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Abu Dhabi delegation to explore clean energy solutions in Canada

A delegation from the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) is visiting Canada for a trip, concluding on June 25, to meet with senior government officials and stakeholders in the Canadian energy sector and showcase Abu Dhabi’s experience with promoting energy efficiency and sustainability, in addition to discussing opportunities for collaboration in the fields of energy efficiency and advanced clean energy solutions.

The delegation is headed by DoE Chairman Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, and will include DoE Undersecretary Ahmed Mohamed Al Rumaithi, along with members from various divisions in the Department.

The delegation’s visit to Canada comes at a time when the UAE is preparing to host the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) next year at Expo City Dubai. The conference focuses on a set of key topics, including upholding climate commitments, inclusion for all, and collaboration towards implementing concrete measures and developing practical solutions to overcome challenges and seize opportunities, in an effort to ensure a sustainable future for present and future generations.

“This visit to Canada is a notable milestone in our efforts, at the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, to develop and implement clean energy solutions using the latest technologies in this field,” said H.E. Eng Awaidha Murshed Al Marar. “It is a major step towards expanding our network of partners and setting the stage for wider collaboration between the Department and various international bodies towards enhancing energy efficiency and promoting clean and renewable energy. It is also an opportunity to develop the sector on sustainable principles.”

Day one of the official trip saw Fahad Al Raqbani, UAE Ambassador to Canada, join the DoE delegation. The agenda included a visit to the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), where the delegates met with Mollie Johnson, Assistant Deputy Minister for Natural Resources of Canada, to discuss the roles and responsibilities of all relevant parties and the relationship between the Federal and Provincial authorities. Ms. Johnson also gave an overview of current and previous energy efficiency programmes in Canada, lesson learned in that regard, energy efficiency regulations, and Federal Government Strategy to support research and development in the energy sector.

The DoE delegation then went on to visit the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, where they met with the Commission’s Vice-President Peter Elder, and Caroline Ducros, Director General of the Commission and Director of SMR Technologies, who introduced the delegates to the Commission’s role and responsibilities, as well as to SMR activities in Canada more broadly, and specifically the regulatory frameworks for these reactors. The DoE delegation, for its part, showcased Abu Dhabi’s pioneering potential in the energy and clean energy sector.

A visit to the Energy Council of Canada followed, offering the DoE visitors an overview of the Canadian Energy and Climate 101 programme, and the role that the Council plays. The day concluded with a visit to the Canadian Nuclear Association, which focused on SMRs.

In Toronto, the delegation met with the Ontario Energy Board and discussed energy market reform and liberalisation, as well as the challenges and solutions that come with that. Following a long day of meetings, including with Independent Electricity system operator and the Ministry of Energy of Ontario, Howard Shearer, CEO of Hitachi Canada, hosted the delegates for dinner. The following day, while still in Toronto, the delegation went on a visit to Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, followed by a tour of the Darlington Nuclear Mock-up Training Facility, and a meeting with Brian Fehrenbach, Director of Business Development at the Organisation of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI).

The visit aims to strengthen collaboration under the memorandum of understanding signed between the DoE and the Ministry of Trade and Export Development for the Province of Saskatchewan in May 2022, which seeks to provide a general framework for cooperation between the two entities on sustainable energy; carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS); hydrogen; SMRs, and research and development to introduce new and innovative technologies.

The trip continued in Regina, Saskatchewan, where the delegation met with high-ranking officials from the Provincial Government, namely, the Honourable Jim Reiter, Minister of Energy and Resources, and the Honourable Dana Skoropad, Minister of the Environment. An Energy Innovation Roundtable followed, bringing together representatives from the Petroleum Technology Research Centre, Saskatchewan Resources Council, the University of Regina, and the International CCS Knowledge Centre. Each organisation gave a brief overview of their mandate and objectives, moving on to discuss various topics, such as carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS), hydrogen, SMRs, MMRs (Micro Modular Reactors), and other low-carbon opportunities like fuels from waste.