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Adnoc and Masdar announce solar car challenge

Event will take place 16-19 January, 2015.

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A solar-powered car in action.
A solar-powered car in action.

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Masdar have teamed up to launch the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (ADSC), the first ever solar car competition to take place in the UAE.

The 1,200km race will start and finish in Abu Dhabi and will take place on 16-19 January, 2015. The race will coincide with Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and will end at the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit.

The race is sanctioned by the International Solarcar Federation (ISF) and jointly organised by Global EEE and Professional Sports Group. Race regulations limit the energy used to only that collected from solar radiation, albeit starting with a fully charged battery.

The cars used in ISF events are designed and built by university students and around 20 university teams from around the world will take part in the race. The Abu Dhabi-based Petroleum Institute (PI) plans to bring together engineering and electrical engineering students to enter a team from the UAE.

“As the region’s renewable energy pioneer, committed to clean technology innovation, the UAE is proud to welcome the solar car challenge to the emirates,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar.

“This competition drives both human capacity development and ingenuity that can further advance energy efficiency technologies within the transportation sector. We hope that this display of friendly competition from global universities will inspire local youth to pursue degrees in science-based fields.”

The UAE is keen to position itself as a leader in renewable energy, despite being one of the world's major oil producers. Abu Dhabi has established several clean energy research departments at its Masdar Institute and it is home to the Shams 1 100MW concentrated solar power plant, developed by Masdar. DEWA, Dubai’s government utility, is drawing up tender documents for a 100MW PV solar plant.

“As one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, ADNOC has a proud history of conservation and environmental responsibility and is committed to ensure a harmonious balance between its operational needs and the natural resources,” said Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, ADNOC director general.

“Through our educational institutions, ADNOC is committed to preparing the promising young UAE nationals to specialize in the various energy field creating experts in the domain. On the other hand, ADNOC works closely with Masdar, to enhance the technical expertise of our workforce through effective knowledge transfer. We value our long and successful partnership with Masdar, and look forward to continuing to play a role in helping the United Arab Emirates meet its energy needs.”

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