UAE Solar Atlas launched at Rio summit
Rio de Janeiro, June 21, 2012
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) and partners have announced the commissioning of the UAE Solar Atlas at Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 in Brazil.
The beta version of the Atlas was released in April.
The data on solar energy will be freely available online from early 2013 and can be accessed by government organisations or private enterprises for assessing the technical feasibility of any proposed renewable energy project. The data would also be fed into Irena’s global geo-referenced renewable energy (RE) potentials database.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 that is being held from June 20 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Six days of open-ended informal intercessional were also held in the build-up to the Summit, including the third and final Preparatory Meeting.
A delegation from Masdar Institute is actively participating in the summit as part of the overall Masdar initiative. Masdar Institute is part of the UAE Pavilion that also hosts Masdar and other Mubadala entities. The Solar Atlas is prominently displayed for the benefit of the visitors and stakeholders.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Special Envoy for Energy & Climate Change, UAE, and CEO of Masdar, said: “The official launch of the UAE Solar Atlas comes at a time when investment in solar energy is witnessing an uptrend.”
“This multi-stakeholder initiative will immensely help investors to assess risks and commercial viability before implementing new solar energy projects. Masdar is proud to be part of this project that will provide further momentum to greater adoption of clean energy sources.”
Adnan Amin, director-general of Irena, said: “The official release of the UAE Solar Atlas at the Rio Summit signifies the remarkable commitment of the global partner organizations in bringing clean energy closer to the community.”
“This Internet-based platform is designed to raise awareness of technology opportunities and serve as a repository for high quality renewable energy resource data, offering an avenue for those seeking to choose the solar energy route as part of their energy mix.”
Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, president, Masdar Institute, said: “The commissioning of the Solar Atlas ensures renewable energy markets regularly receive reliable and stable data on the annual solar irradiance.”
“Such data can prove extremely valuable for deploying various technologies including roof or land area for photovoltaic cells. The Mena region offers abundant potential for tapping solar energy and we believe the UAE Solar Atlas, supported by the country’s leadership, will encourage other countries in the region to implement renewable energy projects in this part of the world.”
A robust satellite-based solar mapping tool developed and validated at the Center was utilized for producing hourly/daily/yearly of three solar irradiance maps for the Solar Atlas. The accurate assessment of the three solar irradiance components helps to simulate the efficiency of available power generation technologies.
An accurate assessment of the spatial distribution of solar resources, with detailed and bankable data for specific potential sites, is expected to help attract investments for creating new solar energy capacity.
The UAE Atlas project set up a team to achieve two objectives – to collect and combine existing databases on wind and solar potentials in the UAE into one open web-portal platform from which solar and wind energy maps can be accessed; and train university students and researchers in solar/wind resource mapping, both to run data collection and analysis and to continue education of future participants. – TradeArabia News Service