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Schneider Electric on accelerating energy transition

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Schneider Electric on accelerating energy transition

January 26
10:18 2023

Ahmed Khashan, President for Gulf Countries at Schneider Electric, speaks with MEP Middle East about the progress they have made in striving for increased energy efficiency

Please tell us more about Schneider’s partnership with the UAE government to enhance the industrial sector?

Recently, at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, we joined forces with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) to reveal the findings of a nationwide assessment of industrial companies in the UAE.

The partnership is designed to help enhance energy efficiency in the industrial sector ahead of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) later this year.

The initiative surveyed 46 manufacturing facilities in the UAE operating across sectors such as energy, metals, food and beverage, chemicals, paper and wood, and other segments. The findings indicated that the manufacturing facilities included in the survey are ahead of the average in the smart utilisation, monitoring and management of energy.

The assessment’s findings indicate that there is a significant opportunity for companies to adopt more practices around waste management, such as recycling and re-using, in line with national efforts to create a circular economy. 

Our partnership with the UAE government is aligned with the nation’s forward-looking initiatives such as the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ initiative and the national industrial strategy, Operation 300bn. We are focused on empowering industrial companies in the UAE to adopt 4IR technologies to boost sustainability and productivity, and eventually enhance their regional and global competitiveness.

What initiatives has Schneider Electric undertaken in the renewable energy and sustainable manufacturing fields in the UAE?

In addition to our ongoing partnership with the UAE government, we joined forces – last year – with the UAE-based Arab Development Establishment (ARDECO) to manufacture power and energy technology solutions in the nation.

The partnership enables us to ensure focus on industrial sustainability in the UAE and align with the ‘Make in the Emirates’ strategy while powering through on our sustainability journey and catering to a growing demand for innovative and sustainable energy solutions.

As part of the agreement, Schneider Electric will manufacture a range of highly advanced energy automation solutions and integrated power solutions, including production switchgear and control panel integrations, as well as energy automation design and engineering.

Our partnerships and initiatives are key to driving our efforts to upskill the UAE’s technical workforce, as well as developing the engineering and manufacturing knowledge pool and best practices in the UAE.

In your opinion, what is the role of the private sector in accelerating the energy transition?

UAE’s private sector is instrumental to the nation’s efforts in accelerating a just energy transition journey. As a key cog of the UAE’s private sector wheel, we applaud the nation’s commitment towards sustainability, climate action and energy transition. Moreover, we are aligned with its forward-looking initiatives such as the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. Sustainable financing solutions are critical to achieving such energy transition through the funding of transformative green projects.

The role of private capital investments in sustainable infrastructure remains instrumental in addressing the effects of climate change. The onus is on the private sector to make critical investments towards smart new energy infrastructure, and this is made possible by adapting sustainable financing such as green bonds or sustainability-linked bonds.

Sustainable financing solutions are gaining attention globally and locally as major corporations adopt sustainability as a business imperative. Over the past few years, Schneider Electric has shown commitment to helping customers save and avoid carbon dioxide emissions. In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, Schneider Electric launched the first ever sustainability-linked convertible bonds for a nominal amount of approximately €650 million, where one of the main KPIs was to reduce saved and avoided CO2 emissions for customers by 2025.

On the road to achieving greater energy efficiency through the adoption of technology, where do we stand? How will software lead the sustainability narrative?

Software is already leading the narrative; regionally and globally, we are maximising the results related to sustainable efficiency through digital innovation. Our digital platforms for innovation combine best-in-class solutions to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability. We help enable a digital experience by using data-driven insights to accelerate energy and sustainability results. Our software helps convert resource data into meaningful insights and draw conclusions that reduce cost, manage risk, and help you reach long-term climate goals.

What are Schneider Electric’s plans for 2023 in the Gulf region?

As a global leader in energy management and industrial automation, we serve customers in over 100 countries across the globe, with the Gulf region being a priority and growth region for us. We help our partners and customers in this region achieve energy management in a sustainable, efficient and safe manner.

Following a landmark partnership with the UAE-based Arab Development Establishment last year, and with the UAE government this year, we anticipate 2023 being filled with similar collaborative endeavours with our stakeholders in the Gulf region, with a view to enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability within priority sectors.

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