Masdar starts testing feasibility of solar energy at eco city. Will Abu Dhabi’s dust let the sunshine in?
Abu Dhabi’s Future Energy Company, Masdar, and Spain’s Instituto De Sistemas Fotovoltaicos de Concentracion S.A. (ISFOC) have signed an agreement to conduct a test and study concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technologies in the Emirate’s unique subtropical climate. Although blessed with ample sunshine for most days of the year is occasionally bothered with haze and dust conditions as well which could interfere with energy output.
Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, Abu Dhabi’s leading investment and development company, will conduct the study with ISFOC to determine what effect the area’s climatic conditions will have on Masdar’s plans to install large scale solar energy plants in their carbon neutral Masdar City development project, that has been featured in Green Prophet a number of times.
Regarding ISFOC’s participation in this project, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar’s CEO, was quoted in Abu Dhabi’s Al Bawaba news article saying: “Spain is a global leader in the renewable energy sphere and we are very about excited about strengthening the technical cooperation between our two countries and carrying out these tests with ISFOC”.
Dr. Al Jaber went on to say: “This feasibility study goes to the heart of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy vision and of what Masdar is about; namely pushing the boundaries of technology, promoting innovation, and above all fostering international cooperation to pave the way for the more widespread adoption of renewable energy in the future.”
The Masdar-ISFOC feasibility study will examine the effects of dust, ambient temperature, ground fog and haze on the energy output and reliability of CPV technologies from a variety of manufacturers.
The main purpose of the project will be to determine whether any of the CPV technologies can be a competitive and reliable renewable energy technology for Abu Dhabi and the surrounding Gulf region. The CPV demonstration project will help determine the possibilities for future cooperation between Spain and Abu Dhabi in the areas of solar and other renewable energy areas.
The ultimate future of Masdar City and other large development projects in both Abu Dhabi and other parts of Persian Gulf may be one based on economic considerations, however, especially in light of projects in neighboring Dubai being plagued by a serious debt crises, as featured in a recent Green Prophet article on the debt of The World islands.
It’s still too early to tell if projects in Abu Dhabi, including Masdar City, will be caught up in what is now being referred to as the “Dubai Domino Effect,” according to Great Britain’s The Daily Mail which noted that about half of the 60 Billion Pound Sterling debt of global loans to the Emirate is being held by British banks.
If Abu Dhabi can manage to not be caught up in the financial maelstrom urrently in progress in Dubai, this cooperative project between Spain and Abu Dhabi in solar energy, may help create further projects, like Masdar’s participation in Torresol, and similar projects in both Abu Dhabi and Spain.