Abu Dhabi: For Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar, the successful completion of its partner’s, Solar Impulse 2, global circumnavigation without a drop of fuel is its third experience of breaking a myth associated with renewable energy, a top official told Gulf News.
Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar
Courtesy: Clint McLean
The first solar plane’s completion of the round-the-world trip on Tuesday has challenged the myths widely associated with renewable energy, something Masdar has striven to do since its inception, said Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.
“People had said that a plane powered by renewables during the day and at night would be impossible. Solar Impulse 2 has proven them wrong,” he said.
Explaining Masdar’s two similar previous experiences, Al Ramahi said many people had also said that building solar plants in dusty desert conditions would not be viable. But Masdar successfully challenged this misperception with the development of Shams-1 in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The largest renewable energy project in operation in the Middle East, Shams-1 now generates 100 megawatts of electricity, he said.
Another myth was that renewable energy sources could not offer competitive return on investment in a region rich in fossil fuels such as the Gulf, Al Ramahi said.
“We have also shown that renewables can complement traditional energy sources and deliver a competitive return on investment, even in this region,” he explained.
“Like Solar Impulse 2, we continue to raise awareness of what can be achieved through clean energy through our successes, projects and partnerships,” the CEO said.
Si2’s ability to fly day and night offers solution to a major problem faced by renewable energy adoption — electricity storage, he said.
Masdar has also taken part in developing viable technical solutions to this critical challenge. “For example, the Gemasolar thermal power plant near Seville in Spain, in which we are a partner, was the world’s first solar power plant to produce electricity 24 hours a day. We are also actively researching cutting-edge technologies in collaboration with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology at Masdar City, through initiatives such as the Electric Energy Storage Solutions Hub,” Al Ramahi explained.
“What we are seeing is that clean energy solutions are an increasingly important part of the global energy mix. This focus on delivering a more sustainable future benefits everyone,” he said.
THREE MYTHS SHATTERED
1. A plane powered by renewables during the day and at night would be impossible.
2. Building solar plants in dusty desert conditions would not be viable
3. Renewables cannot offer competitive return on investment in fossil fuel-rich Gulf region