January 25, 2008 (Bahrain Tribune) – Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s $15 billion future-energy initiative, has made significant steps forward in its ambition to make Abu Dhabi the global centre for future energy. As a long-term strategic and financial initiative, the company aims to create an entirely new economic sector in the emirate, turning it into an exporter of technology.Since its inception in April 2006, Masdar has been working to bring this initiative to life, and many of the building blocks are now in place. Masdar Clean Technology Fund (www.masdarctf.com), an investment fund dedicated to advancing renewable energy and sustainable technologies, has concluded its first year of operations with one of the strongest and most successful deal flows in the investment community.
The $250 million-dollar fund has already deployed most of its capital, a year ahead of schedule. The fund has invested in many expansion-stage companies focused on the development and commercialisation of promising technologies in renewable energy like solar, energy efficiency, water reuse and desalination, all technologies with relevance for Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East and North Africa region.
Masdar provides market-driven incentives for carbon management by monetising greenhouse gas-emission reductions in compliance with the clean-development-mechanism (CDM) framework of the Kyoto Protocol. The company is leveraging CDM to promote sustainable growth in the region, offering companies in developing economies the opportunity to receive tradable “carbon credits” against project-based emissions reduction.
Masdar provides an end-to-end solution for project developers under the CDM including investment, technical assistance, project management and carbon finance. The company’s progress in solar technology has been developing and will soon release an invitation to build, own and operate a 100-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Medinat Zayad, Abu Dhabi, the first of many such plants in Abu Dhabi and the UAE which will feed power to existing grids.
The plant will use parabolic trough technology and is expected to be operational by the end of 2010. The Abu Dhabi government through Masdar this week announced the establishment of the Zayed future-energy prize which awards over $2 million annually to honour individuals and organisations for their excellence and innovation in the innovation, development and implementation of sustainable-energy solutions.
Looking forward, Masdar will continue to look for opportunities to invest in and develop technologies across solar, wind, hydrogen, carbon reduction, green design and higher education. Next month the company will break ground the world’s first zero-carbon, -waste, car-free city.
The city, growing eventually to 1,500 businesses and 50,000 residents when completed in 2016, will be home to international business and top minds in the field of sustainable and alternative energy. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Masdar, said: “The company has a simple promise: to be the world’s centre for future energy solutions. It is not about discussion.
“It is about action. I am very pleased with the progress Masdar has made over the past 21 months. We are making bold but strategic investments; applying scale and capital to drive down the cost of renewable energy, accelerating innovation, sponsoring research and building human capital. Our promise is as multifaceted as the problem which is why we have deployed a basket of solutions to develop and deliver sustainable solutions to meet the world’s future energy needs.”