Masdar and DOE join forces
MOU to facilitate cooperation and business development.
Masdar and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote collaboration on clean and sustainable energy technologies.
The agreement, signed at DOE by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Masdar CEO Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, sets out to establish a framework for cooperation in three key areas – carbon capture and sequestration, water and bio-fuels, and building technology. The agreement also opens the door for scientific and technical exchanges and joint research and development of clean energy technologies.
“Our two nations are strongly aligned when it comes to energy issues and we both recognize it is imperative that we start to change the way we consume energy,” said Al Jaber.
A detailed work plan will be developed over the coming months, with quarterly updates and annual reviews to ensure the implementation of the framework agreement.
A key component of the agreement is that it will provide better and easier access for small and medium sized enterprises operating in clean technology clusters within the United Arab Emirates and the United States to enter their respective markets, which in turn will help to boost trade, investment and job opportunities. The UAE is the top Middle East market for US goods - in 2009 the value of U.S. exports to the UAE was US$12.1bn.
The agreement also facilitates Masdar’s ability to participate in DOE funded projects and for the DOE to have fast-track demonstration and pilot opportunities in Masdar with research and development support from Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a post-graduate research institute dedicated to renewable energy, environmental technologies and sustainability.
Observers lauded Masdar's efforts to attain the technology needed to make renewables a viable energy alternative.
"This is the one major element in the renewables value chain that this region is lagging behind, and Masdar's efforts should bring about a much required acceleration," said Abhay Bhargava, manager at the energy and power practice at Frost & Sullivan.
Bhargava thinks there are additional ways for governments in the Middle East to gain access to clean energy technology. "There should also be an attempt to encourage the application of these technologies through private sector investments by the local businesses. Models of private-private partnerships can surely find value here," he said.