Today at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Masdar signed a joint declaration with France in the presence of French President Francois Hollande.
The agreement was signed by Delphine Batho, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.
The Joint Declaration paves the way for Masdar to work closely with French firms and institutions on the development and advancement of sustainable energy.
Potential avenues for collaboration under the Joint Declaration include facilitating the co-development of new commercially viable technologies, as well as exchanging expertise, human capital development and sharing experience with policies and regulations. In addition, the agreement opens the door for joint research in renewable energy projects and sustainability technologies while strengthening existing cooperation on the Global Atlas of Renewable Energy.
“France and the UAE are equally committed to making a concerted effort to address energy security and sustainability,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. “The two countries are making bold investments in large-scale renewable energy projects and developing carbon reduction strategies.”
The UAE and France already have strong partnerships in the renewable energy sector. Total, the French oil and gas company, and Masdar have partnered to build Shams 1, the 100-megawatt concentrated solar power project in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, which is the largest solar power project in the Middle East. A third partner, the Spanish renewables company Abengoa, also has a stake in the project.
“This Joint Declaration builds on our already strong relationship and enables us to further explore new collaborative opportunities in the clean energy sector,” added Dr. Al Jaber.
The UAE has played a leadership role in developing and deploying new clean energy technologies in recent years. In 2010, following Abu Dhabi’s successful bid to host the Headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change to support a fuller international engagement on climate and energy issues, including support for the Agency. The UAE is also making significant investments in the creation of a renewable energy industry, a move that will diversify both its economy and its energy mix.
“Long a leader in conventional energy, the UAE’s ambitious turn to renewable energy is significant. This willingness should inspire more countries,” said Delphine Batho
“France and Masdar already have a robust working relationship in the energy sector. This Joint Declaration lays the necessary groundwork for us to learn even more from each other and continue to bring forward promising large-scale renewable energy projects,” added Ms. Batho.
To tackle climate change and to boost the national economy, France is also making a strategic move to invest in renewable energy. Today, France’s wind energy capacity ranks sixth in the world and the nation has a target to produce 23 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
President Hollande delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East. While at the gathering, he also visited the exhibition stand of Masdar.
The signing took place at the 2013 World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, the world's foremost annual meeting committed to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies. WFES is one of the anchor events of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, taking place in the UAE capital from January 13-17.