The World Green Economy Summit set to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week will set out the first of a series of investments being made under the 100 billion UAE dirham ($27 billion) Dubai Green Fund, according to the chief executive of Dubai's Electricity and Water Authority, Saeed Al Tayer.

Speaking at a press conference held last Thursday previewing this week's summit, Al Tayer said it had spent time with the consultancy firms employed to create the fund "to put the scope, to put the requirements, to decide which ideas we should be catering for," Al Tayer said.

"Now, the time is for negotiating and finalising these contacts and we will announce, I think during the conference is better, about the road map for this project. It's very clear now."

Al Tayer said that the fund is still targeting 100 billion dirhams worth of investments, and said the money would be dedicated towards "different types of projects, whether it is for renewable, whether it is for retrofit or green projects also related to efficiencies - whether it is the supply side or the demand side," he said.

"But the amount we will start with will be announced in due course during the first day of the conference," he said.

Al Tayer also said that fundraising from some potential investors had been finalised, adding that this money has been raised both "locally and externally".

Push for retrofitting
He said that he expects retrofitting projects to increase once details of the funding is announced, but added that even without access to the green fund, about 2,000 buildings have already been retrofitted in Dubai to date.

Al Tayer also said that this year's World Green Economy Summit would focus on three main pillars - innovation and technology, finance and investment, and policy and leadership. A youth forum is also being held as part of the event, which runs at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre on 24th and 25th October.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Al Tayer said that the Shams Dubai initiative, which allows businesses and consumers to sell energy generated through solar photovoltaic panels back into the grid, is progressing well, stating that about 15 megwatts of power had already been connected, and that a further 40MW was currently under construction.

Also speaking at the press conference, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, said that about 700 billion UAE dirhams worth of investment was required for Dubai to achieve its green energy strategy commitments.

Dubai has made a commitment to generate 75 percent of its energy through renewable sources by 2050.

"There is a misconcept[ion] that the cost of the green economy is quite high," Al Zeyoudi said. "However, in reality I can tell you that this cost in the short run is sometimes high, but of course it is beneficial in the medium and long run because it opens for us doors to increase the competitiveness of the products that are based on green practices," he said.

Thomson Reuters, Zawya’s parent company, is a media partner for this year's World Green Economy Summit.

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