Masdar’s involvement in international projects is helping the company to develop local knowledge and experience, and support the UAE’s diversification efforts, Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi told MEES.
“The aim is to build local talent and R&D capabilities, develop innovative industry solutions and help solidify the UAE’s position as hub for renewable energy and clean-tech industries,” he said in an interview. With the company’s “home market in the UAE being comparatively small,” Masdar has always focused on developing commercially viable projects globally as well as locally, he told the publication, and “solutions we have developed in our international operations will definitely have applications here in the UAE. “
Masdar’s Batwind project in Scotland – the world’s first battery connected to an offshore wind farm – is an example of where Masdar is gaining expertise that can be applied to the UAE market, Al Ramahi said, with the region needing to develop storage technology to overcome the intermittency challenges presented by solar power. He also cited another Masdar project, the Gemasolar CSP plant in Spain, which uses molten salts as a heat storage technology, making it the world’s first utility-scale facility to deliver electricity to the grid 24-hours-a-day.
Masdar City itself is also developing as a hub for innovation, Al Ramahi said, citing the upcoming opening of Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, the world’s first graduate-level AI institute, which will start teaching students in January.
Masdar has also “played a significant role” in driving down the cost of electricity tariffs, making renewable energy more competitive with conventional power sources, the CEO said. This is helping to drive interest in renewable energy across the region, as countries increasingly focus on energy security, he told MEES.