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Masdar Institute, IRENA and Stakeholders Officially Release UAE Solar Atlas at Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 in Brazil (final add)
2012-06-20 15:52:48
WAM Rio De Janeiro-Brazil/Abu Dhabi, Jun 20th, 2012 (WAM)--World. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken a leading role in initiating the national contribution to the IRENA Global Atlas Project. Other local stakeholders include the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), UAE National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) and Masdar Power.

International partners in the IRENA Global Atlas initiative include the Energy Research Centre (ERC) of the UK, ParisTech (France), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the US, and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) of the World Bank.

Dr Steve Griffith, Executive Director of Institute Initiatives, Masdar Institute, pointed out that the UAE Solar Atlas is part of the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy project and developed by Masdar Institute's UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment. Dr. Hosni Ghedira, Director of the Center, represents Masdar Institute, while Ali Nimer, Acting Director, Administration and Management Services, represents IRENA.

A team of 12 researchers and engineers contributed to building profiles of solar and wind resource quality, land use, and grid connectivity in collaboration with local and international partners.

Dr. Hosni Ghedira said that the UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment is mandated to develop the UAE solar and wind energy resource maps, in addition to developing regional knowledge and leadership in renewable energy assessment and mapping for the Arabian Peninsula and countries with similar climate, mainly in Africa.

A robust satellite-based solar mapping tool developed and validated at the Center was utilized for producing hourly/daily/yearly of three solar irradiance maps for the Solar Atlas. The accurate assessment of the three solar irradiance components helps to simulate the efficiency of available power generation technologies. An accurate assessment of the spatial distribution of solar resources, with detailed and bankable data for specific potential sites, is expected to help attract investments for creating new solar energy capacity.

Dr. Hosni Ghedira added that collaborating on capacity development among stakeholders in participating countries, as well as assisting developing countries to build their renewable energy technology databases were the other aspects.

The UAE Solar Atlas is the outcome of the agreement signed between Masdar Institute and IRENA. The agreement announced at the World Future Energy Summit 2012 in Abu Dhabi also covers exchange of information; joint implementation of project activities, analyses and research studies; as well as defining technical compatibility and methodological harmonization and data transparency protocols for solar and wind data.

For IRENA, the project is a model for its capacity-building activities in the developing world, and for augmenting its own capacity to generate and manage a global potentials atlas/database.

The UAE Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment at Masdar Institute aims to develop regional knowledge and leadership with participation and data-sharing opportunities for IRENA and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) member states. The UAE Atlas project set up a team to achieve two objectives - to collect and combine existing databases on wind and solar potentials in the UAE into one open web-portal platform from which solar and wind energy maps can be accessed; and train university students and researchers in solar/wind resource mapping, both to run data collection and analysis and to continue education of future participants.

Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.

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