The United Nations climate summit will be a watershed moment when 197 nations will come together to try to find solutions to one of humanity’s most intractable problems: in simple terms, how to combat climate change together and how we will pay for it so no one is left behind.
For many clean energy companies, COP28 will be a moment to show their climate action leadership and support of tripling global renewables capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030 – key goals set by the COP28 Presidency and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) if we are to keep the ambition of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach.
For the UAE’s clean energy leader, Masdar, it represents the culmination of a nation’s vision that reaches back to 2006 when it was first established under the aegis of the UAE President, Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Speaking about the early days of Masdar, the then founding CEO and now Chairman of Masdar, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, spoke of its pioneering approach where there was no blueprint to follow: “One of the key things we learned was that the sector needed an ecosystem to bring everything under one umbrella – everything from R&D, technology, project finance, project development, capital and scale. This is the integrated ecosystem we brought to Masdar.”
Masdar has now developed projects in over 40 countries worldwide, driving the energy transition at home and abroad. The total value of its investments, which are either operational or committed, are over $30 billion (Dh110.17 billion) – with ambitions to reach 100 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030 – enough to power 26 million homes.
The UAE’s clean energy powerhouse was instrumental in establishing the largest solar parks in the world in the Emirates – the latest being the Al Dhafra 2GW solar park – the world’s largest single-site solar plant in operation.
Masdar-led innovation not only helped the UK to become a world leader in offshore wind but developed Southeast Asia’s largest floating solar plant at 145 megawatts, Cirata in Indonesia.
Further breakthrough innovations came with the 100 megawatt UAE Wind Programme, adapting the latest technology and innovation to capture low wind speeds at utility scale, diversifying the country’s energy mix.
And a strategic investment in Indonesia’s Pertamina global earlier this year now opens up one of the largest geothermal energy reserves in the world.
And so to COP28 where Masdar, as the UAE’s clean energy champion, will be setting out its stall and announcing further strategic agreements to advance the energy transition and drive global growth in renewable energy capacity.
To support COP28’s ambitious goals, Masdar has been appointed Principal Pathway Partner, providing sponsorship and leadership across a world-class programme of events and forums, including a special focus on women and young people as sustainability leaders.
The time for talk has ended; now is the time for united action for an inclusive COP, and a COP for all. Masdar and the UAE will be playing its part. The world depends upon the solutions that are achieved.