Scotland’s first Minister Alex Salmond will travel to Abu Dhabi this week to address an audience of world leaders at the World Future Energy Summit as a guest of Masdar.
But additionally, in a first-ever contract with a country, the clean tech giant Masdar is about to sign a ground-breaking contract with Scotland, and Mr Salmon is there to ink the deal. “This is the first agreement of its kind between Masdar and an individual nation and will work towards developing further university research into renewable energy” said Mr Salmon.
Under the agreement, Scottish universities will work with Masdar academics to develop new wind, solar, wave and tidal technologies.
The partnership could eventually lead to massive investment from Abu Dhabi – one of the wealthiest places on earth – into Scotland, where new renewables firms are trying to get investment for prototypes, especially in ocean energy, where Scotland is poised to lead the world, but prototyping is extremely expensive.
Masdar has long pioneered the development, commercialization and adoption of pioneering technologies that will help tackle climate change. In this alliance with Scotland’s consortium of university renewable energy R&D labs it will be partnering with the largest power and energy research alliance in Europe, with around 250 academics and 600 researchers, providing capability across a spectrum of energy technologies, to produce new wind, solar, wave and tidal energy technology. The Energy Technology Partnership is a union of 12 Scottish universities engaged in cutting edge energy RD&D.
No sums have been mentioned, but Chief executive of Scottish Renewables, Niall Stuart, said the Abu Dhabi partnership was “potentially highly significant” and could provide a major funding boost for clean energy R&D in Scotland. Masdar is well funded with oil wealth but is very proactively planning for a much more climate-friendly future world run on clean energy.
It’s not the first “first” for Masdar, which has built its own research university. In fact, it comes at the end of a long line of firsts. It was the first company to develop a carbon neutral city, photographed here by our own Taffline). It sponsors the world’s first international event promoting large scale solutions to carbon reduction with its World Future Energy Summit. It was the first to pioneer a new kind of solar that can ship power for the 15 most energy intensive hours out of 24, with it’s Gemasolar power project in Spain. (Masdar Opens First Baseload Solar in Spain – Gemasolar)
Abu Dhabi also hosted the first ever UN meeting on carbon capture technologies at the end of last year, and worked with the US on developing carbon capture, which was adopted at the recent climate talks as a CDM-worthy carbon mitigation project.
Since Abu Dhabi is to host this years climate negotiations in December, look for an interesting year ahead for climate solutions.