ABU DHABI: Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, announced on Thursday that Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan will deliver a keynote speech during the launch of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) at the opening ceremony of the sixth annual World Future Energy Summit and first International Water Summit on Jan.15. Scheduled to take place from Jan. 13-17, ADSW is the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East and will address the interconnected challenges that affect the global adoption of renewable energy, water security and sustainable development.
Recently, Jordan announced the region’s first feed-in tariff to support domestic renewable energy production and growth in the sector. This innovative policy supports Jordan’s National Energy Strategy, which calls for 7 per cent of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2015, rising to 10 per cent by 2020. The new strategy is expected to attract around $1.4 to $2.1 billion in investments through 2020.
Jordan is also taking steps to address its water challenge and create a sustainable economy. The government of Jordan has implemented a $8.3 billion national water strategy to sustainably manage its water resources and preserve water quality while pursuing economic growth. This year, three Jordanian companies are showcasing their energy and environmental projects at the World Future Energy Summit.
“It is an honour to have Her Majesty as a featured speaker at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. She is an influential voice and a strong advocate for sustainable development throughout the region. The Middle East, through a collaborative effort, has an opportunity to capitalise on the sustainable growth opportunities that renewable energy and clean technology have to offer,” said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.
Uniting more than 30,000 participants from 150 countries, ADSW will gather leaders from academia, industry and government to tackle the business, technology and financial challenges required for sustainable development, renewable energy adoption as well as water and energy security.
ADSW will include five integrated events - the third general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, the sixth World Future Energy Summit, the International Renewable Energy Conference, the International Water Summit and the fifth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony. A number of other events will also be taking place on the sidelines of ADSW, including the first energy ministerial of South American and Arab countries (ASPA).
An electric-powered motorcycle that can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds — faster than a Porsche 911 — visited Masdar City on Thursday. Called the Zerotracer, the fully enclosed motorcycle was showcased to students and faculty at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, many of whom are conducting research on electric vehicles and other sustainable transportation technologies.The Zerotracer is designed by the Swiss engineering company Designwerk. It has a top speed of 240 km/h and can travel 300 km on a single charge. “It makes perfect sense to have a zero-emission electric vehicle at Masdar City, a sustainable urban development where the electricity is obtained from solar energy,” said Naser Almarzooqi, head of facilities management at Masdar City. The vehicle set a record for distance covered by an electric car in February 2011 by traveling 30,000 kilometres in 80 days as part of the Zero Emission Race.
The race featured four zero emission vehicles and the route took teams through Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.Making its first tour of the Middle East, the Zerotracer will be showcased at the sixth World Future Energy Summit from Jan.15-17 during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. “Abu Dhabi’s leadership in renewable energy and sustainability is well-known throughout the world, making it a great fit for a zero-emission vehicle like the Zerotracer,” said Tobias WŸlser, one of the designers of the Zerotracer.
Masdar has been piloting various sustainable transportation solutions. Its Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system of electric-powered, automated vehicles has been in operation since 2010. The innovative system reached a milestone of having served 500,000 passengers in November 2012.
Masdar has also been working in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to test the viability of electric vehicles and assess the impact of climate conditions on their battery capacity. There are currently 10 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicles in operation at Masdar City.
Masdar Institute’s collaborative partnership project with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport (DoT) seeks to evaluate sustainable transportation planning options for the emirate and investigate the feasibility of large-scale deployment of electric vehicles.
Another project titled ‘Embedded, Mobile and Cloud Computing Systems for Intelligent Vehicles’ aims to develop pluggable systems and devices that can be interoperated and connected to back-end cloud platforms by mobile wireless networks.