WASHINGTON, DC, 30th October, 2016 (WAM) — The United States of America and the United Arab Emirates today reaffirmed their shared commitment to a strong bilateral relationship during the US-UAE Strategic Energy Dialogue held at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington.
US Deputy Secretary of Energy Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and UAE Under-Secretary of Energy, Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, co-chaired the meeting to exchange ideas and review joint cooperative efforts for expanded cooperation in clean energy, carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and civil nuclear energy. Sherwood-Randall and Al Neyadi also launched a new work stream under the dialogue mandate devoted to exploring collaborative research opportunities on nuclear power.
During the dialogue, the parties discussed the importance of addressing energy security and climate change challenges through public and private sector partnerships and investment to support the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies, as well as mutual bilateral and multilateral initiatives.
Key bilateral initiatives discussed included the first Solar Decathlon Middle East, a competition for university students to design and build solar-powered homes, due to take place in Dubai in late 2018. The Solar Decathlon programme has proved instrumental in promoting the deployment of cutting-edge renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
Another bilateral collaboration is DOE’s work with the UAE’s Masdar group on innovative water desalination technologies, where the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory experts provide technical assistance for Masdar’s water desalination pilot programme through the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance. A key focus of discussion was a white paper on the state of technology for energy efficient and renewable energy powered water desalination systems, and the potential for desalinisation systems to provide grid services. The alliance plans to present its findings during the 22nd Conference of the Parties, COP22, in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.
Stressing the importance of multilateral cooperation, the delegation focused on expanding the UAE’s leadership role in three key international initiatives: the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, the Clean Energy Ministerial with a focus on the Clean Energy Education Empowerment Initiative, C3E, and Mission Innovation. The US and the UAE agreed to participate in programmes to highlight these efforts at COP22.
The 2 day-long talks and technical meetings also highlighted U.S. cooperation with the emerging civilian nuclear power sector in the UAE and the commitment of both nations to safe, secure and responsible nuclear power development in compliance with international agreements and commitments in coordination with the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation.
At a luncheon at the UAE Embassy at the conclusion of the dialogue, Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall and Dr. Al Neyadi both agreed that the strategic energy dialogue between the two countries is crucial for further energy cooperation and represents a key element of the broader US-UAE partnership. Dr. Matar offered to host the next dialogue in Abu Dhabi in 2017.