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World Future Energy Summit ends with new investments in renewable energy

Masdar, Adwea announce new projects, Saudi to push ahead with its nuclear energy

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: New projects by Masdar and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea), as well as Saudi Arabia’s renewable and nuclear plans, were in focus during the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) that ended on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia, one of the largest exporters of oil in the world, will invest $30 billion (Dh110 billion) to $50 billion in renewable energy projects by 2023.

The Kingdom is also building a nuclear power plant to meet the growing energy demand in the country. The project is expected to be commissioned by 2027, according Abdul Malek M. Al Saberi, a senior official from King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE).

“We have received proposals from five countries including China, Russia, US, South Korea and France to build the nuclear power plant. We will announce the winner at the end of the year and will sign a joint venture in the early 2019 to build the plant,” Al Saberi told reporters during the summit.

In the UAE, clean energy company Masdar and Adwea announced new projects as part of their growth strategies.

Adwea will build the world’s largest desalination facility by 2021, which will cater to the water demands of Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates at an estimated cost of Dh2 billion.

The authority also unveiled the world’s largest reserve of desalinated water with 5.6 billion gallons of water stored, which is sufficient to provide one million people in Abu Dhabi with 180 litres per person up to 90 days. The reservoir, costing Dh1.6 billion is located in Liwa in Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.

Masdar on the other hand, is planning to double its current portfolio size in the renewable energy over the next five years and expand its operations to countries in south-east Asia and North and South America as the demand for clean energy goes up.

In an interview with Gulf News, Bader Al Lamki, executive director of clean energy at Masdar said that they are targeting six gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2023 and expand their operations to countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Pakistan.

“We will be able to design, supervise construction, operate and arrange financing. We also have secondary technologies like waste to energy,” he said. Masdar also announced the completion of financing to develop Jordan’s largest solar power project with an investment of $188 million and also signed an agreement with global energy firm Cepsa to explore renewable energy project collaboration, especially wind and solar.

In other developments, International Solar Alliance (ISA), an inter-governmental organisation based in New Delhi said it will raise $1 trillion in global solar investments by 2030 and signed a letter of intent with YES Bank for its first financing commitment of up to $5 billion by 2030.

India also highlighted the country’s renewable energy sector and invited companies from the UAE to invest during the summit.

“We have put in place a transparent mechanism to attract investment,” India’s minister of state for power and new and renewable energy, Raj Kumar Singh told Gulf News on the sidelines. India is targeting 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022.

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