The Minister of Foreign Affairs was received by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, who provided His Excellency with a comprehensive overview of the company’s progress in developing scalable and commercially viable renewable energy and clean technologies. In addition, his Excellency was updated on the progress of ongoing relationships between Masdar and Japanese companies.
Masdar is currently collaborating with various Japanese companies. Most notably, Masdar is working closely with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on an electric vehicle pilot project. As the Middle East’s first electric-vehicle car sharing pilot, the project deployed 10 electric vehicles to operate within Masdar City – and broader Abu Dhabi – to provide a smart, clean transportation system to its residents, staff and students.
Minister for Foreign Affairs His Excellency Mr Koichiro Gemba, said: “Masdar serves as a reminder that through strong leadership and vision, nations can commit to innovation as a pathway to address some of the most pressing issues the world faces. I applaud the UAE for its role and focus to discover a blueprint for sustainable development and the development and dissemination of renewable energy. We look forward to further strengthening our relationship through collaborations in that field.”
Masdar has existing partnerships with other leading Japanese corporations, such as Mitsubishi Holding, Mitsui Holding companies, GE Japan, Nippon Oil and Cosmo Oil, among others.
The relationship between the two countries also extends into the field of higher education. Most recently, two Emirati students completed their PhD programs at the Tokyo Institute of Technology before being re-instated at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology – the world’s first graduate level research driven institute focusing specifically on renewable energy and sustainable technologies.
“Our strong relationship with Japan is a testament to the visionary leadership of the UAE,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. “Masdar is proud of its role in helping position the UAE as a renewable energy hub, and in forging strong partnerships with the international community. We are honored to welcome the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and look forward to further strengthening our ties with one of the world’s most advanced, innovative countries.”
Japan recently announced its plans to develop an advanced national energy strategy. As part of the approach, renewable energy will play a major role in the country’s development of a diverse energy mix. Along with the launch of a solar and wind feed-in tariff program, Japan aims to increase its share of renewable energy to 20 percent of total electricity generated by 2020. Japan has also committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
Japan expects that its energy policy will lower the cost of solar power generation to a third of its current level by 2020 and to a sixth by 2030. In addition, Japan has announced plans to install solar panels on more than 10 million roof tops by 2030.
During the visit, the Japanese delegation was taken on a tour of Masdar City and the campus of Masdar Institute. On the tour, the delegation rode in Personal Rapid Transit vehicles – a zero-carbon driverless vehicle system – walked through student laboratories, were briefed by professors and students on current research projects and visited Masdar’s 10MW solar power plant, which supplies energy to Masdar City.
The Japanese delegation included, among others, Japanese Ambassador Tatsuo Watanabe and Director-General of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau Shigeo Matsutomi.
The visit by the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs comes just weeks before the start of the fifth annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) held in Abu Dhabi, January 16-19. Thirteen Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, will be exhibiting at this year’s conference.
WFES is the world’s foremost annual meeting committed to promoting advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the water and waste sectors by engaging political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities in response to the growing need for sustainable energy.
More than 26,000 attendees, including 3,000 delegates, 650 exhibiting companies and 20 national pavilions, are expected to participate in the summit.