Renewable energy technologies in UAE

Under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE has become a global hub for renewable energy and clean technology innovation and development, stated General Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Gen. Shaikh Mohammed explained that this is a direct result of the President’s far reaching vision of ensuring the development of a diversified energy mix that will in turn meet the requirements of the UAE’s social and economic growth thus ensuring a bright future for generations to come.

General Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed made his remarks during an official tour to Masdar City and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology for a progress update on local and International activities. General Shaikh Mohammed was accompanied by Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of the Executive Council. General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed emphasized the importance of Masdar’s function, through both its international and local projects, as a national long term, strategic initiative aiming at developing and implementing renewable energy solutions to answer to growing energy demands.

He commended Masdar for achieving great successes in a short period of time stressing this as proof that the company is on the right track and achieving steady progress. His Highness emphasized that the UAE has been supplying energy, and therefore, has contributed to the growth of the global economy for over five decades. He added that the UAE plans on continuing this commitment and responsibility as major energy supplier by developing its renewable energy sector to keep up with increasing growth in energy demand and protect the environment.

His highness also asserted the need to ensure energy security through a adopting a country relevant energy mix and adopting a holistic approach that aims at helping achieving energy diversification, knowledge transfer and transforming the UAE from a technology importer into a technology development and export partner globally.

During his visit, he also highlighted the UAE’s steadfast and unwavering approach to adopting sustainable development practices that will ensure the nation’s welfare, while making certain that the UAE safeguard its natural resources and ensures a bright future for its next generations.

General Shaikh Mohammed also urged organizations, institutions and all members of community projects to shift towards renewable energy technologies and clean energy solutions in order to further the use of these solutions and innovations to ensure the preservations of environment and contribute to reducing the impact on climate change.

His Highness also emphasized the importance of nurturing the national talent and growing national capabilities in the development and implementation of renewable energy technologies in the UAE. He highlighted the strides that have been taken by Abu Dhabi in transitioning to a knowledge-based economy by encouraging investments in R&D within strategic economic sectors – with renewable energy, clean technology and sustainable development at the forefront.

During his tour, General Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed was accompanied by Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan Chairman of Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi, Secretary General, Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Executive Affairs Authority, Dr Ahmed Mubarak Ali Al Mazrouei, Deputy Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Department of Finance, Nasser Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Department of Economic Development, Majid Ali Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs, Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazroui, Undersecretary to the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Engineer Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Applied Technology, H.E. Khaled Bin Shaiban, the Director General of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council, Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Chief Operating Officer of Mubadala, Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman of Masdar, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, Director General of the Institute of Applied Technology, and members of a high-level delegation. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), updated His Highness on the progress of the pioneering programs and projects that the company plans to develop both in the UAE and globally.

At the start of the tour, General Shaikh Mohammed, accompanied by Shaikh Hazaa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, boarded the Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) System, a zero emission, driverless transportation vehicle that can move at 40KM/hr, to the Masdar Institute, where he enjoyed an explanation of Masdar at a glimpse through the multimedia wall located at the PRT station. His Highness then proceeded to the semiconductor laboratory and the Masdar Institute Clean Room, where he saw, first-hand, some of the experiments conducted by graduate students at the Institute. His Highness then went on to the laboratories on the second floor of the building where he was briefed on the laboratory tissue and advanced biofuels and the environment. This leg of the tour also included a quick view into the Earth Observation and Environmental Remote Sensing lab as well as the Interactive Artificial Intelligence lab, where His Highness received a brief on the research conducted to create a robot that can be deployed to unreachable/hard to reach areas

Following the lab visits, General Shaikh Mohammed and his accompanying delegation were led to the main courtyard of the Institute where he was briefed on the commercial facilities and the Masdar Institute wind tower, which is aimed at tempering the climate of the courtyard of the Institute. The construction and engineering of the Wind Tower was inspired by traditional Arab design. The wind tower is unique in all aspects including a function that emits cooling vapor water during the heat season.

Additionally, General Shaikh Mohammed paid a visit to the Institute dormitories and was briefed on the sustainable building materials used in constructing the Institute, the general sustainability features of the design, as well as the steps taken to manage the building – which includes the use of specific devices and smart meters to reduce water and electric consumption

His Highness’s next stop was at the Masdar Institute knowledge center where he met students and encouraged their perseverance in the pursuit of higher education.

In appreciation of the continued support of the UAE leadership, the students, gathered at the Knowledge Center, presented General Shaikh Mohammed with a letter of appreciation and recited an oath to His Highness, pledging allegiance to carry out their work with devotion and to ensure that the noble goals and far-reaching vision of the UAE’s leadership to achieve sustainable development are achieved.

His Highness was also presented with a progress update on the various business units of Masdar, including a presentation on the cleantech companies that Masdar Capital has invested in around the world. He was briefed on projects that are undergoing due diligence or are on the verge of implementation including the 100MW “Shams 1” project – in the western region of Abu Dhabi which utilizes concentrating solar power (CSP). He also received a briefing on the innovative and recently launched Gemasolar power plant in Seville, Spain that uses molten salt in a central tower to collect and store heat – thus enabling generation of electricity after sundown. His Highness was briefed on the London Array wind power project in the United Kingdom.

Masdar’s dedication to utilizing and advancing the latest technologies in cleantech include: the latest designs in photovoltaic material which prevent the accumulation of sand and dust, a project in collaboration with the U. S. Department of Energy; enhanced solar power technologies which are a result of cooperation between Masdar and partners from Japan and the Masdar’s 10MW Solar Power plant provides Masdar with its electricity needs while excess energy is then fed back into the main grid of Abu Dhabi.