Last Updated: Wed Jan 18, 2012 16:22 pm (KSA) 13:22 pm (GMT)

UAE-Spain JV plans $5-bln solar spend; Abu Dhabi to host global water conference next year

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is aiming to get 7 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. (File photo)
Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is aiming to get 7 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020. (File photo)

Torresol Energy, a joint venture between Spain’s Sener and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, plans to invest up to $5 billion in the short-term to build concentrated solar power plants (CSP) in Spain, the United States and the Middle East, its president said on Wednesday.

Enrique Sendagorta said the company was aiming to add about 6,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity over the next three years and that one of the plants could be built in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

“We are developing a pipeline of projects in Spain, the U.S. and in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region,” he told Reuters at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

“The investment would range between $3.5 billion to $5 billion,” he said.

Tendagorta said the firm is optimistic of securing funding for the upcoming projects despite tough market conditions.

“Foreign banks are financing solar plants because it represents a steady cash flow,” he said.

Torresol Energy, a 60/40 joint venture between Sener and Abu Dhabi government owned green energy firm Masdar, connected two new 50 MW solar plants in Spain to the grid earlier this month.

Between them, Valle 1 and Valle 2 are expected to produce 160 gigawatt hours (GWh) of carbon-free electricity a year.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi is aiming to get 7 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

Water conference

Abu Dhabi will host an international summit on water next year, Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, the head of a project to build a zero-carbon city on the outskirts of the UAE capital, said Wednesday.

“It gives me a great pleasure to announce (the) launch of the International Water Summit 2013 that will take place in Abu Dhabi next January,” Jaber told reporters at the World Future Energy Summit in the Emirati capital.

“As countries... seek to prosper to raise their standard of living and provide their communities with health and security, we are all facing serious challenges,” he said.

“In our tireless effort to develop, we have consumed and almost exhausted our water resources,” said Jaber.

The Middle East and North Africa are home to 6.3 percent of the world’s population but have just 1.4 percent of the globe’s renewable fresh water, Jaber told the conference.

“We have to launch studies in order to find new solutions to satisfy the needs of our future generations,” said the UAE’s environment and water minister, Rashed Ahmad bin Fahd.

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) warned in 2009 that water resources in the capital may face depletion in 50 years unless prompt action is taken.

The emirate, which sits on some 95 percent of the country’s oil, aims to be a center for renewable energy, through projects such as Masdar City, which is to be powered solely by renewables.

Masdar, a government initiative established in 2006 to advance renewable energy and sustainable technologies, is building the zero-carbon city as an example of future eco-friendly cities.

But the development has slowed down, pushing its completion date from 2016 to between 2020 and 2025.

The estimated cost of the city has also dropped from $22 billion to no more than $19.8 billion.

Comments »

Post Your Comment »

Social Media »