World Future Energy Summit 2010 in Abu Dhabi

WFES 2010 and it's main sponsors.

From January 18 to 21 Abu Dhabi hosted the second (or maybe third) annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES).  Masdar was one of the main sponsors of the event, and it was quite a show.  Something like 20,000 people came through over 40,000 m^2 of space (nearly 10 acres) from 130 countries (including over 70 heads of states, royalty, or government department heads).  What was awesome is that Masdar is such a hot topic and all of the companies attending want to somehow be affiliated with it that we got the star treatment there as students of the Institute.

My fellow students and I (Valur (Iceland), Joseph (Italy)) in front of the Masdar Booth.

There were hundreds of really awesome speaker sessions as well with some really well known environmentalists, energy experts, CEO’s, and leaders giving inspiring and interesting talks (though of course some of them were surprisingly poor speakers for people who do it for a living).

Me in the Tesla, $100K electric sports car. Bit of a tight fit though.

They also had these small roundtable breakout sessions where you got to sit down with an expert in a small group and talk about some issue or technology. It was definitely a fun week.

This is about how big some wind turbine generators actually are!

Best of all, though, were the dinners at night.  Though I may have put on a few kilos that week, we got to have some pretty nice free meals. Part of the WFES is the Zayed Future Energy Prize Award Ceremony and dinner. They’re essentially trying to make this prize become the Nobel equivalent in the energy field.  The winner gets $1.5M USD and the second and third place get $350K.  Last year’s winner was this guy from Bangladesh who developed training programs to teach local women how to put together and install small home solar photovoltaic arrays to provide people with their first bit of electricity in their homes, greatly improving the lives of the people and the women as well. It was a very heartwarming story, and showed how the money from last year has already gone to good use. This year, for some reason, Toyota won. It was a bit anticlimactic.  The Prius is a great advance in auto technology, and has had a large international impact, but it was so different from what everyone expected compared to last year’s winner, that we were all a bit disappointed. What does a multi-billion dollar company do with another million?

Dinner at Emirates Palace after the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

Regardless of the prize, the dinner afterwards was at the elegant Emirates Palace Hotel. It was awesome and they even served wine! We took full advantage of that. The next night we had appetizers and then one of the best dessert spreads I have ever seen (pictured below), complete with a chocolate fountain.  The last night we had a final dinner back at the Institute after we closed up shop. It was a good week.

Amazing dessert spread at the Fairmont Hotel, notice the chocolate fountain in the background.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Great recap of an amazing 4 days which presented such great info for energy sustainablity – sounds amazing to be a part of glowing moments with some many great speakers who share the same interest!! and the food does look amazing

    luv ya,


  2. Posted by marie porco on February 23, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Dear Brian: You look great ! Seems like you are having a blast. It seems very interesting and that car looks exciting!!! The food looks great too. Hope you are enjoying yourself. This is a once in a lifetime experience. Some news from Eastchester — Michael got engaged!!!! Getting married in Sept. 2011. Take care and be safe!! Marie


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