Renewables research partnership


Scotland’s position as a leading player in renewables has been reinforced this week with the signing of an agreement between First Minister Alex Salmond and one of the world’s leading renewables innovators.

The signing at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi quickly follows discussions between the FM and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive of alternative energy company Masdar, during the FM’s visit to the UAE in November last year. In the first agreement of its kind between Masdar and a nation, the framework outlines a detailed plan of activity to deliver tangible clean energy projects. The agreement focuses on development opportunities, investment in low carbon projects, technological cooperation, policy making and best practice initiatives.

The First Minister said the agreement will also see Masdar and Scotland partnered to boost university research into renewable energy. In Scotland this research will be coordinated through the Energy Technology Partnership (ETP), an alliance of 12 independent Scottish universities engaged in world class energy-related research, development and demonstration. With around 250 faculty and 700 researchers, ETP is the largest power and energy research partnership in Europe and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in renewables to the agreement to drive forward global-leading initiatives.

Mr Salmond said:

“The signing of this agreement with Masdar is a rapid and valuable outcome from the high-level discussions I held with Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed al Nahyan and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber just over two months ago in Abu Dhabi. This outcome is testament to the fact that Scotland is a world renewable energy champion and is continuing to play a major role in driving the global adoption of renewable sources of power, innovations in grid technology and R&D in wind turbine development.

“The innovative work being undertaken at the Masdar Institute is further indication that other nations are recognising the need to move to preserve the quality of the natural environment, which is one of the major global concerns facing us today and one of the most critical challenges of the 21st century.

“This ground-breaking agreement provides vitally important investment and development opportunities for both partners. It also enables us to work closely together, to share our respective expertise to help push and promote alternative energy sources at a global level, as the world seeks to address a broad range of climate change issues.

“As the world moves towards a low-carbon economy, there is mutual benefit to be had from working in collaboration to create these technologies. Together Scotland and Masdar have much to contribute to energy policy and economic and social development beyond just our two countries and I look forward to our partnership flourishing.”

Lena Wilson, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said:

“Scottish Enterprise has worked closely with Masdar to develop this agreement, which clearly demonstrates Scotland’s growing reputation on the global stage as a centre for excellence for renewable energy and low carbon innovation.

“Capitalising on these strengths and opening up global opportunities such as this is vital in securing Scotland’s long-term economic growth. We are continuing to demonstrate our strengths and potential across the renewables sector both as an ideal location for collaboration and as a breeding ground for new developments. This agreement with an organisation as forward-thinking and innovative as Masdar is a real testament to Scotland and these strengths.”

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO, Masdar, said:

“From wind and solar energy, to the potential of wave technology, Scotland is a strong advocate for the advancement and deployment of renewable energy. We are proud to welcome the First Minister to Abu Dhabi again and are excited to be entering into a partnership that will combine our nation’s efforts to ensure that new, sustainable forms of power are developed.

“Scotland has committed to ensuring that renewable energy sources contribute at least 100 percent of its own electricity requirements by 2020, while continuing to export surplus power.

“With abundant, untapped natural resources, Scotland has a tremendous potential for renewable energy. Our countries share a similar vision where new forms of power will compliment and help balance the global energy mix. This partnership further unites our nations and plays a major role in bridging Europe and the UAE.

“For more than 40 years, the visionary leadership of Abu Dhabi has encouraged the UAE to forge strong relationships with the international community, finding innovative ways to collaborate. We are proud of our tradition, and we are encouraged about our new partnership with Scotland.

“Masdar is a clear example of how our leadership’s vision is transforming Abu Dhabi. Today, Masdar is redefining the energy industry by developing a commercially viable blueprint for the future power generation. Our nation is poised to succeed, ensuring that our future generations remain energy pioneers.”

Focused on potential joint investment and development opportunities, technological co-operation, policy making and best practice initiatives, the agreement outlines four core areas of collaboration:

  • Offshore and onshore wind
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Investment in the Low Carbon economy
  • Renewable energy research and development

Mr Salmond first visited the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi's initiative to advance the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions, during a business trip to the Middle East in the autumn.

The First Minister is in Abu Dhabi to speak at the World Future Energy Summit, hosted by Masdar and the Government of Abu Dhabi. It is the world’s foremost annual meeting committed to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies 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.

The Summit represents an unrivalled business platform bringing together project owners and solution providers with investors and buyers from both the public and private sectors. This year’s event is being attended by over 26,000 delegates from 137 countries.

The First Minister will join Mr Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China, and Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, along with other world leaders in addressing the conference.

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy technologies and solutions.

The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future – developing the ‘greenprint’ for how we will live and work tomorrow. Backed by the stability and reputation of the Mubadala Development Company, the strategic investment company of the government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the Emirate’s long-term vision for the future of energy.

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