world-future-energy-summitThe World Future Energy Summit (WFES) is the world’s foremost annual event, dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies. Held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, WFES included a world class summit, an international exhibition, the Project and Finance Village, the Young Future Energy Leaders programme, corporate meetings and social events.

The sixth annual WFES, held from January 15 to 17, 2013 aimed at bringing businesses and public officials together for exhibitions, panel discussions, corporate meetings and other events. The Summit was hosted by the green energy research firm Masdar, which is a subsidiary of the government owned Mubadala Development Company. It gave hundreds of energy-related companies – there were 514 registered exhibitors from all around the world – an opportunity to make connections, share ideas and strike deals that can advance global progress in the arena of renewable energy sources.

For the opening ceremony, French President Hon’ble Francois Hollande took the stage to deliver a keynote speech on the importance of new energy technology. He said: “If we don’t act, if we don’t do anything, if we don’t invest anything, we can be sure that we will have a catastrophe very soon, and we have to have confidence to invest in the new energy. We can act together to create this world of renewable energy.”

Also present were UAE Vice-President and Prime Minster Hon’ble Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who gave an opening speech. “We are working to ensure energy, water and food security to achieve sustainable development and provide decent life for present and future generations,” he said.

Other high-profile speakers included Argentinean President Hon’ble Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Queen Her Majesty Rania al-Abdullah of Jordan. The Summit attracted world leaders, international policy makers, industry leaders, investors, experts, academia, intellectuals and journalists to discuss practical and sustainable solutions to future energy challenges.

The Summit represented a business platform bringing together project owners and solution providers with investors and buyers from both the public and private sectors. It was also an opportunity for everyone to come together, to share views and, reach agreements to make progress.

There were various sessions such as conversion of waste, air quality management system, artificial island project, future energy system and the sustainability – the only way forward.

Restoring Rights of Scavengers

world-future-energy-summit-2In the Technology Exchange Platform Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder, Sulabh Sanitation Movement, shared his ideas and made a presentation on “Toilet a Tool of Social Change”. Lauding the effort of the WFES for organising such an event, Dr. Pathak said that his organization has been working in the sanitation sector for more than 40 years now since 1970, with a purpose to restore the human rights and dignity of the untouchable scavengers and also to help stop defecation in the open and provide safe and hygienic toilets to all. He also emphasized on Sulabh PRISACA Theory of Invention for Solving the Problems of Water, Sanitation and Restoration of Human Rights to ‘Untouchables’ in India. PRISACA stands for Problem, Research, Invention, Strategy, Action and Collaboration. He mentioned the linkages between sanitation and health, 1.8 million diarrhoeal deaths each year (90% of them – among children less than 5 years of age), lack of attendance in schools especially among girls that have negatively impacted child and maternal health.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he said, are the world’s time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions – income, poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion – while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic human rights – the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter, and security. “In the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America the sanitation problems are many and complex, such as defecation in the open, manual cleaning of human waste etc. with 2.6 billion people still having no access to safe and hygienic toilets”, Dr. Pathak added.

To overcome the problem of human scavenging and safe and hygienic disposal of human wastes, Dr. Pathak, said, he along with his team, has developed, invented and innovated indigenous technologies. They are Sulabh two-pit, pourflush, compost toilets, Public toilet complexes linked with biogas digester and on-site effluent treatment system, Sulabh Effluent Treatment (SET) System, Duckweed-based Waste Water Treatment and Sulabh Thermophilic Aerobic Composter (STAC). He mentioned that Sulabh two-pit toilet is not only environment-friendly but also saves water usage. The manure is taken out from the pit by the beneficiaries without involving scavengers as it is odourless, pathogen-free, semi-solid containing 1.8% nitrogen, 1.6% phosphate and 1% potassium.

Biogas Production

“From public toilets human excreta goes into the digester and biogas is produced, which is then channelized for lighting mantle lamps, warming oneself in winters, cooking and also for conversion into energy for street lighting. Thus, Sulabh technologies prevent emission of methane into the atmosphere and reduce global warming and improve climate change. Since, methane damages the Ozone Layer of the atmosphere, from environmental point of view, it becomes harmless when it is used for different purposes like cooking, heating, or electricity generation.” said Dr. Pathak.

“We are training and empowering people in Sulabh technologies which are free from patent. We have constructed public toilets in Afghanistan and Bhutan. We have trained professionals from 14 countries of Africa in collaboration with UN-HABITAT.” Dr. Pathak added.

He further said: “The social transformation brought about by Sulabh can be gauged by the incredible fact that the same society that was averse even to the touch of a human scavenger, today readily purchases products (even eatables) prepared by the hands of these very scavengers. This symbolises a fundamental change in the attitude nursed for centuries by the people. We adopted a holistic approach for their rehabilitation”.

Mr. Henry L. Han, Managing Director, Hann Ocean Energy Pvt. Ltd. presented a paper on Development of a Highly Efficient and Cost-effective Wave Energy Convertor Drakoo. Mr. Nasser Al Nashat, Senior Engineer, Kuwait Oil Company, presented a paper on Solar Energy at Kuwait Oil Company.