2011 Economics WorkshopsPress Release02 Nov 2011 02:09 pm
DIFC Economics Workshop discusses Clean Energy Finance in the MENA Region
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with the developed markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas, today announced it is hosting its latest economics workshop for this year titled “Clean Energy Finance in the MENA Region” on November 14, 2011.
The event will bring together industry professionals in the clean energy sector to debate issues of financing and de-risking for clean energy & clean tech finance, recent industry developments as well as the necessary regulatory and legal frameworks for clean energy in the region. To be held in joint partnership with the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) and the International Project Finance Association (IPFA), and with the support of Bloomberg new Energy Finance (BNEF), “Clean Energy Finance in the MENA Region” will provide a platform to debate the growing role of the private sector in building this new industry as well as hosting CEBC Connections, which is a forum for driving innovation through presenting clean energy and clean tech projects and start-up ventures with potential investors.
Dr. Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist at DIFC and Chairman of CEBC commented: “We aim to set up and build a clean energy finance and clean tech business cluster in DIFC, mandated to support the financing of clean energy activities, investments, and infrastructure across the region. This will help reduce dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels, create jobs in a burgeoning new sector and will develop a new sector to support the growth of companies based in DIFC as well as their clients. DIFC is committed to the development of this strategic sector, which is evidenced by working closely in collaboration with CEBC and its members to deliver this event.”
The event will start with three presentations titled ‘Meeting MENA Power Demand with Clean Energy’ by Sami Kamel, General Manager Marketing, GE Power and Mohammed Nawaf Al-Ta’ani, General Manager, Arab Renewable Energy Commission; ‘Sizing the Market Opportunity – Masdar’s Market Survey’ by Frank Wouters, Director of Power, Masdar; and ‘Legal and Policy Frameworks for Clean Energy in the Region’ by Karim Dahou, Senior Policy Analyst at the Directorate for Financial Affairs, OECD and John Cunneen, Executive Director, Authority for Electricity Regulation-Oman. Those will be followed by three sessions to discuss opportunities of financing and developing the clean energy sector in the region.
Participants will have the opportunity to interact with experts on finance and clean energy & technology from major institutions, talking about recent successful project financings, , and broader issues of driving maturity in the sector. The focus will then be shifted towards financing and policy development . Participants will also hear presentations from four potential projects seeking to attract investors.
Dr. Saidi added: “It is an exciting time for the clean energy sector in the region. The MENA region needs to wean itself away from its near total dependence on fossil fuels. The coming decade is an opportunity for us to make major investments in solar, wind and alternative energy sources and grow local industry in clean energy and technology. There are signs of major developments in this sector over the next 12 months, particularly in GCC states. Saudi Arabia is expected to make significant announcements in December, while Jordan and Oman continue to push forward the renewables agenda. UAE has made a recent announcement through the Supreme Council of Energy of its plan to build a solar power plant in an effort to get five percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In addition, there are significant foreign investors targeting renewable energy projects in North Africa. This event will capitalise on this sector and will provide a timely boost to discussions on how to deliver the region’s aspirations in clean energy”.
The welcome address will be provided by Dr Nasser Saidi, Chief Economist at DIFC and Chairman of CEBC. Other speakers at the event will include Aaron Bielenberg, Senior Associate, Latham & Watkins; Alexios Pantelios, Clean Energy Global Product Lead, International Finance Corporation; Karim Nassif, Associate Director, Infrastructure Finance Ratings, Standard & Poor’s; Steve Mercieca, Associate Director -Project & Export Finance, Standard Chartered; Jon Nash, Partner, Vinson & Elkins; Richard Palmer, Advisor Structure Finance & Capital Markets, Mubadala; Michael Wilkins, Managing Director, Environmental Finance, Standard & Poor’s; and Nauzer Nowroji, Head of Power Division, Zubair Corporation.