Abu Dhabi is staged to become one of the leaders in cleantech. With a recent multi-million dollar commitment to the development of renewable energy, this country which provides a large quantity of the world’s oil is poised to be a leader in renewable energy sources.
1 ) General Electric. In 2008, GE donated more than $50 million to the Masdar Cleantech fund to assist in established a center for clean energy technology in Abu Dhabi. The money is to be used through the Masdar Initiative, which is the umbrella group for all the current cleantech projects.
2 ) Masdar Initiative. One of Abu Dhabi’s largest cleantech programs is the Masdar Initiative. This company is dedicated to the development, commercialization, and deployment of clean technologies and renewable energy solutions. Masdar works alongside other global institutions to create new technologies that will increase renewable energy technologies. Its biggest project to date has been Masdar City. It was a city created by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi who wanted to create a viable response for a sustainable future. The city is currently becoming the global hub for clean technology and renewable energy. It is a city where global businesses can showcase, market, fund, research, develop, test, and implement their new technologies. The entire city is also powered through renewable energy and leaves no fossil fuel foot print. It has become the world’s most sustainable urban development.
3 ) Zayed Future Energy Prize. Abu Dhabi aims to inspire innovation as well as the development of solutions to assist with locating sustainable energy alternatives. The Zayad Future Energy Prize recognizes those governments, companies, institutions, NGOs, and even individuals who have developed and implemented sustainable energy solutions. It is a $1.5 million prize to assist in the acceleration of the idea.
4 ) Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. One of the most important things to the Abu Dhabi cleantech program is to foster research and development for the future. Opened in 2009, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology offers a host of MSc and PhD programs that focus on sustainable technologies and renewable energies. This institute was created in cooperation of the United States Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT. Masdar Institute is to be the heart of the Masdar City research and development community. Researchers and students will be focused on collaborating on modern technological solutions for the challenges faced by the global community in regards to sustainability and renewable energy.
5 ) International Renewable Energy Agency. Located in Abu Dhabi is the International Renewable Energy Agency, or IRENA, for short. It was established in 2009 and currently has 148 member states. IRENA’s mission is to promote increased adoption of renewable and sustainable energy sources. IRENA is involved in the facilitation of all information regarding relevant renewable strategy techniques, as well as lessons to be learned, policy frameworks, and energy efficiency measures. IRENA maintains that renewable energy is a major solution the world’s current and future energy challenges. IRENA creates comprehensive solutions to problems, such as insufficient renewable energy awareness, technical barriers, insufficient funding for renewable energy projected, and lengthy permitting procedures.
6 ) World Future Energy Summit. Held every year in Abu Dhabi is the World Future Energy Summit. The summit provides an important platform needed to address the current and urgent global need to locate viable energy solutions that are not only secure, but sustainable as well. Policy makers, researchers, specialists, scientists, investors, and political leaders show up for this summit under the belief that an interdisciplinary approach to this challenge is the effective route to take. At the summit, there is the World Future Energy Exhibition, which looks a advanced renewable energy sources, and the World Future Environment Exhibition, which pays special focus to waste, water, and air management solutions and technologies.
7 ) TAQA. In 2005, TAQA was founded with the goal of becoming a leader on the global energy sector platform. Through innovation, integrity, teamwork, and performance, TAQA looks to be one of the premier energy companies. They provide companies on an international level with valuable information they can use to learn how to conserve energy. In the Netherlands, for example, TAQA assists with CO2 storage and energy conservation.
8 ) Abu Dhabi Recycling Initiative. The residents of Abu Dhabi generate more than one and a half kilograms of waste per day. In one year alone, Abu Dhabi will make more than five million tonnes of waste. Abu Dhabi ranks high among the list of cities generating the most amount of waste. To lower these numbers, the Center of Waste Management created an incentive program to be given to Abu Dhabi residents who join the comprehensive recycling scheme. The scheme involves the handing out of two different garbage bins, one for recyclables and one for waste. This is the first eco-friendly recycling program to be launched in Abu Dhabi.
9 ) Intelligent Transportation System. There are many cars on the road in Abu Dhabi and because of this; they have been looking at viable ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Through the use of the Intelligent Transportation System, or ITS, the Department of Transport is hoping to lower their greenhouse emissions. ITS provides information on road congestion, highway advisories, and detour points. The thought is that by allowing individuals access to information about what are the quickest roads to take, the less they will be driving, and the less greenhouse gases to be emitted from the vehicle.
10 ) World’s Largest Solar Power Plant. Abu Dhabi’s Masdar company, along with Total and Abengoa Solar in Europe, are spending more than $600 million on a solar power plant that will put a dent in Abu Dhabi’s every growing energy needs. With this one being made, the expectation is that it will lead to the creation of more. The solar power plant will provide energy to the UAE’s national grid but will be supplied to Abu Dhabi in an effort to cut continually growing energy costs.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at email@example.com