Masdar News

Investments in Clean Energy Can Play Critical Role in Driving Economic Growth in Western Region

20 May 2014

Masdar to HighlightShams 1’s Contribution to Western Region Development, at Second Annual AlGharbia Development Forum

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 18 May, 2014: Investments in clean energy can play a critical role

in driving economic growth in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, home to Masdar’sShams 1 concentrated solar plant, according to Yousif Al Ali, General Managerof the Shams Power Company.

Also known as Al Gharbia, the emirate’s Western Region

is the heart of the UAE’s hydrocarbon industry. But, according to Al Ali, ithas huge potential for the generation of clean energy.

“Shams 1 is an example of the significant investmentopportunities in clean energy that exist in the area, which in turn would helpstimulate the region’s wider economic and social development. With 365 days ofsunshine, and large tracts of land available, Al Gharbia is a natural locationfor large scale solar energy projects,” said Al Ali.

“Shams 1 has been a big success, since it beganproducing electricity in 2013. The plant has consistently performed to itsdesign parameters, delivering electricity to 20,000 UAE homes, displacing175,000 tons of CO2 per year.”

Abu Dhabi’s Western Region comprises 83 per cent of AbuDhabi’s land mass, but it is home to less than 10 per cent of the emirate’spopulation. It is rich in hydrocarbons and has a mix of traditional industriesincluding agriculture, fishing and tourism. As part of the Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan,annual revenues from the region are forecast to top AED 400 billion (US$100billion), according to the official Al Gharbia website.

Al Ali was speaking on the eve of the second annual AlGharbia Development Forum, organized by MEED, which will take place on May 20,at the St. Regis Hotel on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Al Ali will give Forum delegatesinsights into how energy companies, such as Masdar, can help ensure economicgrowth that is environmentally responsible and socially sustainable.

Abdulaziz Al Obaidli, Process Engineer at Shams Power,will also give a presentation about Shams 1, a 100MW power plant locatedoutside the city of Madinat Zayed, 170 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi. Thepresentation will focus on Sham’s 1’s contribution to the economic and socialgrowth of the Western Region.

With 300senior delegates from Abu Dhabi, the UAE, the Middle East and globalbusinesses, the Al Gharbia Development Forum will bring together investors,business leaders and government officials to discuss the economic challengesfacing the region and find sustainable solutions to those issues.

The $600million Shams 1 concentrated solar plant, the largest renewable energy projectin the Middle East, is a partnership between Masdar, Total and Abengoa.