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IRENA scholars to graduate from Masdar in June

Eighteen scholars have worked on two year research programs.

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Solar panels from the air (image for illustrative purposes).
Solar panels from the air (image for illustrative purposes).

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have announced that 18 IRENA scholars will successfully graduate in June 2013 after completing their two-year long programme.

The IRENA Scholarship Programme at Masdar Institute is offered with the support of the UAE Government. This program places exceptional students from around the world in Masdar Institute’s high-level research environment and connects them to IRENA’s expertise in renewable energy policies, financing and technology. IRENA Scholars attend a lecture programme aimed at presenting the latest developments in renewable energy. They are offered the opportunity of drawing from this broad knowledge base in order to formulate and successfully pursue a Master’s thesis related to the sustainable renewable energy sources that IRENA promotes.

The IRENA scholars, 95% of whom are from developing countries, have undertaken a two-year research-intensive Master’s programme on various renewable energy-related topics. Their research projects cover areas including: ‘Stability Analysis of Diesel and Photovoltaic (PV) Hybrid Micro-grids’; ‘Developing an Innovation Cluster for Renewable Energy at Masdar City’; ‘Analysis and Modeling of Wind Potential’; and ‘Evaluation of Policies and Financial Mechanisms to Support Renewable Energy Deployment’.

The first group of IRENA scholars will receive their degrees during the third commencement ceremony on 12 June, which will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The ceremony will be attended by officials from IRENA and Masdar Institute.

“We are proud of this deserving and diverse group of IRENA scholarship students,” IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin said. “By engaging them in the lecture program and at various IRENA events, the scholarship programme has provided the students with a wonderful chance to expand their knowledge and professional network, as well as giving them an insight into the workings of an intergovernmental organization. We wish this first group of IRENA scholars, and all the graduates, the best of luck for the future and hope they realise their tremendous potential to contribute to the renewable energy sector.”

Masdar Institute has a multifaceted collaboration with IRENA, including contributing to the international initiative IRENA is leading to develop the Global Renewable Energy Atlas. The Global Atlas, launched at the IRENA Assembly in January 2013, provides open access to comprehensive solar and wind information which aims to raise awareness of renewable energy potential, as well as improving the market environment for renewable energy technologies.

Masdar Institute has contributed to the initiative by sharing the UAE Solar Atlas – a precise satellite-based map developed and validated by the UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment, and by hosting the application along with large amounts of data and supporting the development of the interface.

Reem Al Junaibi, an IRENA scholar who researched the ‘Reliable Operation of Power Grids in the Presence of Increasing Penetration of Renewable Energy in UAE, said: “The programme gives a unique opportunity of being surrounded by people who want to make a change for the better. I love being part of this movement, and contribute my part when it comes to addressing global challenges with practical solutions. I thank IRENA, Masdar Institute, and the UAE Government for this opportunity.”

Another IRENA scholar Edwin Fonkwe Fongang from Cameroon conducted research on ‘Design and Implementation of Single-Phase Module Integrated Converters with Maximum Power Point Tracking’. Fongang said: “I have gained deeper insight on how renewable energy can contribute to sustainable development by ensuring energy security, promoting economic prosperity, while protecting the environment. I plan on someday going back to my country Cameroon and making my contributions to its sustainable development.”

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