The Forum, which will take place on the third day of WFES 2011

· Forum to address key current and future energy issues, challenges and opportunities presented by technological advances

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· Leading international experts to debate “hot issues”: solar energy innovations, smart grids, hydrogen, carbon, biofuels, energy storage

· Representatives from UAE institutes and universities to lead session on research and education in future energy

Abu Dhabi, Technological advances and breakthroughs in renewable energy, the way they help drive down costs, drive up capacity and reliability, and the challenges and opportunities presented by new and developing technologies will be in the spotlight at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011 Technology Forum, to be held on 19th January 2011.

The Forum, which will take place on the third day of WFES 2011, will see keynote speeches and insights from leading technology experts and thought-leaders from around the globe as they address persistent issues related to technological advances, challenges and opportunities in renewable energy and how to work together to nurture research and education in this field.

Keynote speakers at the Technology Forum are Sara Ortwein, President, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, USA, who leads research aimed at developing breakthrough energy technologies and improving existing technologies to strengthen capabilities and reduce costs; and Mark Vachon, Vice President of GE ecomagination, a business initiative created to help meet GE’s customers’ demand for more energy efficient products and drive reliable growth.

GE recently held the Ecomagination Challenge, a $200 million innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students shared their best ideas on how to build the next-generation power grid with the opportunity to receive funding for its development.

The plenary session experts include: Balu Balagopal, Senior Partner and Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group, USA; Pascal Brosset, VP, Innovation, Schneider Electric, France; Bjorn Haugland, COO, DNV, Norway; Ernest Moniz, Director, Energy Initiative, MIT, USA; Yvon Le Roux, Vice President Smart + Connected Communities, Cisco, USA; Frank Mastiaux, CEO, E.On, Germany; and Peter Vanacker, Member Executive Committee, Head of Polyurethanes Business Unit, Bayer Material Science, Germany.

Frederic Theux, President, Reed Exhibitions, the organisers of WFES 2011, added, “With such an elite line-up of experts and speakers, the Technology Forum at WFES 2011 will be a must-attend element of the summit. The forum will address all current and future “hot topics” in renewable energy technology, such as new innovations in solar energy and smart grids, hydrogen, carbon, biofuels, energy storage, nuclear energy as well as research and education in future energy, offering attendees a comprehensive insight into future trends in energy.”

The “New innovations in Solar Technology” session chaired by Prof Eicke Weber, Chairman of Franhaufer Institute (Germany), who will discuss the role of new technological advances in solar energy such as crystalline SI, thin film and high efficiency concentrated solar in lowering costs and increasing reliability.

Nigel Brandon, Director of Energy Future Laboratory, Imperial College (UK) chairs the “Hydrogen – How it can deliver as the Fuel of the Future” session which explores the real prospects of hydrogen as a key fuel in the future energy system given its zero-emission benefits.

Energy storage is one of the hottest issues in the future of energy debate, and the “Energy Storage: Overcoming the Technology Challenges” session, chaired by Dr. Ali Nourai, Executive Consultant, KEMA (USA), will shed light on latest advances and the challenges that remain in the progression of energy storage capabilities, from batteries for electric vehicles to grid-scale storage.

The “Smart Grids and Super Grids- the Key to Renewable Integration?” session, chaired by Philip Gerbert, Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group (Germany), will see insights from leading experts on how smart grids and supergrids are key solutions to the security of electricity supply and the widespread integration of renewable energy technology.

The carbon-focused session titled “Kick Starting a CCS Future – Overcoming the Regulatory and Financial Barriers” addresses key barriers to widespread adoption of carbon capture and storage projects and what is needed from policy makers, industry, financiers and NGOs to overcome these barriers.

Research and education in future energy is a key focus for the Technology Forum. The session titled “Future Energy Research and Education”, chaired by Prof. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute, will see prominent officials and experts from the education sector shed light on how research and education in future energy helps create widespread knowledge about this sector and what can be done to promote it. Confirmed speakers include Dr Dan Johnson, Provost, Zayed University, UAE; Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor, American University of Sharjah; Dr. Wyatt Hume, Provost, UAE University; and Dr. Tod Laursen, President, Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research, UAE.

Finally, “Biofuels: Finally Delivering on the Early Potential”, chaired by Jeremy Woods, Lecturer in Bioenergy, Imperial College, UK, will debate the adoption of biofuels as a future energy resource and their environmental effects.

Held under the Patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed forces and hosted by Masdar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company focused on advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy and clean technology solutions, the World Future Energy Summit themed ‘enabling future energy solutions’ will run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 17-20 January 2011 and comprises a four day conference, alongside two exhibitions – a World Future Energy Exhibition and World Future Environment Exhibition that will be attended by more than 600 exhibitors from around 40 countries.

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