand-side management, grid modernisation, and innovative business models will be essential drivers of success. For emerging economies, decoupling of economic development from decarbonisation mandates is crucial to further help incentivize adoption of low carbon solutions.

Attendee Insights

Hear from industry leaders on the multi-pronged approach and strategies that enable economic growth while managing climate commitments.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

16:00 - 16:30

Decarbonising heavy industries

Industry Dialogue

Accounting for approximately 22% of global CO2 emissions, decarbonisation of heavy industries is a crucial piece of the energy transition puzzle. COP28 saw the launch of the Industrial Transition Accelerator (ITA), a $30 million financial alliance poised to accelerate decarbonisation at scale across high-emitting sectors. Innovation and large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies and solutions will play a pivotal role in curbing emissions and fostering decarbonisation and sustainability in these industries. The global market for low-carbon industrial technologies is expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2030, reflecting increasing demand. Cross-sector collaboration, regulatory incentives, and large-scale investments will be crucial for heavy industries to gain affordable access to low-carbon products and green energy.

Attendee Insights

Gain insights into the implementation of strategies, processes, and technological advancements, in the decarbonisation of heavy of industries.

Addressing the themes

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

Icons4

Mobilising capital to fast-track projects

16:30 - 17:00

Water-energy trade agreements: partnerships for sustainable operations

Impact Matters

In 2023, ADNOC and TAQA announced a strategic investment project worth up to $2.4 billion to provide sustainable water supply for ADNOC’s onshore operations. The project will enhance energy efficiency by up to 30% by replacing current high-salinity, deep aquifer water systems, reduce environmental footprint, utilizing 100% clean energy power for operations. How will this partnership impact the utilities and wider energy industry? How can we expect more of these partnerships in the future?

Attendee Insights
ADNOC and TAQA take the stage to discuss the project and how it addresses immediate water needs, contributes to long-term water security, and balances the economic, environmental and energy priorities for both companies as well as the UAE.

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

10:00 - 10:45

Grid infrastructure for energy systems of tomorrow

Ministerial Panel

Electrification is central to the energy transition. For the industry to meet the wider net-zero goals, upgrading grid infrastructure will be crucial to support new sources of fuel supply as well as to ensure reliability and resiliency. Simultaneously, it is also important to enhance grid interconnectivity to connect global power markets and foster cross-border trade via long distance HVDC lines. Accelerating integration of renewables and electricity on demand will require modernised grid infrastructure and storage solutions, novel grid management approaches, and deployment of digital and AI tools. There is high urgency for supportive policies, regulations and grid codes to facilitate deployment of full range of solutions and technologies and expedite projects approvals and delivery.

Attendee Insights

Hear from global ministers on how countries can transition to a sustainable, resilient, and interconnected power grid infrastructure that meets the demands of the 21st century.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons2

Modernising transmission and distribution infrastructure

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

Icons4

Mobilising capital to fast-track projects

10:45 - 11:30

Tripling renewable energy capacity: from ambition to action

Ministerial Panel

The global push towards tripling renewable energy capacity is a critical step in transitioning to sustainable energy sources. While many countries have made progress towards their renewable energy goals, this decade is vital for speeding up innovation and investments into making renewable energy affordable and deployable at scale. This will require increased international cooperation, ambitious policies, low-emission technologies, long duration storage solutions, increased investments, and diversified sources of supply. Supply and value chain resilience will determine the industry’s readiness to meet the challenge of turning ambition and pledges into action.

Attendee Insights

Tripling renewable energy capacity is a core pillar of the energy transition. Global ministers will take the stage to discuss the challenges in meeting this ambition.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons2

Modernising transmission and distribution infrastructure

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

Icons4

Mobilising capital to fast-track projects

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

11:30 - 12:15

Megabytes to megawatts: driving innovation and efficiency in power generation

Global Leadership Panel

To reach decarbonisation goals, the industry needs t o double the global average annual energy efficiency improvements rate from 2% to over 4% annually by 2030. Power producers must streamline energy operations, improve grid management, and enable advanced technologies to reduce energy losses and improve fuel efficiency. Collaboration among energy companies, technology firms, and startups is crucial for driving innovation and improving efficiency. Investments in innovation and wider adoption of technologies including AI, blockchain and IIoT, will have far-reaching impact on optimising operations, improving plant efficiency, advancing energy efficiency, and demand-side management.

Attendee Insights

Gain in-depth understanding on how power producers are leveraging technology to drive efficiency in the generation process and what are the long-term strategies to continue innovating and securing the energy system of the future.

Addressing the themes

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

Icons1

Harnessing consumer behaviour to bolster energy efficiency and demand side flexibility

12:15 - 13:00

The green price tag: carbon pricing for the power sector

Global Leadership Panel

Carbon pricing can be a powerful instrument to drive power sector decarbonisation, helping to unlock the trillions of dollars in private capital needed to reach emissions reduction targets. Increasingly, carbon trade is experiencing rapid growth, providing a solution for hard-to-abate sectors to accelerate decarbonization beyond value chain mitigation. In the long term, carbon pricing will complement the climate finance toolkit, providing companies with an incentive to invest in cleaner resources. Challenges around equity, pricing and policy inconsistency will need to be addressed.

Attendee Insights

Industry leaders discuss how carbon pricing is influencing investment decisions, generation mix, and driving emissions reductions in the power sector.

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch & Networking

14:00 - 14:30

Forging a sustainable regulatory roadmap

Industry Dialogue

Navigating the utilities sector’s regulatory landscape is key to achieving a sustainable future. This will require aligning policies with net-zero ambitions and evolving energy needs. Prioritising regulatory support to accelerate electrification, energy infrastructure projects as well as commercialisation of new technologies in achieving net-zero will be necessary. Adapting to changing energy systems and regulations, enhancing security measures, and ensuring effective communication with stakeholders are crucial to navigate these challenges successfully.

Attendee Insights

As utilities navigate the way to become more sustainable and efficient, the regulatory pathways must evolve as well. This panel will convene policymakers and regulators to discuss the ways forward for sustainable regulatory roadmap.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons2

Modernising transmission and distribution infrastructure

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

14:30 - 15:00

Aligning policies to unlock the potential of district cooling

Industry Dialogue

With cooling demand expected to triple in the GCC by 2030, district cooling offers significant operational and cost efficiencies, and plays a vital role in fostering sustainable development in the region. District cooling can help governments save on operational costs and maintenance by utilising centralised cooling infrastructure, reduce the need for new power plants, decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and significantly cut down greenhouse gas emissions. By regulating the district cooling sector, governments can enhance market competition, ensure fair pricing, and foster sector profitability while reflecting the benefits of district cooling in end-users’ tariffs. How can governments integrate district cooling into urban planning and actively participate in its implementation?

Attendee Insights

Gain insight into the policy and regulatory ecosystem for district cooling.

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

15:00 - 15:45

Nuclear in 21st century power systems

Global Leadership Panel

At COP28, over 20 nations pledged to triple nuclear power capacity by 2050, recognising the key role of nuclear energy in achieving global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and keeping the 1.5-degree goal within reach. Nuclear energy is already the second largest source of clean dispatchable baseload power. However, addressing higher project costs, reliability, safety and security concerns and economic efficiency will be crucial for wider adoption of nuclear energy as well as to turn pledge into action. SMRs and advanced nuclear technologies offer promising solutions to current challenges to tripling nuclear power capacity but will require guidelines and certifications around standardisation.

Attendee Insights

Unlock insight into the opportunities SMRs and advanced nuclear technologies will provide for the nuclear industry to triple capacity, reduce costs, and reduce project delivery timelines.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons2

Modernising transmission and distribution infrastructure

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

Icons4

Mobilising capital to fast-track projects

15:45 - 16:30

Building the grid of the future

Global Leadership Panel

To meet the demands of the future, operators must prioritise investments that maximise the value of current assets and prepare for evolving needs. This will require a comprehensive approach to grid modernisation, including infrastructure upgrades, integration of smart technologies, and a shift towards decentralised grid powered by distributed energy sources. As energy flows become more complex, the future of the grid will need to become more demand responsive and decentralised.

Attendee Insights

Power utilities will discuss how they are modernising their grids infrastructure and improving efficiency, reliability and safety of these grids. Issues around decentralisation, demand side management and integrating distributed sources of energy will also be addressed.

Addressing the themes

Icons2

Modernising transmission and distribution infrastructure

16:00 - 16:45

Mobilising the trillions: attracting investments to build climate resilience

Global Leadership Panel

Mobilising investments is a complex and multifaceted challenge. In addition to existing infrastructural, regulatory and geopolitical factors, banks and financial institutions are increasingly incorporating ESG and climate risk factors into their investment decisions, making it further challenging to attract investments into the industry. Addressing these challenges will require collaboration between banks, financial institutions, utilities, and policymakers to align investment strategies with climate priorities.

Attendee Insights

Banks, financial institutions and utilities foster collaboration and discuss strategies and solutions necessary to unlock investment into the industry and ensure long-term sustainability.

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

Icons4

Mobilising capital to fast-track projects

10:00 - 10:45

Improving operational efficiency and security

Global Leadership Panel

Digital innovations are reshaping operations across power, water, gas, and district cooling systems. Utilities will gain unparalleled leverage in converging their IT and Operational technology. As utilities adopt more complex monitoring technology, smart meters, analytics, and AI, adopting a security-first approach will be crucial. As the energy landscape becomes more interconnected and complex, utilities will need to address challenges around developing a skilled workforce, advanced technology integration, and data management.

Attendee Insights

Gain insight into the best practices to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, boost customer satisfaction, and ensure long-term success in delivering high-quality services.

Addressing the themes

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

10:45 - 11:15

Adopting customer-centric approach

Industry Dialogue

Utilities are recognising that customers now view them not merely as service but as partners empowering sustainable choices. To elevate customer experience, it is paramount for utilities providers to comprehend shifting needs and behaviours. Close monitoring of emerging preferences can reveal opportunities to supplement traditional grid services with customised solutions enhancing energy efficiency and savings. An understanding of an evolving customer base is vital for utilities seeking to solidify their relevance in tomorrow’s distributed energy ecosystem.

Attendee Insights

Gain insight into changing customer behaviour and how utilities can capitalise on these to create a robust demand-side management strategy as well as enhance their own approach to customer service.

Addressing the themes

Icons1

Harnessing consumer behaviour to bolster energy efficiency and demand side flexibility

11:15 - 11:45

Driving ESG transformation with innovation, transparency, and accountability

Impact Matters

ESG reporting continues to be at the top of the executive agenda. In the coming years, the evolution of ESG initiatives will transcend compliance, and pivot towards entrepreneurial sustainability. Transformative trends of circular business models, climate solutions, and social justice will play a central role in business decisions, particularly in the power, water, gas, and district cooling industries. It remains to be seen how businesses will leverage these trends beyond corporate compliance and drive real impact and change.

Attendee Insights

Hear from industry on how ESG principles enhance sustainability efforts, reduce environmental impact, address social considerations, and promote good governance in their operations.

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

Icons4

Mobilising capital to fast-track projects

11:45 - 12:30

Unlocking low-carbon hydrogen economy

Global Leadership Panel

Low carbon hydrogen and related vectors can contribute to as much as 6% of global greenhouse gases reduction between 2021-2050, according to the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions scenario. However, establishing a mature, global market for this hydrogen will require scaling up investments, developing shared adoption of standards, build new and upgrade existing infrastructure, and scale deployment of renewable capacity. At COP28, 39 countries endorsed the UAE Hydrogen Declaration of Intent, establishing a shared certification framework to support investment decisions and trade of low-carbon hydrogen. Partnerships and alliances will be critical in unlocking barriers along the value chain, strengthening the market, and promoting investment decisions into hydrogen projects. 

Attendee Insights

Industry leaders will take center stage to discuss the challenges and opportunities to achieving a low-carbon hydrogen economy.

Addressing the themes

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

12:30 - 13:00

Waste to wealth: driving sustainability through circular economy practices

Industry Dialogue

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that waste-to-energy (WtE) will power 20% of global electricity needs by 2050. However, challenges in energy and resource recovery, environmental impact, and alignment with circular economy principles persist. Utilities can lead the way towards a greener future by harnessing waste-to-energy and promoting sustainability through resource recovery and energy generation. The transformation of waste into revenue and circular economy practices will play a pivotal role in driving sustainability and ramping decarbonisation efforts of utilities. However, overcoming challenges and aligning with wider goals is crucial for the successful implementation of circular economy initiatives in the utilities sector.

Attendee Insights

Learn how circular economy practices will offer a competitive advantage for power utilities and enhance resource security.

Addressing the themes

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch & Networking

14:00 - 14:45

Combatting intermittency challenges with storage and flexibility solutions

Global Leadership Panel

Investment in renewable energy is skyrocketing, with market for flexibility solutions ranging from utility-scale battery and long-duration storage solutions to innovative demand-side flexibility schemes, which will play a crucial role in addressing intermittent power supply. According to the IEA, grid-scale battery storage must reach 970 GW by 2030 to support global net-zero goals, nearly doubling current projections. Long-duration energy storage and similar technologies can continue to supply energy when renewable generation faces intermittency and curtailment issues. Innovative demand-side flexibility technologies and incentive schemes have potential to contribute cost effectively. However, a challenging regulatory landscape and circularity issues are the biggest obstacles large scale adoption and deployment of storage solutions.

Attendee Insights

Hear from industry leaders on their strategies to overcome the challenges in adoption of utility-scale battery and long duration storage solutions, and future opportunities for solutions and technologies that can address intermittency issues with renewable energy sources.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons2

Modernising transmission and distribution infrastructure

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

14:45 - 15:15

Race to zero: driving sustainability in urban mobility

Industry Dialogue

The current landscape of cities is changing, necessitating the need to transition transportation systems towards more sustainable options including electric vehicles, and develop widespread public transport networks accessible to all. This transition will require large investments into building charging infrastructure and converting existing fleets. The CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, electrification) revolution is driving forth a new era of mobility solutions however, challenges around investment and transition to electrification persist. While public-private partnerships will play a key role in bridging these gaps, a holistic view from technology to policy and regulatory to consumer behaviour will be crucial in driving forward sustainability in urban mobility.

Attendee Insights

Mobility and energy leaders discuss key strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation system.

Addressing the themes

Icons3

Electrification and new disruptive sources of demand

Icons1

Harnessing consumer behaviour to bolster energy efficiency and demand side flexibility

Icons5

Low carbon technologies and digital innovation at the forefront the energy transition agenda

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

15:15 - 16:00

Fostering talent for an evolving energy landscape

Industry Dialogue

As the energy sector transitions towards diverse low-carbon sources and technologies, it will be critical to develop a skilled workforce that that can support this shift. However, attracting talent amidst intense competition requires comprehensive strategies beyond singular solutions. Utilities need to couple reskilling and professional development programs with strong well-being initiatives and commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Organisations and leaders who demonstrate establishing an inclusive culture that empowers next generation talents will be best positioned to mobilise a workforce capable of navigating the changing energy landscape.

Attendee Insights

Gain insight into the strategies and pivots needed to develop the workforce of the future. 

Addressing the themes

Icons8

Policies and partnerships for utilities of tomorrow

Monday 16 September 2024

Tuesday 17 September 2024

Wednesday 18 September 2024

Back