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Abu Dhabi DoE signs clean energy agreements with global partners

, December 7, 2023

The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) has signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) at COP28 UAE with internationally-recognised partners.
 
The agreements aim to harness solar power in space and developing world-class clean energy transition polices and technologies to accelerate climate action, both in Abu Dhabi and globally.
 
The agreements have been signed with Arizona State Board of Governors, on behalf of the University of Arizona and SolarSpace in the US, and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
 
They reflect the DoE’s ambitions to work to partner with leading global regulators, academic institutions, infrastructure developers and green financers to help the UAE transition to a net-zero energy future, while diversifying towards a sustainable economy.
 
The two MoUs, which were signed at the UAE House of Sustainability Pavilion in the COP28 UAE Green Zone, are part of the DoE’s efforts to explore alternative, innovative net-zero pathways and technologies for collective climate action.
 
Signing these agreements at COP28 UAE demonstrates the DoE’s support for the UAE’s strategic role as this year’s host to unite the world and deliver climate solutions.
 
Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the DoE, said: “These agreements will be instrumental in our efforts to develop world-class, innovative policies and projects that will accelerate the regional and global energy transition, while ensuring the best possible socioeconomic outcomes so nobody is left behind. We look forward to working more closely with our international friends and peers to unlock the UAE’s full potential to power a sustainable energy future for the benefit of all.
 
“This is a momentous occasion, and doubly appropriate that this MoU is being signed at COP28. Together, we are quite literally taking our ambitions for solar energy productions to new heights. Harnessing solar power in space will put us on a path that will outpace growing global energy demand, without sacrificing our shared environment.
 
“While the Middle East enjoys excellent conditions for reliable solar power production with its ground-based facilities, successfully launching solar collectors into space is a new vista of potential clean energy gains. Without cloud cover blocking their panels, space-technology solar power farms could finally unlock the dream of a continuous, uninterrupted clean energy supply.”
 
The MoU with the University of Arizona and SolarSpace aims to advance clean energy innovation and technologies by channelling solar power in space.
 
The partnership will focus on investigating the feasibility of space-based solar power (SBSP) technology and its potential applications in the UAE and the Middle East as an alternative path to reduce global carbon emissions.
 
Robert Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, said: “With our record of leadership in solar energy technology and space sciences, and our strong ties in the Gulf states region, this is an ideal way for the university to contribute to this area of global need. I am excited for our work together.”
 
David Vili, Founder and CEO of SolarSpace, said: “I am excited to use our technology for many possible applications, from desalination, to cooling data centres, to capturing solar energy in outer space. Looking to the future, we’re working on a plan to place solar power generation facilities in orbit around the Earth, where the sun always shines, and transmit the collected energy back to earth, helping address the challenge of intermittency posed by other renewable energy forms.”
 
The DoE has also agreed on a framework with Irena to cooperate in key areas of renewable energy policies, long-term energy scenarios and modelling, projects and technologies that will drive the energy transition and the long-term sustainability of Abu Dhabi.
 
As part of the MoU, the DoE and Irena will collaborate on the growing importance of the energy-water nexus, with plans to drive greater system integration and efficiency that will provide the UAE with water security as well as cleaner energy. 
 
Ahmed Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Undersecretary of the DoE, said: “Through the MoU, we seek to enhance public dialogue and implement energy transition strategies that will drive socioeconomic and environmental progress, while reinforcing Abu Dhabi's role as a leader in renewable energy.
 
“Achieving the world’s clean energy transition means pooling the resources and expertise of stakeholders in policymaking, academia, private enterprise and every other part of the energy ecosystem. Through these MoUs with world-leading partners, DoE will continue to support bolder climate action and faster decarbonisation of the energy industry through collaborative consensus building and the leveraging of emerging technologies and global best practices.”
 
Francesco La Camera, Director General of Irena said: “I am delighted to continue our close cooperation and partnership with the DoE in support of the UAE Vision 2050, Abu Dhabi’s 2040 Vision and energy transitions domestically, regionally, and across the world.”--OGN/TradeArabia News Service



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