Expo 2020 supports energy transition movement

08 April 2022
The CEO of Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) on how the company along with the UAE government is working toward advancing the transition to clean energy, supported by Expo 2020

World Expos provide a global platform to facilitate important discussions around energy transition and encourage public and private sector collaborations, which is vital for the successful transformation of the global energy sector.

Coinciding with major global events such as the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), Expo 2020 Dubai championed the discussion on the future of integrated energy and how businesses can adopt sustainable best practices while also addressing key global challenges and highlighting future opportunities.

Under the theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 Dubai has truly showcased the finest examples of collaboration, innovation, and cooperation from around the world, with leaders, innovators and global representatives discussing the challenges and opportunities surrounding sustainability and the global transition to clean energy.

 Expo tackles circular economy

As various industries transform to meet the needs of the future, the energy and oil and gas industries in particular are going through a global shift. This is due to the development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and the increased competition and competitive pricing.

In 2022 alone, global energy consumption is expected to rise by 2.2 per cent as economies recover from the impact of the pandemic, according to a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

In another report from US-based Fitch Ratings, the UAE’s economy is projected to grow 5.8 per cent next year.

The energy transition is a catalyst for transforming the global energy sector as well as reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through various forms of decarbonisation.

Over the past few years, we have seen more and more companies adopt clean energy solutions, which is a result of technological innovations as well as a global awareness and drive towards sustainability.



However, the energy transition movement does not come without its challenges, which include policy and regulation; governments across the globe need to play an active role to deploy renewable energy.

Secondly, investment in new technological solutions comes with the need for additional financial aid, which has been affected by the global pandemic. The Covid-19 aftermath has had long-lasting impacts on biofuel markets as well. Therefore, a balance of public and private sector funding will be required to meet the investment requirements in the long term.

We expect the global energy landscape to continue to evolve in the years ahead, with companies addressing this transition in transformative ways; for example, building solar-powered plants, switching to cleaner fuels, adopting advanced technologies and digital transformation measures.

The increasing adoption of renewable energy, smart technologies, and policy frameworks are all key drivers of the energy transition.

Enoc progress

As a wholly-owned entity of the government of Dubai, we have worked resolutely to meet the UAE’s energy requirements and transform the energy sector through integrated operations and innovative service offerings over the years.

From launching the first solar-powered service station in Dubai – saving the equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 3,250 passenger vehicles a year – in 2017 to launching the first solar-powered lubricants blending plant in Jebel Ali in 2018, we have been supporting the energy transition movement for the past few years.

Today, service stations in the energy sector can be sustainable, which we have demonstrated through the Service Station of the Future, which uses multiple sources of energy, from solar to wind turbines as well as traditional hydrocarbon sources.

Technology and innovation – which have also been important themes throughout Expo 2020 – will be key to Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050 in order to achieve real economic value.

In the years ahead, we foresee the energy sector adopting a greener model with a strong focus on innovative sustainable alternatives to traditional operations. Renewable energy and natural gas will be at the forefront, which we also expect to see across other industries supporting the energy transition movement.

The global pledge toward building a greener and more sustainable future with smart cities will continue to be a key goal for governments supported by leading oil and gas players as strong advocates for this movement. Through collective action, the world will accelerate towards a more sustainable future. 

About the author

Saif Humaid al-Falasi is the group CEO of Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc)

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