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Masdar to build renewable energy-powered desalination plant

Masdar to build renewable energy-powered desalination plant
Masdar will coordinate the pilot program with key Abu Dhabi stakeholders. Photo from Masdar

Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, has unveiled a pilot program to test and develop advanced energy-efficient seawater desalination technologies which will use renewable energy sources.

The pilot program, initiated through the effort of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, aims to address water security in the region using an environmentally friendly approach.

“With the U.A.E.’s growing economy and rising population, it is crucial that we identify a sustainable desalination solution to meet our long-term water needs,” Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Masdar. “Connecting desalination technologies to renewable energy enables us to capitalize on our abundant resources, such as solar, as a solution to improve water security.”

In collaboration with technology partners and investors, the program includes three test sites in the U.A.E. and will operate for about three and a half years. A functional commercial scale facility is expected to be produced by 2020.

According to Masdar, this will help bridge the gap between research and development and commercialization, taking the technologies outside of universities and research centers.

The Gulf region, one of the driest parts of the world with limited water resources, accounts for about 50 percent of the world’s desalinated water. In the U.A.E., seawater desalination entails around 10 times more energy than surface fresh water production and its costs are estimated to increase by 300 percent.

The desalination pilot program was announced during the inaugural International Water Summit, a participating event of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, one of the largest conferences on sustainability in the Middle East held on January 15 to 17. – EcoSeed Staff



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