"Abu Dhabi is evolving from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy through research-driven institutions like the Masdar Institute. Nurturing future leaders in the science and technology spheres is a fundamental mandate of the Masdar Institute. This is essential to the UAE’s long-term plan of achieving sustained economic growth and social progress. Through these academic efforts, we seek to directly meet the needs of key target sectors and important stakeholders directly relevant to Abu Dhabi’s major investments"; "More importantly, the Masdar Institute seeks new ways to instill practical applications in throughout the student’s life in at the Institute. This enables graduates to immediately integrate into the work field upon graduation. MI students are fully equipped to practically interpret their insights and ideas; providing value to both the public and private sector," he added.
Such measures are facilitated by the Executive Council’s approval of Masdar Institute’s budget clearly demonstrate Abu Dhabi’s support for fostering research and development, as well as enhancing the acquisition of knowledge and skills in renewable energy technologies. In turn, the Masdar Institute represents the research and development nucleus of Masdar City.
Dr Al Jaber also commented on the Executive Council’s approval of the budget of the "Shams One" Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in the western region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the construction of the Sir Bani Yas onshore wind farm. He explained that these projects achieve a set of benefits, including prolonging the life of the UAE’s hydrocarbon economy through the adoption and implementation of a diverse energy mix.
Construction is currently in progress at the Shams One project site, the 100 MW Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP) plant being developed in the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Commercial operations on the plant are expected to begin in 2012. Shams One is set to be one of the largest CSP projects in the world and the first in the Middle East region. The solar energy project is owned by Shams Power Company, the entity that develops and manages the plant’s operations. It was established specifically for that purpose through a joint venture between Masdar (60%), TOTAL (20%) and Abengoa Solar (20%). The plant will contribute in securing renewable and clean energy in Abu Dhabi’s western region which will in turn help in the UAE’s sustainable socio-economic development.
Furthermore, Masdar City’s 10 MW solar energy farm has been operational for the past three years. Connected to the Abu Dhabi National Electricity Grid, the solar farm produces enough power to cover the energy needs of Masdar Institute and Masdar City residents and workers and feeds excess energy back into the grid. The project contributed in offsetting over 23.8 thousand tonnes of carbon emissions.
In addition, Masdar is also partnering with TDIC to develop an onshore wind farm on Sir Bani Yas Island, the natural reserve established by the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The wind farm will contribute to securing renewable and clean energy to cater for the sustainable development projects planned for on the island.