WFES in Four Words: Amazing, Productive, Sustainable, Collaborative
Last week’s World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi again reinforces how much leadership and progress there is in Ecomagination and sustainability across the region.
It was an amazing and productive week, fueled by the sense that all stakeholders — from industry to government and beyond — understand that the only way forward is along the paths of resource productivity, energy and water efficiency, cleaner transportation, renewables and energy diversity.
We started the week by releasing the “Driving Energy Efficiency in UAE” whitepaper in partnership with Masdar Institute that we hope will educate, raise awareness and be a catalyst for change. We also hosted a customer and stakeholder summit to discuss opportunities that everyone could pursue to promote energy efficiency, whether in the areas of policy, partnerships, innovation or market.
By discussing the main points of this whitepaper with influencers and stakeholders, we found ways to partner and see where they could take action on one or two ideas to further the energy-efficiency revolution.
We agreed that there are significant opportunities for reducing energy consumption and CO2 with technologies that are already here today; LED lighting is an example. But the issue isn’t always just a matter of technology; it’s also about the policies that can support the transition to these more efficient technologies.
Also during the four-day WFES and Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, we celebrated the first anniversary of the Ecomagination Innovation Center (EIC) in Masdar City. During this past year, more than 1,000 people visited the center, as we built awareness of the center locally. As we marked one year, we also looked ahead to adding a GE Energy Efficiency training course, installing the globally popular “GE Garages” and adding displays of regionally relevant technology prototypes.
GE also hosted ambassadors of the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Clean Energy, Empowerment and Education” program, which supports gender diversity in the field. We gave them a tour of the center, shared lunch and held a discussion on these issues in the region.
At the WFES exhibition itself, our pavilion once again gave GE an amazing presence, with its presentation of a new Ecomagination and Industrial Internet strategy called “Digital Resource Productivity,” along with excellent technology storytelling.
We demonstrated how Ecomagination offers a breadth of technologies and solutions that can help the region drive resource productivity and energy efficiency in areas such as power and transportation, water reuse and renewables. We gave visitors an idea of how we use Ecomagination to help our customers maximize economics, resource efficiency and environmental performance for the best outcome, as well as help countries address challenges surrounding their energy mix.
On the sidelines of the conference, Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation and Communications Officer for GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Dalya Al Muthanna, President & CEO GE Gulf, and myself participated in the first WFES “Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy” forum that hosted approximately 250 women leaders from across the globe to discuss opportunities and challenges in the field and build new networks. Dalya was on a panel and did an excellent job sharing her career journey and thoughts on the region.
I am always energized by WFES and meeting all the customers, stakeholders, visitors and others from the region and beyond. I find a real shared purpose and vision. I hope that through GE’s activities and presentations, we show — just as we demonstrate everyday with our clients in the region — that we are committed to the region and to being a partner that customers and governments can rely on to solve their toughest sustainability challenges.