ARKANSAS, Oct 7 (Future Headlines)- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has inaugurated its first commercial-scale wind project, a significant step in its drive to expand renewable energy sources in the run-up to hosting COP 28, the climate summit scheduled for next month. Managed by renewable energy company Masdar, this 103.5-megawatt project is expected to supply over 23,000 homes annually across four locations.

According to Mohammad Abdelqader El-Ramahi, Masdar’s Chief Green Hydrogen Officer, this project will lead to the annual displacement of approximately 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), effectively reducing the carbon footprint. It marks a significant contribution to the UAE’s sustainability goals and aligns with the nation’s commitment to mitigating climate change.

What sets this project apart is its ability to harness wind energy effectively, even in low wind speed conditions, which are often encountered in the UAE due to its arid climate. Collaborating with PowerChina and GoldWind International, Masdar achieved this feat by capitalizing on advancements in materials science and aerodynamics, making large-scale wind power generation feasible despite the region’s challenging weather conditions, characterized by high temperatures and humidity.

Masdar, a renewable energy company, recently became partially owned by three prominent Abu Dhabi state-controlled entities: utility company TAQA (with a 43% stake), sovereign wealth fund Mubadala (holding 33%), and state oil giant ADNOC (with a 24% stake). This strategic collaboration positions Masdar as a key player in advancing sustainable energy initiatives in the UAE.

Sultan Al Jaber, the CEO of ADNOC and the Chairman of Masdar is set to assume the role of President for the upcoming UN climate change conference COP28. However, this choice has elicited criticism from climate activists, who express concerns about the compatibility of his roles in the fossil fuel industry and climate leadership.

Dalal Matar Al Shamsi, a natural resources specialist in the geology department at the United Arab Emirates University, highlighted the UAE’s multifaceted approach to energy. She emphasized that the country’s endeavors encompass nuclear energy, solar energy, and now wind energy. Considering these collective efforts, Al Shamsi expressed optimism about achieving promising results by the UAE’s centennial in 2071.

This project signifies a pivotal milestone in the UAE’s commitment to renewable energy and addressing climate change. As host of COP28, the UAE aims to set an example by advancing renewable energy projects that not only contribute to its sustainability goals but also inspire global efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources and combat climate change.

Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White