By appointing the Chief Executive Officer of the country’s leading renewable energy initiative as Minister of State, the oil and gas rich United Arab Emirates sends a very clear message to its own people and the world that they are serious about cleaning up their overall energy portfolio.
Last week the UAE rearranged its cabinet, appointing several new ministers, including Dr Sultan Al Jaber – CEO of government-backed Masdar. The cabinet reshuffling took place just days before Masdar announced that Shams 1 – the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant outside of Abu Dhabi – has finally gone online. Dr Al Jaber has led the organization since its inception in 2006.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, proposed the cabinet changes in order to introduce fresh blood into the country’s leadership.
“There will be young faces with new ideas and energy to keep up with the rapid changes and to deal with our people’s top priorities,” Sheikh Mohammed said on his official twitter account, according to Emirates 24/7.
He added that these changes are designed to accelerate development and “further achieve the aspirations of our people.”
Four new ministers were named, including Suhail Al Mazrouei, the new Minister of Energy, who replaces Mohammed Al Hamli.
As deputy chief executive of Mubadala Oil and Gas., Al Mazrouei will be tasked with maintaining oil and gas operations while placing a new focus on growing the UAE’s renewable energy sector.
With the 100MW Shams plant now online and a host of other renewable energy projects in the pipeline, they are well on their way.