Focus on technology to solve “energy trilemma” GE’s Habayeb tells ADSW Talks

08 AUG 2022

Greater technological innovation is required to solve the “energy trilemma,” Nabil Habayeb, GE Senior Vice President and President & CEO of GE International Markets, said in the latest edition of ADSW Talks.

The “energy trilemma” is the term coined by the World Energy Council referring to the need to ensure that energy is affordable, secure, and sustainable. “I’m committed to the sustainability effort and to making a difference around the energy trilemma,” Habayeb said. “The energy trilemma is about three parts. It’s about affordability, reliability, and sustainability. There are millions and millions of people that have no access to electricity, let alone affordable electricity, and let alone making it sustainable. Those three elements have to come together.”

Addressing that challenge, as well as others, requires technological innovation. “[What is really] important is the focus on technology, building upon the existing technologies to reduce emissions, for the purpose of reliability, affordability, and sustainability of energy in the future, but also investment into new technology -- renewable, nuclear, grid, and digital. I think this is where it all comes together,” he explained.

When asked how GE was supporting the global climate change agenda, Habayeb shared details on the company’s sustainable aviation fuel projects and added: “GE has made a commitment that by 2030 we will be net zero in our operations and by 2050 we have the ambition to achieve net zero in scope 3 with our products that we provide our customers. GE also made a commitment last year to exit new coal plants and to focus more on improving the emissions from gas turbines and combined cycle applications.”

In climate change mitigation, scope 1 refers to direct emissions from a company's owned or controlled sources, scope 2 refers to indirect emissions from the company's purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling, and scope 3 is all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain.

The GE leader explained that another important way to accelerate climate action is through meaningful dialogue and collaboration, which is being facilitated through events like the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). “ADSW is a great forum... We feel it is important because it brings the different stakeholders that can really make a difference together, with diverse and different ideas, thoughts, debates, commitments, and this is what the world needs. We need the decision-makers in the countries, the technology providers, the experts, the suppliers, we need everyone to come together toward a common goal,” Habayeb revealed.


01 MAY 2024

Exploring the future of green hydrogen through a historic advancement in sustainable aviation

Dr. Bertrand Piccard’s career as a global adventurer has helped demonstrate what is possible with renewable energy and clean technology. In this interview, he discusses his Solar Impulse project, the first round-the-world flight in a solar-powered airplane and his ongoing mission to promote clean energy and clean technology. “I remember flying across the ocean for several days at a time, with only the sun keeping my engines running,” Dr. Piccard says. “I thought I must be in the future, in a science fiction story. But it made me realize how much the world is actually living in the past.”

With this in mind, Dr. Piccard founded the Solar Impulse Foundation, which has identified over 1,000 technical solutions to help the world decarbonize. Now, his Climate Impulse project will fly a green-hydrogen-powered airplane non-stop around the world to show how green hydrogen can decarbonize aviation and other notoriously “hard-to-abate” industries. “Sustainability should not be a wish for the future but a practical action for the present. This is the greatest adventure of the 21 st century.”


08 FEB 2024

Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the broader GCC region have a critical role in the energy transition space, says Rishi Kapoor, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Investcorp.

“I can think of no other region in the world that is better suited to drive that adaptation and transition through the necessary innovation and flow of capital supporting that innovation, when it comes to addressing climate change,” Kapoor says.

He clarifies the term climate financing as the allocation of capital such that it delivers a prudent, inclusive energy transition and drives innovation in terms of new technologies, products and services – to help both consumers and corporates adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce their carbon footprints.

Climate financing, Kapoor says, is also capital that is necessary to commercially scale up these new solutions across the world, whether in the Global South or the developed West.

Investcorp’s goal is to reach net zero by 2050 in line with global commitments, but perhaps even more impactful is its support for the companies in its portfolio, to help them reduce their carbon emissions.

The global investment company is also establishing “a new platform to invest capital in companies that are solely devoted to establishing and scaling up decarbonization solutions for consumers and corporates worldwide,” Kapoor says.

Growth at all costs was once the mantra of corporations. Later, it was “inclusive” growth that leaves no one behind. Kapoor’s vision for the future goes a step further. Growth that is both inclusive and sustainable, he says, is the future not only of business, but of humanity and civilization at large. “So that not only do you not do any harm, you actually do good.”


03 NOV 2023

UAE’s drive to establish ‘green certified’ schools will instill sustainability within younger generation, says country’s Minister of Education on ADSW Talks

Teaching the next generation about sustainability at an early age will help protect the planet’s future, says Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi on ADSW Talks.

With the global population forecast to reach 10 billion by 2050, it is vital that young people are equipped to drive the energy transition and lead sustainable lifestyles, he adds.

“We need to work on our students today because they will be the ones making the future 20 years from now,” says Dr Al Falasi.

“We are integrating sustainable behaviors at a very early stage to really make students aware of the impact that each of them has on their lives and on the globe.”

This is done inside and outside the classroom, he adds. For instance, students are encouraged to conduct experiments to help them appreciate the importance of sustainability.

Describing the UAE’s ‘Green Education Partnership’, Dr Al Falasi talks about four pillars, including ‘greening’ schools so they reduce their carbon footprints and train teachers to impart sustainability knowledge and encourage environmentally friendly practices.

“We want our schools to become anchors within the communities,” he says.

He adds that the UAE has targets for half of all schools to be ‘green certified’ and to train 2,800 educators and 1,400 school principals. The plan also involves supporting 70 students and teachers to spread the sustainability message globally.

The UN climate change conference COP28, to be hosted in the UAE in November and December, will be the first COP to have an ‘Education Pavilion’. Dr Al Falasi hopes this development will leave a positive legacy.

“We truly believe that a platform is required to convene educators, students, experts, policymakers, and government officials to really work together and integrate sustainability into education,” he says. “This will be a first, but we hope that this will be a consistent theme in all COPs going forward.”

He also shares his dream for future generations to live sustainably, following in their ancestors’ footsteps.

“My wish is that in years from now, my grandchildren and their grandchildren will live a very comfortable life and will go back to our DNA in the UAE,” he says. “We’ve always lived a sustainable life. I would love for us in the future to go back to that lifestyle. To really appreciate every resource that we have, whether it is water, whether it’s energy, whether it’s food and to create an environment where we collaborate for a brighter future.”