Expo 2020 Dubai – postponed by a year due to the pandemic – showcases innovations, technologies, and sustainable solutions from around the world. Fortum is part of the Finnish delegation, which includes more than 100 businesses brought together by Business Finland. We are also part of the FinNuclear cluster representing our national expertise in the nuclear sector. The main theme of the Finland Pavilion is “Sharing Future Happiness”, which is certainly something we strive for. Our main focus, clean energy, is an essential component of a happy, sustainable future for all.
Electrification is key to decarbonisation
At the Smart Energy Forum, held by the Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai team on 31 August as a prelude to the actual event, I talked about the energy transition and how it connects with Fortum’s strategy and business model. We approach the matter from two separate angles: on the one hand, we work to decarbonise our own energy production, and, on the other, we help our customers decarbonise their operations. These goals are at the very core of our strategy. I share my thoughts about this topic in the video that will be shown in our exhibition area in the Finland Pavilion.
In practice, this decarbonation means investing in electrification, which will be crucial in the global effort to reduce emissions, and in the development of hydrogen production to replace fossils in industries that cannot be electrified. It is estimated that electricity consumption will almost double by 2050. We need to build new clean generation capacity, such as renewables, while at the same time phase out coal – and eventually natural gas – in power plants.
In the UAE and Middle East, natural gas plays an important role in the energy mix. However, renewable energy sources are gaining ground in the region. The conditions for wind and especially solar power are excellent. But as the share of renewables increases, just as in Europe there is an even greater need for flexible generation capacity to balance the intermittency of weather-dependent sources. In this way, natural gas will continue to be an important part of the energy transition. In the long term, hydrogen is likely to take its place as the balancing element of the electricity system. We look forward to discussing the transition-related opportunities at Expo 2020 Dubai.