ABB highlights renewables’ promise at World Future Energy Summit

2015-01-28 - ABB meets customers, policymakers at event in Abu Dhabi on eve of Solar Impulse’s historic round-the-world flight to highlight promise of solar energy
Flags of numerous nations at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi reflect the global reach of the event, one of the largest showcases for new energy technolgy. ABB showed technologies for wind and solar power generation, as well as electric vehicle charging.

With renewable energy projects expanding in the United Arab Emirates, the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi was the ideal stage for ABB to showcase its sustainable technologies that are playing an increasingly important role in the region.

ABB is now building a substation for the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority’s planned 1,000 megawatt solar facility and is working on a pilot rooftop photovoltaic facility at ABB’s Dubai headquarters, to serve as a model for future rooftop systems here.

Organizers of the World Future Energy Summit said this week’s four-day event was an opportunity for companies like ABB, along with engineers, policymakers and others, to discuss the growing place that innovative, sustainable technologies will occupy in the dynamic energy mix of the future.

ABB Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer (center) with Swiss aviation pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg of Solar Impulse at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. ABB has forged an innovation and technology alliance with Solar Impulse ahead of the solar-powered plane's round-the-world flight this year.
“Renewable energy has graduated from an expensive alternative to a competitive energy of choice,” said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company. “Oil prices no longer determine the fate of clean energy.”
Recognized as clean-energy leader

ABB, whose Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer visited the summit, is recognized in the region - and around the globe - for its contribution to sustainable energy, whether in transportation, solar and wind power or technology like variable-speed drives that make industry more efficient and productive. 

In 2014, ABB’s commitment to renewables were rewarded when the company won the Zayed Future Energy Prize, named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, the late president the United Arab Emirates.

Additionally, ABB now has an innovation and technology alliance with Solar Impulse, the sun-powered aircraft whose pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, chose Abu Dhabi as the setting-off point for their round-the-world flight later this year, all without a drop of fossil fuel.

Swiss aviation pioneer Bertrand Piccard, a founder of Solar Impulse, tries out the flight simulator at ABB's stand at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.
“The team has done a fantastic job putting us on the map in sustainable energy,” Spiesshofer said, of ABB’s efforts to expand its renewables footprint. “Whether it’s microgrids, whether it’s solar, whether it’s wind, we are combining our capabilities. We are one of the leading companies - and we aim to keep that position in the future.”
On the sustainable-energy map

In wind power, ABB is among the largest independent suppliers of electrical components and technology, not only to connect wind farms to the grid but also to control and deliver electricity over long distances efficiently and with reduced energy losses. 

The World Future Energy Summit also gave ABB a chance to demonstrate its electric vehicle fast-charging portfolio that the company is deploying in Europe, the Americas and Asia, including a project bolstering charging availability on routes linking Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. 

And in solar, ABB’s offering features the industry’s most-comprehensive portfolio of products, systems, solutions and services along the PV value chain, ranging from inverters and low-voltage equipment to grid connection, control systems, stabilization and integration.

Maxine Ghavi, head of ABB's Solar Industry Segment, says the Middle East is acknowledging renewables, especially solar energy, as a valuable addition to its energy mix.
PV partnership

In a partnership announced during the summit, ABB will provide its solar expertise to the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology near Abu Dhabi, to create a photovoltaic testing facility aimed at developing systems that work more efficiently, despite the rigors of the desert environment.

Maxine Ghavi, ABB Solar Industry Segment Initiative head, said endeavors like this university collaboration show how UAE leaders recognize the region’s ubiquitous sun offers new opportunities to diversify their energy mix, strengthen their economy and prepare for the future.

“There is an abundance of renewables, especially when you’re looking at solar,” Ghavi said. “And although this is also the hotbed for oil, that production needs to be complemented with renewables.”