A global clean energy powerhouse active in over 40 countries, Masdar has a combined global project portfolio of 15GW of clean energy capacity and investments valued at over USD20 billion.
With much of the world’s focus on the energy transition, how is Masdar supporting the country’s ambitious sustainability goals?
The UAE has always been at the forefront of the energy transition, with our leadership recognizing early-on the threat of climate change and taking decisive action to help mitigate it. This early recognition led to the establishment of Masdar in 2006, at a time when few other countries were focusing on the development of renewable energy. Today, over a decade and a half later, Masdar has transformed into one of the fastest-growing renewable energy companies in the world, active in over 40 countries. While Masdar has changed considerably over the years, our mission has not. We were established to support the UAE’s position as a global energy and climate leader, and that remains at the heart of everything we do. The UAE also continues to take the lead on global climate action, becoming the first country in the Middle East to ratify the Paris Agreement and the first in the Middle East and North Africa region to announce a net-zero strategic initiative. Masdar is playing a key role in helping the country to achieve these ambitions, through world-leading clean energy projects right here in the UAE. As one of the most sustainable urban developments in the world and a global hub of innovation and technology, Masdar City is also supporting the UAE’s sustainability agenda through pioneering research and development in the sustainability sector.
How do you ensure that Masdar’s approach to R&D and innovation continues to be at the cutting edge?
As the only planned and approved R&D cluster in Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is a pioneering force for R&D innovation in sustainability. Home to over 1,000 companies, Masdar City is dedicated to supporting the development of innovative technologies across various sectors including renewables, energy storage, AI, health, space, and mobility. Masdar City is paving the way for innovation in sustainable transportation, implementing a pedestrian-first public transportation system that ensures clean and efficient transportation throughout the city. These technologies include the region’s first autonomous shuttle service, NAVYA; the first electric eco bus in the region; and the world’s first personal rapid transport system. We have also made important contributions to innovation in sustainable agriculture and UAE food security through Masdar City, working with Masdar Farms to develop a small-scale hydroponic farm that grows a variety of fresh produce. In partnership with BP, Masdar City launched the region’s first sustainability focused start-up accelerator, The Catalyst, in 2018. In addition to driving world-class innovations, Masdar City also serves as the home to the world’s first graduate-level research-based AI university, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence. On the clean energy side, Masdar has a proud history of driving innovation across its world-class projects and clean energy technologies. These include Hywind, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, and Batwind, the world’s first battery storage project connected to an offshore floating wind farm, as well as several other first of their kind technologies that are already helping to shape the future of energy. We will continue to be a leading force in R&D and innovation that drives positive change in the sustainability sector.
Looking ahead, what are Masdar’s main priorities over the next year?
This year represents a critical year for Masdar, as TAQA and ADNOC join Mubadala as shareholders in Masdar. This new shareholding structure will supercharge our growth, transforming Masdar into a truly global clean energy powerhouse as we aim to grow our portfolio capacity to over 100GW by the end of this decade, with aspirations to double that in the following years. Masdar’s focus over the next year and beyond is clear: continue to drive substantial growth across our global portfolio by leveraging the collective might of our new shareholders, while remaining a key enabler of the UAE’s climate leadership.