Sunny Abu Dhabi Signs Multiple Clean Energy Deals
By Sunny Lewis for Maximpact Sustainability News – Clean Energy
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, January 26, 2022 (Maximpact.com News) – Clean energy projects are springing up across a vast area of the world – from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, through Central Asia and as far east as Indonesia – founded on the work of Masdar, the renewable energy company based in Abu Dhabi. Every day during the past week, Masdar has announced a new partnership somewhere in the world to develop utility-scale solar, green hydrogen, offshore wind power, or clean water from the atmosphere.
Renewable energy was the focus of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2022, held January 17-23 in the UAE capital. It was the first major sustainability event after the United Nations COP26 climate change conference last November, and it yielded many clean energy business deals for Masdar.
The ADSW event is acting as a global catalyst for COP27, scheduled for Egypt in 2022, and COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE in 2023.
With most sessions held virtually due to the coronavirus, the ADSW Summit covered the global clean energy transition, the future of transportation, the health-energy nexus, carbon capture and storage, the blue economy, and the increasing importance of environmental, social, and governance criteria in making decisions.
Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented awards to the 10 winners of the 2022 Zayed Sustainability Prize on opening day at the Dubai Exhibition Centre.
The annual US$3 million prize is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability and is intended as a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Established in 2008, the prize recognizes and rewards “impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions” across five categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.
In Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories, each winner receives US$600,000, while the Global High Schools category has six winners from six world regions, with each winner receiving up to US$100,000.
In the Health category, Argentina’s Mamotest was awarded the prize for its efforts to increase access to diagnoses and life-saving services in tele-radiology and remote analysis for breast cancer patients.
S4S Technologies from India was the Food category winner for its work in food preservation and dehydration systems. The S4S patented food processing unit reduces the moisture in farmed produce so that it stays fresh for up to a year without chemical preservatives. S4S is deploying solar-powered technology to help women farmers increase their earnings
In the Energy category, the Bangladesh company SOLshare won the prize for its interconnected microgrid for peer-to-peer energy exchange networks, which enable more efficient distribution of electricity across rural communities in the country. The networks currently benefit 35,300 people and serve some 500 entrepreneurs within their grids – 25 percent are women whose income rises as a result. SOLshare plans to expand to reach two million people over the next five years.
Wateroam, a small business from Singapore, secured the Water category prize for its commitment to tackling the global challenge of contaminated water through portable water filters to serve disaster-hit and rural communities. Wateraom’s safe drinking water solutions are benefitting more than 150,000 people across 38 countries globally with daily access to clean drinking water. The company has plans to expand its reach to one million people over a period of five years.
The world’s youngest problem solvers were honored by the Zayed Prize judges. In the Global High Schools category, six schools, each representing a world region, receive an award and high schools submit project proposals to build or augment a solution they developed for their school or local community. This category, introduced to the prize in 2012, is intended to inspire young people to become pioneers, innovators and sustainability advocates who will contribute to a more sustainable future.
The recipients of the 2022 Zayed Prize Global High Schools awards are:
- Instituto Iberia, a private school in Santiago, Dominican Republic, representing The Americas
- Liceo Europeo, a private school in Madrid, Spain, representing Europe and Central Asia
- Eastern Mediterranean School, a boarding school in Hakfar Hayarok, Israel, representing the Middle East and North Africa
- Sayidina Abubakar Secondary School in Kabasanda Parish, Uganda, representing Sub-Saharan Africa
- Hira School in Addu City, the Maldives, representing South Asia
- UWC ISAK, located in Karuizawa, is Japan’s only full-boarding international high school, representing the East Asia and Pacific region
Masdar City Hosts UAE Space Exploration
Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban development center, hosts more than 900 organizations – ranging from international giants to to the UAE Space Agency to home-grown start-ups – that are developing innovative technologies in energy, space, water efficiency, mobility, and artificial intelligence to address the world’s most critical sustainability challenges.
Yes, space! The Emirates Mars Mission, a UAE Space Agency uncrewed exploration mission to Mars called Hope Probe, was launched on July 19, 2020, and went into Mars orbit on February 9, 2021, making the UAE the first Arab nation – and one of just five in the world – to send a spacecraft into Mars’ orbit.
The Hope Probe is more than a symbol of Arabic space expertise; the environmental data it will gather from Mars will help us to better understand climate change on Earth. The resulting mission data will be shared freely with more than 200 institutions worldwide.
Sustainable Businesses Growing on the Ground
The list of new sustainable business partnerships that Masdar has inked over the past year is substantial. A quick scan of the contracts is eye-opening and offers hope for a swift and robust clean energy transition in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central and East Asia.
During Sustainability Week the rapid pace of clean energy deal-making intensified even more.
On January 25, Masdar and W Solar Investment, a subsidiary of Alpha Dhabi Holding, formed MW Energy Limited, a joint venture company (JVC) to develop clean energy projects in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
This joint venture will focus initially on the development of more than eight gigawatts (GW) of pre-identified projects in Africa and in the Commonwealth of Independent States region – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Georgia – as well as other regions.
At the signing ceremony, Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi said, “Masdar is committed to supporting the UAE’s sustainable development and to maintaining the nation’s leading role in the global energy transition. Having more than tripled the capacity of our renewable energy portfolio within three years, we are committed to extending our reach even further, by entering new markets and by partnering with other Abu Dhabi entities to become a global leader in clean energy.”
“Through this JVC,” Al Ramahi said, “we will be able to respond faster to market opportunities, extend our footprint into new geographies, and support more nations in their climate action.”
MW Energy will support the Etihad 7 innovation program, a UAE-led initiative to secure funding from the public and private sectors for renewable energy projects in Africa that aims to supply clean electricity to 100 million people by 2035.
On January 20, during Sustainability Week, Masdar formed a joint venture with PT Mitrabara Adiperdana Tbk, an Indonesian coal mining conglomerate, to target the growing commercial and industrial renewable energy market in Indonesia.
The joint venture company, PT Masdar Mitra Solar Radiance, will operate under the Solar Radiance brand.
Mitrabara CEO Khoirudin said, “With the growing need for companies to reduce their carbon footprint, availability of renewable energy has become one of the key drivers for investment decisions. Indonesia unfortunately is lagging behind our peers in the region for this issue. We believe that Solar Radiance will be able to accelerate the implementation of Solar Energy solutions in Indonesia, especially since solar energy is an abundant resource that is still underutilized.”
Also during that eventful week, Masdar and partners signed an agreement to develop solar photovoltaic facilities with a capacity of nearly 1.2GW in Indonesia. The partners include Singapore’s Tuas Power, France’s EDF Renewables, and PT Indonesia Power. The companies intend to assess the development of renewable energy in Indonesia for export to neighboring Singapore.
On January 19 during Sustainability Week, Masdar announced that it has signed an agreement with Cosmo Energy Holdings Co., one of Japan’s largest energy companies, to explore the development of renewable energy initiatives, including offshore wind projects, in Japan.
Today, Cosmo Energy is engaged in the development, import, refining, storage and sale of crude oil, and the production and sale of petrochemical products.
But Japan, the world’s fifth biggest emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050.
Hiroshi Kiriyama, representative director and Group CEO of Cosmo Energy Holdings, said, “Japan’s decarbonization is accelerating and all companies have been asked how to develop required technologies in the future decarbonized society. The collaboration with our longstanding partner Masdar, one of the leading companies in this field, provides wonderful opportunities to advance this initiative.”
Masdar CEO Al Ramahi said, “The UAE and Japan share common objectives on carbon reduction and climate action and we expect this MoU to help in accelerating Japan’s energy transition and support sustainable economic growth. This initiative also represents an opportunity for Masdar to expand its presence in Asia, a market that is of key strategic importance for us.”
January 19 was a big day for deals at Sustainability Week. On that day, Masdar and the French multinational utility ENGIE signed a collaboration agreement with Fertiglobe, the strategic partnership between the Dutch company OCI N.V. and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the world’s largest seaborne exporter of urea and merchant ammonia.
Under the agreement, the companies will look to co-develop a globally cost-competitive green hydrogen facility in the UAE, with a capacity of as much as 200 megawatts, to support the production of green ammonia.
Fertiglobe CEO Ahmed El-Hoshy sees expansive economic opportunities offered by green ammonia. “Ammonia is the dominant energy carrier for hydrogen,” he said at the signing ceremony. “With green hydrogen seen as essential to support decarbonization of industry, food, transport and energy, there is a huge opportunity for green ammonia to deliver green hydrogen all over the world to fuel the clean economy and meet growing demand for renewable sources of clean energy.”
Green ammonia, produced from renewables such as solar and wind instead of natural gas, is considered an ideal carrier to store and transport hydrogen, and can help decarbonize multiple sectors which together account for 90 percent of current global greenhouse gas emissions, Masdar said in a statement. Green ammonia is also an alternative fuel in its own right.
All during the past year, the drumbeat of partnership creation continued for Masdar and Abu Dhabi. For instance, in December 2021, it was announced that the state-owned Mubadala Investment Company, which owns Masdar; the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC; and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will partner under the Masdar brand, creating a new global clean energy powerhouse.
The expanded entity will increase investment in renewable technologies, including offshore wind, with a 2030 production target of 50GW of clean energy, enough to power approximately 35 million homes.
Today, Masdar is active in some 40 countries, including the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Serbia, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Japan.