How Schneider Electric is transforming the renewable energy space
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How Schneider Electric is transforming the renewable energy space

How Schneider Electric is transforming the renewable energy space

Gulf Business spoke to Ahmed Khashan, president, Gulf Countries of Schneider Electric on the company’s role in transforming the energy market both locally and globally

Zubina Ahmed
Ahmed Khashan, Schneider Electric

What are the key takeaways from the recent ADIPEC show?

ADIPEC has been a crucial event for Schneider Electric, owing to its role in transforming the energy market both locally and globally. The event has served as a pivotal platform to better understand the market and collect feedback on how we can innovate, improve, and more tailor-made solutions for our customers in the energy and chemicals segments. At ADIPEC, we reconnected with our customers, pursued new business, and showcased alongside our process and energy technologies, endpoint-to-cloud connecting products, controls, software, and services across the region.

This year, we showcased how advanced, digital technologies, like our IoT-enabled EcoStruxure platform, help our customers in energies and chemicals and other energy-intensive segments improve CapEx by 20-30 per cent for energy and process solutions scope, and help up to 100 per cent decarbonisation of operations.

Tell us about your company’s initiatives in the renewable energy space and participation in COP27.

We are making massive strides in the renewable and clean energy space and have taken significant steps to speed up our energy transition. Recently and at ADIPEC, Schneider Electric inked a joint venture agreement with Arab Development Establishment (ARDECO), to manufacture the latest power and energy technology solutions in the UAE. This partnership is aimed at strengthening the transformation of the nation’s industrial sector and contributing to the diversification of the UAE’s economy.

We follow a climate-positive mindset and approach, we support the suppliers’ mission and efforts to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. With a dedicated decarbonisation programme, our partners gain access to training sessions, expert support, tools, and solutions they need to accelerate and deliver on their climate-positive goals. Schneider Electric operates over 50 zero-CO2 sites and will reach 150 in 2025 by capitalising on solar solutions as a source of electricity. Today we have more than 125 ‘Waste-to-Resource’ sites and we plan to reach 200 by 2025.

In the energies and chemicals industry, we help refine 30 per cent of the world’s crude oil and help with 80 per cent of the onshore production and operation markets. As a global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, we are exercising a particular focus on local action, and youth empowerment at this year’s COP27  at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt. Our foundation is also present at COP27, supporting NGOs and the mobilisation of younger generations for a fair and sustainable future.

UAE is welcoming a new decade of sustainable manufacturing. Elaborate. 

UAE’s industrial sector is primed for growth and is rapidly transforming into a regional and global hub for industrial investment. The next ten years for the nation’s industrial sector are led by forward-looking initiatives and strategies headlined by the UAE leadership including ‘Make it in the Emirates’ and Operation 300bn. True to its ambition, UAE is delivering on its 10-year comprehensive road map with a view to increasing the industrial sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product from Dh133bn ($36.21bn) in 2021 to Dh300bn in 2031. We are aligned with this mandate. In 2021, our efforts in this regard were acknowledged and lauded when we were included as part of the 12 industrial entities – that formed the Champions 4.0 Network, instrumental to the Fourth Industrial Revolution Programme, known as “UAE Industry 4.0”.

Give us an overview of UAE’s ambition to increase clean projects by 2050.

The UAE has big clean energy ambitions and aims to increase the share of clean energy projects to 50 per cent of its overall energy mix by 2050. This ambitious yet achievable goal showcases the nation’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. The UAE is poised to deliver on this mandate by revising its energy strategy at the beginning of 2023 to align it with the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Can you share more insights about smart and sustainable manufacturing in the MENA region?

Digitalisation, sustainability and energy management are at the forefront of the region’s vision for smart and sustainable manufacturing. It is important to note that sustainability cannot be viewed in isolation and should be viewed together with digitisation to achieve project efficiency as well as efficiencies across the supply chain. And this, is achievable through strategic partnerships and alignments with key authorities in this space. We deliver on this regional mandate and have marked significant efforts to this end.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) collaborated with us to find ways to boost the UAE’s ongoing efforts to forge a globally competitive and sustainable industrial base at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As a global specialist in energy management and automation, we are committed to collaborative innovation to drive smart and sustainable manufacturing within the MENA region.

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