Masdar chiefs aim to be renewable energy leaders

The developers behind an ambitious eco-city in the heart of the desert say they will be at the forefront of research and development into renewable energy technology.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber described Masdar's renewable energy aims at the opening keynote speech at the World Future Energy Summit

Dr Sultan Al Jaber described Masdar's renewable energy aims at the opening keynote speech at the World Future Energy Summit

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive of Masdar, said the initiative is well positioned to capitalise on the momentum behind renewable energy.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit, in Abu Dhabi, Dr Al Jaber predicted the sector would continue to prosper despite the global economic downturn.

Green energy will be a major part of the Masdar initiative, owned by the Mubadala Development Company, which will see the world's first carbon-neutral city built in Abu Dhabi.

"Masdar will be at the forefront of the research, development and deployment of solutions that will enable governments around the world, including our own, to meet the targets they are setting for the adoption of renewable energy," Dr Al Jaber said.

Over the past year, work has begun on the development of Masdar City, a solar manufacturing plant has been built in Germany to create technical know-how to transfer to Abu Dhabi, and the initiative has been investing in technologies and forming joint ventures.

The government of Abu Dhabi is set to publish a comprehensive energy policy that includes a pledge to generate at least 7% of the Emirate's power from renewable sources by 2020.

Masdar estimates that this will create a renewables market valued at US$6-8bn in the Emirate. Dr Al Jaber told the summit.

This is alongside the markets being created elsewhere in the world, including Australia, the US and Europe as governments set renewable energy targets.

"Looking at recent local and international commitments, it is our view that the world has reached a tipping point in the acceptance of renewable energy," Dr Al Jaber said.

"We have a long and challenging journey ahead of us, but we are heading in the right direction and the progress we are making is irreversible."

Kate Martin

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