“Guided by the future-focused vision of our nation’s leadership to develop a resilient and sustainable economy, Masdar continues to innovate and build on its strong history of driving commercially viable, renewable energy solutions for the UAE and around the world,” said His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Chairman of Masdar.
“Importantly, Masdar’s 15 year track record of contributing to the growth of the renewable energy sector reflects the UAE’s commitment, as a responsible global citizen, to progressive climate action,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber added. ” We, in the UAE, have always viewed the climate challenge as an opportunity to diversify our economy, building knowledge, skills and jobs. As we prepare to celebrate Masdar’s 15th anniversary, ‘For A Sustainable Future’ will celebrate our many achievements, which have positioned Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a global renewable energy leader.”
Despite the global economic challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, Masdar has maintained its growth trajectory. The capacity of the renewable energy projects that the company is a partner in has more than doubled over the past two years, from 4 gigawatts (GW) to 11 GW – enough electricity to power more than 4 million homes – with a combined value of US$19.9 billion.
“Our success in exceeding our own capacity growth targets both reflects the commitment of our shareholder, Mubadala Investment Company, and our dedicated employees around the world. It also demonstrates that the pace of the energy transition is accelerating, as visionary nations like the UAE continue to drive sustainable development and as clean energy technologies become more economically compelling,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. “Masdar today is supporting communities in more than 30 countries across the world, and we look forward to extending our global footprint and delivering a more sustainable future for all.”
Key projects in which Masdar is currently involved include the largest wind farm in the Middle East, Dumat Al-Jandal, Saudi Arabia’s first utility-scale wind-power source. It is being developed by a consortium led by France’s EDF Renewables and once operational will displace 885,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year and generate enough electricity to power 70,000 homes.
Expanding its global influence and impact, Masdar also made its first investment in Australia last year, acquiring a 40 percent stake in the country’s second utility-scale waste-to-energy facility. When completed, it will process 300,000 tonnes per year of non-recyclable municipal, commercial and industrial waste and up to 30,000 tonnes of biosolids each year.
Building on its renewables capacity in the United States, Masdar acquired a 50 percent stake in a 1.6 GW clean-energy portfolio in a deal with EDF Renewables North America. In total, the eight projects in the portfolio have already created more than 2,000 jobs, and will displace more than 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
Masdar also entered Southeast Asia in 2020, with an agreement to develop Indonesia’s first floating solar PV plant. The 145 MW (ac) plant, the largest of its kind in the region, will be located in the West Java region of Indonesia.
Masdar has continued its expansion into new markets this year. In January, the company announced its first project in Poland, with the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in two wind farms in the country. Masdar also announced in January that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EDF Renewables to explore renewable energy opportunities in Israel and support the country’s clean-energy objectives.
In March, Masdar signed an MoU with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to explore the development of solar power projects with a total capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) and related grid infrastructure across the country.
Innovating for sustainable urban development
Masdar City, Masdar’s sustainable urban development project, has reinforced its position as a hub for innovation and technology, as it welcomed the first students to the Mohammed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in January 2021. The Masdar City Free Zone has continued to attract new businesses, with more than 900 companies now located at the City.
Additionally, Abu Dhabi Holdings (ADQ) launched last year an AED 1.1 billion venture fund to support early stage businesses to set up their global or regional headquarters in Masdar City, enabling them to benefit from the City’s exceptional digital infrastructure, as well as an advanced regulatory framework and other R&D initiatives.
Further evidence of Masdar City’s growing business ecosystem is the success of The Catalyst, the anchor tenant of Masdar City’s Tech Park. A joint venture between Masdar and BP, the Catalyst is the first start-up accelerator in the MENA region dedicated to sustainability.
Empowering the future
Masdar also champions sustainability through a range of strategic CSR initiatives. These include the Women in Sustainability, Environment, and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform, which has a mandate to promote female inclusion in sustainability through partnerships, thought leadership, and sharing the achievements and experiences of inspirational women around the world.
Masdar also leads the Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) platform, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Y4S supports students and young professionals hoping to pursue a career in the sustainability sector with training, work experience and career advice. Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the UAE’s National Strategy and the UAE Centennial Plan, Y4S conducts a series of programs throughout the year, including the Sustainability Ambassadors and Future Sustainability Leaders, aimed at inspiring students and young entrepreneurs.
Promoting community engagement on sustainability issues is a focus of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), hosted annually by Masdar. Attracting heads of state, world-renowned speakers, tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibiting companies, ADSW is today the world’s leading platform for accelerating sustainable development. ADSW achieved another landmark in January 2021 when it hosted one of the world’s largest virtual sustainability gatherings.
ADSW is also synonymous with the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability award, whose recipients have positively impacted over 352 million people through their projects and solutions since the Prize’s first presentation ceremony in 2009.
Inspired by the legacy of the UAE’s founding founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has launched this year Beyond2020, a continuation and expansion of the pioneering UAE-led humanitarian initiative 20by2020, which was launched in partnership with several leading local and international organisations in December 2019. Beyond2020 represents Phase 2 of the initiative, having reached 8 countries, and impacted approximately 110,000 people during its first phase and debut year.
About For A Sustainable Future:
Masdar’s For A Sustainable Future campaign showcases Masdar’s pioneering innovation in sustainability across renewable energy, sustainable urban development and clean technologies, ahead of the company’s 15th anniversary in 2021. The campaign will highlight Masdar’s leadership initiatives in gender equality with WiSER and youth empowerment via Y4S, both key to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. For more information on For A Sustainable Future visit Masdar.ae/ForASustainableFuture