Masdar Initiative / Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC)CEO: Sultan Al Jaber
In April 2006, Abu Dhabi took a bold and historic decision to embrace renewable and sustainable energy technologies. As the first major hydrocarbon-producing nation to take such a step, it has established its leadership position by launching the Masdar Initiative, a global cooperative platform for open engagement in the search for solutions to some of mankind?s most pressing issues: energy security, climate change and truly sustainable human development. The Masdar Initiative is a multi-billion dollar comprehensive economic development program designed to leverage Abu Dhabi's considerable financial resources and energy expertise into innovative solutions for cleaner, more sustainable energy production and resource conservation.One key objective of Masdar is to position Abu Dhabi as a world-class research and development hub for clean energy technologies. A related objective is to drive the commercialization and adoption of these and other technologies in sustainable energy, carbon management and water utilization. Masdar will achieve these objectives through six key components: MASDAR INSTITUTE ? a graduate-level scientific and engineering institution in cooperation with world-renown MIT and focused on education and research in core energy and sustainable technology fieldsMASDAR RESEARCH NETWORK ? a unique international collaborative research framework conducting cutting-edge research in renewable energy and cleantech at 6 leading global scientific institutions: Imperial College London, UK; RWTH of Aachen, Germany; University of Waterloo, Canada; Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan; Columbia University, USA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). SPECIAL PROJECTS UNIT ? the motive force in developing high-impact large-scale projects in clean and renewable energy via a combination of Abu Dhabi-based ventures and international acquisitions. Projects under consideration include the world's largest zero-emission clean hydrogen-fired power plant (1 GW). INNOVATION & INVESTMENT UNIT ? the investment vehicle that invests in advanced energy and sustainability technologies of potential benefit to Abu Dhabi and the region. Committing considerable investment to the clean energy and cleantech sector, such as through the $250 million Masdar CleanTech Fund.CARBON MANAGEMENT ? spearheading the development of greenhouse gas reduction projects in the region. Building a broad portfolio of assets in carbon capture, sequestration and carbon credit trading under the Kyoto Protocol CDM framework.SPECIAL FREE ZONE ? an integrated ?Green Community? in the heart of Abu Dhabi housing the Institute campus, research labs, commercial offices and support facilities in an iconic "green" science park with a targeted "net-zero" carbon footprint. Masdar is an international platform for the world?s best minds and companies to collaborate and deliver tangible results on new forms of clean energy. It will drive innovation and foster local entrepreneurship, and be a major source of talent for this new economic sector in Abu Dhabi. Through Masdar, Abu Dhabi will further its commitment to sustainable development and its contribution to the global community.
The project represents a paradigm shift: a Middle Eastern oil-producer nation making a visionary and long-term commitment to the development of new forms of clean and sustainable energy. Masdar is a highly-structured Initiative, ensuring that all critical elements for success(people, technology, infrastructure and financing) are put in place to create a sustainable and synergystic community capable of achieving tangible results of world-scale significance.The project is innovative in its open engagement model, pooling an impressive array of some of the world's best scientific and corporate resources to maximize the potential for impact, creative breakthroughs and eventual scale-up and broad deployment of new energy solutions for the global community.
Individuals will benefit through job creation in the renewable energy sector in Abu Dhabi, through educational opportunities at the Masdar Institute and research opportunities in the global Masdar Research Network, through Masdar's extensive investment activities and project development in carbon, solar, hydrogen and water. Societies will benefit through the accelerated use of renewable energies developed and/or produced at Masdar, through a cleaner environment as a result of the reduced greenhouse-gas emissions afforded by Masdar's carbon reduction projects. Most importantly, Masdar has the ability to leverage its own actions into the GCC, MENA and southeast Asian regions. By providing the leadership and demonstrating that concrete results are possible, Masdar's "spillover effect" can be quite substantial.The economy will greatly benefit by Masdar. By creating an entirely new economic sector in clean energy technologies in Abu Dhabi, Masdar is driving the transition an oil-based economy to more knowledge-based technology and service industries.The environment will also be a key beneficiary of Masdar: up to 100 million of tons of CO2 are expected to be captured and sequestered through Masdar's carbon unit by 2015; approximately 1.5 GW of zero-emission clean power capacity in Abu Dhabi is expected by 2015 via hydrogen power, concentrated solar power, photovoltaic and wind power; and water resource technologies as developed and applied by Masdar can greatly enhance sustainable human development in the arid countries of the MENA region.
The project is a unique global platform for open collaboration on clean energy, and enjoys an impressive array of top corporate, academic, and financial partners (see part 1 for a listing of partners). Masdar is an exemplary model of public-private partnership in the search for clean energy solutions. It leverages the advantages of its government sponsor to accelerate the development and implementation of clean energy policies, while simultaneously leveraging the scientific and financial resources of its private-sector partners.By actively engaging all the Emirate's key stakeholders - the government, the national oil company, the water and power companies, the environmental agency, universities, investors and inventors - Abu Dhabi is maximizing the probability that Masdar's results become mainstream.
On the individual level, Masdar will mainstream clean energy by:-greatly raising the general awareness in the population of the necessity of clean energy-demonstrating that clean energy is realistic, achievable and affordable-providing a wealth of real opportunities for average citizens to engage clean energy: enrolling at the Masdar Institute, becoming a researcher in the Masdar Research Network, entreprenuers assisted by the Masdar investment funds and innovation centers, knowledge workers being employed in the new companies in the clean energy sector in Abu Dhabi and beyond.On the society level, Masdar will mainstream clean energy by:-implementing new clean energy policies to collectively improve society's current energy practices-creating a source of national pride by providing critical leadership on global issues-providing the platform for creating a research culture in the Gulf region which does not exist todayMasdar will impact the economy by:-a multibillion-dollar annual contribution to Abu-Dhabi's non-oil GDP-10,000 new high-quality jobs expected in the Masdar sector by 2015-a significant new source of non-oil exports to provide greater income stability and diversification to Abu DhabiEnvironmentally, Masdar will drive the mainstreaming of clean energy by:-establishing the world's largest clean hydrogen-fired power generation plant of 1GW. This plant can then become a model for the entire Gulf region and beyond-mainstreaming carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)through Masdar's carbon unit and planned national CO2 capture network.Masdar's CCS activities have considerable potential to be expanded in the Gulf region, where up to 15% of the global CDM projects under the Kyoto Protocol can be located. By playing a pioneering role in CCS development, Masdar's activities are, by definition, geared for mainstream acceptance.
Addressed in the above paragraphs. The multi-faceted structure of Masdar was engineered specifically to maximize its sustainability. By providing the necessary human, technological, financial and physical resources to drive innovation and development in the clean energy sector, Masdar has laid the groundwork for a sustainable Initiative.
The project's leverage is quite enormous. Simply on an Abu Dhabi basis, the multi-billion dollar investment being made provides considerable leverage. The ability of key projects, such as carbon CCS and hydrogen power, to scale up regionally provides additional leverage. The unique tie-in into Abu Dhabi's and the region's oil industries provide exceptional leverage and scaleability for CCS and clean hydrogen power given the radically-different economics that are offered. As such, Masdar could easily spur the wide-spread adoption of these technologies in the primary hydrocarbon region of the world.But perhaps the greatest leverage Masdar can provide to advancing clean energy on a global scale is by providing a stark example of the power of enlightened leadership: if a Middle East oil-producing nation can take such comprehensive steps toward a clean energy future, can?t we all?