18 JAN 2017

DEWA and Masdar to break ground on Phase 3 of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

GranSolar, Acciona, Ghella awarded EPC contract at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 to build the world’s largest solar power project

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 17, 2017 – Construction of the 800 megawatt (MW) phase 3 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai will start at the end of this month following the award of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project. This was announced today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2017.

A Masdar-led consortium was selected last June by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to develop what will be the world’s largest solar park on a single plot on completion, after setting a record-low bid price for solar power generation of US2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

The EPC contract agreement has been awarded to an international consortium led by specialist renewable energy contractor GranSolar of Spain, alongside -Spanish specialist Acciona and Ghella of Italy.

“The agreement with Masdar supports the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to support the growth of the promising clean energy sector, and our efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to diversify the energy mix so clean energy will generate 7% of Dubai’s total power output by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. The directives of His Highness are the roadmap that guides our ambitious initiatives and development projects. The agreement also supports the Dubai Plan 2021 to promote sustainability and happiness in Dubai, and achieve the aspirations of its citizens and residents, and DEWA’s vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

Construction of the 16 square-kilometre Phase 3 expansion of the Dubai Solar Park will occur in three stages. The first 200MW stage is expected to be completed by the first half of 2018 and the next 300MW phase is due the following year, with the final 300MW tranche to come on stream in the first half of 2020.

Today’s announcement is the latest major milestone for the project, and follows the signing of a power purchasing agreement in November 2016 by His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, and His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of DEWA. Under the agreement, both Masdar and DEWA will form a joint venture, Shua’a 2, to lead the construction of phase 3 next stage of the project.

“This important milestone is a clear demonstration of the strong momentum behind the expansion of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, now including partnerships with GranSolar, Acciona and Ghella – respected international companies with a strong track record in renewables. At Masdar, we are proud to be supporting the UAE in realising its bold clean energy targets, and we are grateful for DEWA’s excellent leadership in this benchmark project,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.

Earlier this month, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. The strategy calls for a diversified energy mix with 50% sourced from clean energy. Dubai has also pledged to increase its share of renewables by 7 per cent by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.

“Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park project marks a new global milestone in the development of renewable energy in the Middle East and the world. The consortium formed by Gransolar, Acciona Industrial and Ghella is delighted to form part of it, ready to provide its extensive experience in designing, constructing and operating solar energy plants and being fully committed to DEWA and Masdar vision towards a more sustainable future for the region”, Domingo Vegas Fernández, representing the consortium.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is expected to displace an estimated 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum on completion in 2030.

18 JAN 2017

Competition to design sustainable mobility solutions serving Masdar City launched at ADSW 2017

  • The city’s iconic PRT system has carried more than 2 million passengers emissions-free since 2010
  • Next phase of Masdar City’s complex urban mobility plan calls for a 100% electric and driverless system

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 14, 2017 – Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is inviting selected industry specialists to develop the next phase of the driverless vehicle transit network serving Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban development.

The competition was announced today during (ADSW), which runs from January 12-21. The competition is seeking viable mobility solutions that respect the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability on which Masdar City is based.

A Review and Advisory Committee of leading clean-tech companies and experts will help select the winning developer.

Emissions-free vehicular transport within Masdar City has, since November 2010, been provided by a pilot driverless Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system which links the development’s northern carpark with Masdar Institute (MI).

“We have been a pioneer for driverless vehicles since 2010 and the PRT system has become an iconic feature of Masdar City,” said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Masdar’s Sustainable Real Estate division, the developer of Masdar City. “More importantly, in carrying more than 2 million passengers, it has generated an immense volume of data to guide the future development of driverless vehicle solutions, both within the city and in other urban settings.”

He added: “We are now pleased to invite leading transport solution providers to help devise the future mobility roadmap for Masdar City, in line with the anticipated growth of the development over the coming years. This will enable us to benefit from the rapid evolution of driverless vehicles in recent years, while staying true to our vision for low-carbon mobility.”

Formal entry and evaluation criteria for the competition will be announced by the end of February. The selected solution must be driverless, autonomous and emissions free. An ability to operate outdoors in the arid, desert climate of the Gulf is essential, and the winning entry must also follow Abu Dhabi safety regulations, integrate with Masdar City’s pedestrian areas and with other types of vehicle transport. It will cover a 1-kilometre route linking Masdar Institute, the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the recently announced My City Centre Masdar retail development.

“By introducing today’s commercially viable sustainable transportation solutions, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, into Masdar City, we can demonstrate their capabilities and play an important role in driving their widespread adoption,” added Baselaib.

According to IRENA, headquartered in Masdar City, transport accounts for around a third (30%) of total global energy consumption. Carbon emissions from transport have also increased 28 per cent since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Meanwhile, the size of the global electric and hybrid vehicle market will account for 35% of global car sales by 2040, according to IEA estimates. This is 90 times more than the 2015 baseline.

The adoption of commercially viable sustainable transport solutions is a key focus of this year’s ADSW. A variety of products and solutions will be on show within the Sustainable Transport Zone at the 10th World Future Energy Summit at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Further illustrating the importance of mobility solutions at ADSW, Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Toyota Motors Corporation, will deliver a keynote speech at Abu Dhabi Global Action Day on January 16.

Sustainable mobility is a core component of Masdar City’s expansion. Besides pedestrian walkways and cycling paths, its master plan accommodates Light Rail Transit (LRT) and General Rapid Transit (GRT) systems. It also integrates with a metro service currently in the planning phase, linking Abu Dhabi International Airport with downtown Abu Dhabi.

A low-carbon urban development and economic free zone, Masdar City serves as a “greenprint” for cities of the future. It seamlessly blends traditional Arabic architecture with state-of-the-art technology to maximise energy and water efficiency. Masdar City will host 50,000 residents and a working population of 40,000 people by 2030.

18 JAN 2017

UAE launches US$50 million renewable energy fund for the Caribbean

UAE development assistance for renewable energy is now approaching $1 billion since 2013

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) today announced a landmark new US$50 million grant fund for renewable energy projects in Caribbean island countries. Launched by HE Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents one of the largest-ever single investments in the region’s clean energy sector, as well as a significant deepening of bilateral relationships between the UAE and Caribbean countries.

Grant funding is provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs managing the initiative and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, leading implementation.

The announcement, which brings UAE development assistance for renewable energy to almost $1 billion since 2013, was made on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, as part of the annual General Assembly meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

“We are honoured to open this new chapter in the growing relationship with Caribbean countries,” said Minister Al Hashimy. “The two oceans between us are not the barrier they once were, and we are bringing fresh eyes and enthusiasm to each other’s markets and aspirations. We’re especially pleased to join forces under the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, which can simultaneously drive achievement of the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), reflected: “The renewable energy sector stimulates economic growth and employment, it underscores innovation and it capitalises on resources – all leading pillars in improving day-to-day living standards. ADFD’s steady and unwavering vision is to underpin developing countries in achieving their goals by forging new partnerships and funding multiple key sectors; notably, the renewable energy sector – the main catalyst for sustainable long-term growth.

He added: “In the Caribbean island countries, securing a stable and efficient supply of energy is a pivotal policy of each nation’s growth strategy. ADFD is proud to have partnered with Masdar and share its expertise to support the Caribbean nations as they unlock their underutilised wind and solar potential to drive energy security, job creation and socio-economic development.”

Mohamed Al Ramahi, Masdar CEO, added: “Renewable energy is an extremely competitive option for communities in the Caribbean, where there is tremendous natural potential a number of technologies. Caribbean islands typically face high costs for power generation, so unlocking this potential offers opportunities for both savings and growth, providing a powerful catalyst for sustainable social and economic development. Masdar is proud to be a trusted partner for this important project, which will draw on our deep experience deploying solutions for island communities.”

The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents a new pillar of expanding cooperation and exchange between the UAE and Caribbean. A number of Caribbean countries have appointed ambassadors to the UAE in the last year to develop trade and investment links, as well as prepare for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. For the first time in the Expo’s history, each country will be enabled to host its own pavilion, allowing Caribbean participants to showcase projects and plans to potential partners from across the globe.

The new fund will seek to conclude project agreements with several countries per year. Designed for flexibility, it can support renewable energy projects as both as a minority or full financier, as well as engage with both the public and private sectors. With Masdar as the technical lead, all sources of renewable energy can be considered, including solar, wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy.

“The Caribbean offers one of the most compelling business cases for renewable energy in the world, and a public finance push can be a critical factor in driving action,” said Ali Al Shafar, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IRENA. “Renewable energy has been a powerful relationship-builder for the UAE, and we look forward to partnering with Caribbean countries on this common interest that can in turn lead to new opportunities.”

UAE development assistance for renewable energy is now approaching $1 billion since 2013. Recent projects, implemented by Masdar, include eight solar plants in rural Mauritania, which power about 39,000 homes and save 27,850 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, and the provision of 6.5 megawatts (MW) of capacity across 11 Pacific Islands, enabling the saving of 3.2 million litres of diesel fuel annually.

On Sunday Abu Dhabi Fund for Development -ADFD- in collaboration with Irena have announced during the Seventh Session of the IRENA Assembly, funding four renewable energy projects within the fourth funding cycle . Projects produces about 32 megawatts of renewable energy, worth AED 163.4 million ($ 44.5 million) in four countries, namely, the Seychelles Islands Marshal, Niger and the Solomon Islands.

18 JAN 2017

SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS! Three school teams from Al Gharbia win “Solar Oven Challenge”

The winning teams in a school contest to build an electric oven powered by solar energy received their trophies and cash prizes at Shams Solar Power Company in Madinat Zayed yesterday.

Sixteen schools from Al Gharbia in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region challenged themselves over four weeks to create a safe, working oven powered only by the sun.

Grade 11 and 12 students competed in teams of four, with at least two of the team-members UAE nationals, and a budget of AED500.

The three winning schools who will be showing off their students’ solar-powered cooking technology at The Festival at Masdar City on January 20-21 are: Qatr Al Nada school from Madinat Zayed came in the 1st and 3rd place with two different teams; Al Baya school from Sila came in the second place.

Shams Solar Power Company, operator of the Shams 1 solar power plant, organised the “Solar Oven Challenge” to mark this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which takes place from January 12-21.

The winning team received a cheque for AED10,000. Second-place earned AED5,000 and the school in third received AED2,000. At least half of the winnings must go towards a school project.

To win the challenge, teams had to build an oven that could reach temperatures of between 150 and 200 degrees Celsius for at least one hour. They also had to be able to bake a dish for the judges to eat, and explain how their cash prize would be spent to help their class or school.

“We were amazed at the ingenuity of all the competing teams and extremely impressed that so many school teams took part,” said Abdulaziz Al Obaidli, General Manager of Shams Power Company.

“The Solar Oven Challenge was a fun way to raise awareness of the potential of renewable energy. And there was serious message too, because millions of people around the world don’t have access to reliable and affordable sources of cooking fuel. Solar-powered cooking technology if applied on a wide scale could transform the quality of life of countless people.”