19 JAN 2017

Masdar appoints IFC to oversee funding of Jordan’s largest solar power project

Finance mandate letter signed today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 18, 2017 – Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has selected International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to oversee the funding of the largest solar power plant in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a 200-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic facility being developed by the wholly owned Masdar subsidiary Baynouna Solar Energy Company (BSEC).

At Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week today, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi and Niall Hannigan, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Masdar, respectively, signed a finance mandate letter with Eric Becker, IFC Manager of Infrastructure for the Middle East & North Africa.

Today’s announcement follows the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) in October between Masdar and National Electric Power Company, Jordan’s state electricity provider.

“We are delighted to be working with IFC in the realisation of Jordan’s largest solar plant, further consolidating Masdar’s significant presence in the country,” said Niall Hannigan. “Our partnership with IFC will ensure that this landmark project will be developed according to the highest standards of financial best practice, while illustrating the strength of investor confidence in renewable energy.”

Expected to break ground later this year, the 200MW plant will be built 10 kilometres outside the Jordan capital of Amman. Once connected to the national grid, it will supply the annual power needs of around 110,000 homes and displace an estimated 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

“The Middle East and North Africa continues to face serious power shortages, and there is now even greater pressure on infrastructure services,” said Erik Becker. “We have been working with Masdar, a key partner, since 2013 and welcome this opportunity to further support the development renewable energy generation capacity across the region.”

The project follows the inauguration of the 117MW Tafila wind farm in Jordan in December 2015, the Middle East’s largest onshore wind power development. Masdar has a 31 per cent stake in Tafila with InfraMed (50%) and EP Global Energy (19%).

The combined output of Tafila and the Baynouna solar project will account for nearly 18 per cent of the 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy Jordan plans to install by 2020.

Masdar’s Clean Energy division is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale, grid-tied projects; applications providing energy access to communities away from the electricity grid; and carbon abatement projects. Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of US$8.5 billion; Masdar’s share of this investment is US$2.7 billion.

Masdar’s renewable energy projects span the UAE, Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the UK, Serbia and Spain. The electricity generating capacity of these projects, which are either fully operational or under development, is 2.7 gigawatts (GW) gross.

19 JAN 2017

Masdar and Bee’ah to build 300,000 tonne waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah

Cutting-edge facility will produce 30MW of total energy from municipal solid waste 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 18, 2017: Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is to develop a cutting-edge waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah in partnership with Bee’ah, the Middle East’s leading and award-winning environmental management company, it was announced today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017.

Diverting as much as 300,000 tonnes of solid waste from landfill each year, the project will help Sharjah reach its “zero waste-to-landfill” target by 2020 – and the UAE deliver on its 2021 goal of diverting 75 per cent of solid waste from landfills.

Masdar and Bee’ah signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the development of new energy projects at ADSW 2016. The facility will incinerate up to 37.5 tonnes of solid waste per hour to generate 30 megawatts (MW) of energy. This will add more power to what is produced by Bee’ah’s auxiliary waste-to-energy project, which will eventually produce a total of 90 MW supplied to the Sharjah electricity grid.

Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, said: “Today marks the first venture in the realisation of the partnership that we announced with Masdar last year. The cutting-edge waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah is a concrete example of what this strategic partnership will deliver to the UAE and the communities that we serve. We, at Bee’ah, have always been driven by our mission to make the UAE an icon of environmental best practices, and this plant will help us achieve our ambitious environmental goals for the Emirate.

“The agreement signed today will lead to more projects and bold initiatives that will help the partnership to ensure a sustainable and green future for the UAE.”

Established in 2007, Bee’ah collects approximately 2.3 million tonnes of waste from nearly one million households in Sharjah each year, diverting around 70 per cent of its collected waste to its recycling waste management facilities from landfill.

“As one of the leading renewable energy developers in the Middle East and North Africa, we are proud to enter into a partnership with Bee’ah that will both diversify our clean energy portfolio and help commercialise sustainable solutions to Sharjah’s and the UAE’s waste management challenges,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.

“With GCC countries having among the highest rates of per-capita waste production in the world, sustainable waste management solutions are both critically important and a clear business opportunity. Masdar will combine its proven expertise in renewable energy project development over the last ten years with Bee’ah’s track record in environmentally responsible waste management, to deliver a project that will catalyse further investment in waste-to-energy infrastructure in the UAE and beyond.”

Masdar’s Clean Energy division is a leading developer and owner of utility-scale, grid-connected projects; remote applications providing energy access to communities away from the electricity grid; and carbon abatement projects. Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of US$8.5 billion; Masdar’s share of these projects is US$2.7 billion.

Masdar’s renewable energy projects span the UAE, Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the UK, Serbia and Spain. The electricity generating capacity of these projects, which are either fully developed or under development, is 2.7 gigawatts (GW) gross.

Elsewhere in the UAE, Masdar is adopting waste management best practices in the development of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments. Its on-site construction waste management demonstration project reuses and recycles waste building materials from the City’s construction, including metal, plastic, wood and construction aggregate.

19 JAN 2017

WiSER calls on women to be the drivers of innovation

UAE-founded initiative welcomes global experts to its second annual conference during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

18 January, Abu Dhabi: Leaders from government, business and academia yesterday convened in Abu Dhabi for the second annual Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) conference under the theme ‘Practical steps towards sustainable innovation.’ The event was organised by Masdar in partnership with the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

The conference, a key event at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, sought to discuss the collaborative role that governments and businesses can play in fostering sustainable innovation, and the critical importance of including women in this dialogue.

Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, WiSER Programme Director, Executive Director of Sustainability and Brand at Masdar, and Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “At WiSER, we seek to ensure that women are the drivers of change for a sustainable future, enabling them to positively impact innovation and breakthroughs in policy, technology and business. Today’s event helps us understand the way forward to achieving this goal.”

“With greater mentoring and collaborative opportunities, our knowledge of the issues that uniquely impact women can be harnessed to deliver sustainable growth and innumerable societal benefits. Innovation in sustainability is critical to our future prosperity, and women have a central role to play in this regard,” Dr Al-Hosany continued.

Established in 2015, WiSER is an initiative that comes at critical point for women’s participation in renewable energy and sustainability. Women account for just 35% of the workforce in the renewable energy sector, according to the latest IRENA Renewable Energy Jobs Review 2016. The report concluded that while sector has seen a rise in the number of women employed, female labour force participation is still lower than the general economy average experienced by OECD countries (40-45 per cent).

WiSER partners with academic and research institutions, women’s networking groups and corporate interests in order to create education and training opportunities for women of all ages. Since its launch on the side lines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly, WiSER has been active in developing partnerships with a number of strategic organisations.

Recently, WiSER held a high-level event with Momentum for Change at the UN Climate Conference in Marrekech, COP22. The event came under a joint “Momentum for Change: Women for Results” and WiSER partnership, a key pillar of the Momentum for Change Lighthouse initiative, and recognised activities that demonstrate the critical leadership and participation of women in addressing climate change. The collaboration is designed to further the role of women in sustainability, with a focus on knowledge exchange.

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute: “Creating opportunities for women in sustainability will allow us to unleash a wealth of knowledge and creativity within this industry. Particularly through our partnerships with private companies, Masdar Institute remains dedicated to nurturing the next generation of women to become sustainability leaders. Our public-private partnerships allow more women to gain the hands-on experience they need to join the ranks of innovators. With women playing an equitable role in the industry we can continue the momentum behind our transformation towards a fairer, more secure, and more sustainable future.”

The event in Abu Dhabi was designed as a platform so that participants could learn from experts who have dedicated their life to sustainability and furthering women’s participation in innovation. Speakers included: Graciela Chicilnisky, CEO and Co-Founder, Global Thermostat; Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office; Dr Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute; Neha Misra, Co-founder and Chief Collaboration Officer, Solar Sisters; Dr Arwa Y. Al-Aama, Director, Smart Solutions Consulting; Jonathon Porritt, Founding Director, Forum for the Future; Dr Joao Carlos, Secretary of Energy and Mining, Sao Paulo; Maher Ezzeddine, Chairman and President, Harvard Business School Aerospace Alumni Group; Dr Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Finance, Climate Policy Initiative; Jamila Bargach, Director, Dar Si Hmad; Moza Al Naimi, Masdar Institute Phd student, and Dr Laura Stachel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of We Care Solar.

In the UAE, there has been an emphasis placed on education and training as a way to ensure more women are working in sustainability. In the fall enrollment of students at Masdar Institute, 68 per cent of the UAE nationals were women. Over 70 per cent of the UAE government university students are now women and among post-graduates, UAE National women account for 62 per cent in government universities.

Dr. Arwa Y. Al-Aama, Director, Smart Solutions Consulting: “Initiatives such as WiSER are critical if we want women to have access to the skills needed to be future leaders of innovation and sustainability. They also underline the leading role the UAE is playing in establishing platforms that place an emphasis on knowledge exchange and learning.”

Founded by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, and the Zayed Future Energy Prize, WiSER aims to empower and inspire women to be catalysts of innovation and the drivers of commercial solutions that will address climate change and secure access to food, energy and water.

31 JUL 2017

Financing big energy and other trending stories of the week

Here are some of the top trending energy stories from the past week:

Siemens Financial Services CEO, R. Chalons-Browne talks big energy finance:

The East vs. West renewables race – who’s winning? According to CNN, it’s China by a lot:

Africa is unplugging, with off-grid solar leading the way:

  • Africa is a continent that, more than any other, is rich in sunshine. Off-grid solar can help fill the grid's gaps st/2u4Ualw

VIDEO: The surprising state where solar energy is flourishing:

From rooftop solar to…everything. Check out SunRun via GreenTechMedia:

We look forward to convening discussions on these topics and more at ADSW2018 in January.