The renewable energy sector of the UAE grows 400% in 10 years

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates has grown in portfolio by more than 400% in the last ten years and is on track to double again in the next ten years.

Its commitment to clean energy was fully exhibited at the recently held Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, a global platform to accelerate the world's sustainable development.

To complement our portfolio of clean energy, this year we will become the first country in the region to offer safe, commercial and peaceful nuclear energy power . In short, the UAE not only talks the talk, but walks the walk when it comes to delivering sustainable, clean energy. We do this because it is right and it makes perfect economic sense,” Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar, said. He was outlining how the UAE was harnessing energy and technologies of the future to drive sustainability.

Through initiatives such as the Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and Masdar, renewable energy projects totalling almost 12 gigawatts were launched in the UAE and in more than 30 countries around the world.

The CEO of the National Petroleum Company of Abu Dhabi said the company would further strengthen its commitment to environmental management by reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. It will limit the consumption of fresh water to less than 0.5% of total water use and will increase the carbon capture, utilization and storage program by 500%.

We will plant 10 million mangroves in the Abu Dhabi Al Dhafra region to prevent erosion of the coast and protect biodiversity on the high seas and on land, Al Jaber said.

Several agreements were signed during the one-week event. Masdar, one of the world's leading renewable energy companies and a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, and Cepsa, a global energy and chemical company owned by Mubadala and The Carlyle Group, announced an agreement to establish a joint venture to develop renewable energy projects in Spain and Portugal

“Masdar is proud to use its solid track record in renewable energy to help Spain and Portugal increase the proportion of clean energy in their energy mix. The Iberian Peninsula is an attractive place for investors in renewable energy and we hope to expand our renewable energy portfolio in the region, while strengthening our partnership with Cepsa, ”said Masdar, executive director of Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.

Masdar also made its first investment in Australia after acquiring a 40% stake in the second facility for converting waste into energy at the country's public services scale. The facility will recover approximately 70,000 TPA of bottom ash, which will be processed for use in road bases and other construction materials.

The WTE facility will generate 29MW of baseload renewable energy, enough to power more than 36,000 homes and displace more than three lakh tonne of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

The Department of Energy of Abu Dhabi also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Marubeni Corporation of Japan for cooperation in establishing energy efficiency and exploring hydrogen opportunities.

In its attempt to mark its entry into Southeast Asia market, Masdar signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the state electricity company in Indonesia, for the first floating solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the country.

The 145 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic plant, which will also be Masdar's first floating solar photovoltaic project, will be built on a 225-hectare plot of the 6,200-hectare Cirata reservoir in the West Java region. Masdar is developing the plant with PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali (PT PJB), a subsidiary of PLN.

(The journalist was in Abu Dhabi at the invitation of Masdar, the host of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week).