As a member of the high-level group, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, has committed to developing renewable energy projects and encouraging clean energy innovation through Masdar—Abu Dhabi's multifaceted renewable energy company.
The Year of Sustainable Energy for All, announced in Abu Dhabi by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the World Future Energy Summit in January, aims to engage governments, the private sector, and civil society in an effort to achieve sustainable energy for all.
As part of its commitment, Masdar will set up two renewable energy projects in Tonga and Afghanistan: the grid connected PV plant in the island of Vava’u in Tonga will supply 13 % of the island’s demand, saving 180,000 liters of diesel oil annually and 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and the project in Afghanistan will supply 8 isolated villages with 600 individual solar home systems. Masdar also plans to partner with the Development Bank of Japan to invest in global solar and wind power projects.
Managed by Masdar, the Zayed Future Energy Prize, has also created a new category, the Global High School Prize, aimed at awarding US$500,000 amongst five schools that submit winning cases for how to improve their school’s energy footprint. The Prize will take place across 5 regions — Africa, Oceania, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
In an effort to further reinforce the mandate and objectives of the Year of Sustainable Energy, entrants to the Global High School Prize are required to ensure that their funding proposals answer to one or more of the initiative’s three objectives: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling theshare of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
“Sustainable energy access is an imperative for all nations, whether developed or developing; and as a global community, we have the responsibility to support these efforts,” said Dr. Al Jaber.
“Achieving the goals set out by the Sustainable Energy for All initiative will require activities that yield tangible energy projects and financial commitments. The commitments made by the UAE and Masdar will have direct and positive impacts on communities while also helping nations ensure energy security,” added Dr. Al Jaber.
Masdar is developing large scale renewable energy projects and investing in clean technology, within the United Arab Emirates and across the globe in markets including China, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Sustainable Energy for All meeting in London was Co-Chaired by Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and Chairman of UN-Energy, and Charles Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America.
Members of the High Level Group for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative reviewed the commitments made by the public and private sector, the planned activities and outcomes of the upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil, as well as the initiative’s post Rio+20 implementation, monitoring and reporting mechanism.
The High-Level Group, convened by the Secretary-General is comprised of thought leaders from - the private sector, government, intergovernmental organizations and civil society. The Group aims to develop a global strategy and concrete agenda for action to reach the three objectives by 2030.
The High-Level Group meeting preceded the 3rd Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) which also took place in London. The CEM is the only annual meeting of ministers from the world’s leading economies that addresses policies and programs that promote the advancement of clean energy technology. As a member country, the UAE has been a key driver of the CEM process through Masdar and the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which hosted the second ministerial in Abu Dhabi last year and the organizing session for the inaugural ministerial with US Energy Secretary Stephen Chu.
At the CEM, the UAE launched along with China, Denmark and Sweden the Global Sustainable Cities Network (GSCN), a new initiative that will help advance objectives of Sustainable Energy for All. The GSCN will provide a platform for pioneering sustainable city initiatives throughout the world; enabling knowledge sharing of city development best practices, encouraging collaboration between cities and driving public private partnerships. Masdar City, the UAE’s low-carbon low-waste emerging clean-tech cluster and test-bed for renewable energy and sustainable technologies, will serve as Secretariat to the GSCN and publish a set of recommendations for driving the commercialization, scalability and technology cost reduction.