Leading the World in Renewable Energy

  • 29 November 2010

There is a firm opinion developing in the world today that the UAE is leading a global movement in the field of renewable energy as its initiatives in this direction are characterized by seriousness, ambition and a vision of greater scientific cooperation in the future. The choice of Abu Dhabi as the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is the result of an international recognition of the UAE’s leading role and the world’s confidence in its ability to achieve in this field. This recognition extends to each step taken by the country in this direction. Perhaps the most recent manifestation of this recognition is the statement issued by Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson to Al Ittihad newspaper – on the occasion of the opening of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology at Masdar City on Sunday – whereby he confirmed the underlying factors that drive the UAE policy in the field of renewable energy.

The first contention is that the accomplishment of Masdar City qualifies Abu Dhabi to lead the renewable energy sector internationally and that this city will be of the same distinction as the Wall Street in its own field as no place in the world can claim the advantages more than Masdar. By adapting to renewable energy the UAE contributes to shaping the future of the world and presents a dignified service to humanity as was expressed by the President of Iceland. This is consistent with the country’s approach of getting involved in every sphere that brings development and stability across the world. On the country’s seriousness to execute all that it announces, which has earned it worldwide credibility, Iceland’s President indicated that the UAE’s opening of the first stage of Masdar Institute proves its faith in the diversity of resources and its seriousness to build a city that is run on renewable energy. This also proved to the world that such a goal can be achieved and will encourage many countries to follow the same path.

Perhaps what gives statements made by the President of Iceland the value and importance is the fact that Iceland gives a lot of attention to renewable energy, undertakes a comprehensive overview of international plans in this field and relies on renewable energy to generate hundred percent of its electrical energy. The vast international appreciation of the UAE’s role in pushing forward the international thrust toward renewable energy has not come out of nowhere but is the result of policies and inspirations that have been turned into practical and tangible steps. An indication of this fact is that the UAE invested around $7 billion on clean energy projects in 2008 and this investment is set to reach $50 billion by 2015. The country is also planning to ensure that its renewable energy sources contribute about 7 percent of its energy requirements by 2020.