In line with its leading role in developing the energy sector and working on policies and regulations that support sustainable development in the emirate, the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi (DoE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Khalifa University of Science and Technology.
The agreement is aimed at strengthening partnerships with the government and academic sectors to exchange knowledge and experiences in developing advanced policies for renewable energy and sustainable and smart technologies. It is expected to lead to improvements in enhancing energy efficiency, demand side management, and in supporting joint efforts to strengthen Abu Dhabi's position as a global hub for clean energy and sustainability.
The MoU comes within the framework of the existing strategic cooperation between the DoE and the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, which extends to many fields related to energy, water, and enhancing energy efficiency. The latest initiative under the cooperation is the conducting of a test for recycled water in Abu Dhabi confirming that it is free of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the coronavirus that causes Covid 19.
The signing of the MoU came during a meeting held today in the presence of His Excellency Eng. Mohammed bin Jarsh Al Falasi, Undersecretary of the DoE, and Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, and a number of dignitaries from both partners.
His Excellency Eng. Mohammed bin Jarsh Al Falasi said: “The Department of Energy is strengthening its strategic partnerships in order to support efforts to develop the energy sector and provide all means to upgrade its capabilities in energy and water production, as well as to deploy modern technology, enhance energy efficiency and manage natural resources in Abu Dhabi. We are delighted to partner with Khalifa University of Science and Technology – an esteemed educational establishment that possesses vast knowledge and expertise in modern technologies. The renowned institution has the capacity to support our efforts in developing advanced renewable energy and sustainable energy generation and the means to integrate them into a smart grid, thereby enhancing energy efficiency in cooperation with various industrial, academic, and governmental sectors.
His Excellency added: “The coming period will witness full cooperation between the department and the university’s teams in order to exchange relevant experiences and to work closely to reach a clear and comprehensive approach that includes sustainable energy and ways to integrate renewable energy, deploy smart grid technologies, as well as energy efficiency and other efforts. In turn, the DoE will work to expand the circle of our local and international partnerships to enhance our efforts to contribute to achieving Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.”
Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi said: “As a research-intensive institution, Khalifa University is delighted to partner with the Department of Energy and contribute to the UAE’s drive towards achieving sustainable technologies in energy and water, while enhancing energy efficiency. We are already collaborating with the DoE at various levels, and this MoU will further strengthen our partnership, enabling us to provide our expertise and share our experience. Khalifa University currently houses some of the leading sustainability-focused research centres that focus on clean energy and advanced smart technologies, which will significantly enhance the range of our cooperation, especially in building capacities and developing new technologies.”
Dr. Al Hammadi added: “Academic and government partnerships are essential towards laying the right policy framework to support sustainable power generation, energy storage, renewable energy integration, smart grid, and demand-side energy efficiency. We believe through this collaboration, we will contribute to the sustainable development of Abu Dhabi and its energy sector, and to make Abu Dhabi an international hub for clean, renewable energy and sustainable technologies.”
The MoU covers various specific areas of cooperation, such as working to partner industry, academia, and government for the development of energy policies, advanced renewable energy, and sustainable technologies, as well as sustainable power generation, energy storage, renewable energy integration, smart grid, and demand-side energy and water efficiency that are important to Abu Dhabi’s sustainable development.
The agreement also calls for exploring technologies that tackle challenges of efficient and economic power generation, such as renewable energy, energy from waste, mitigation of CO2 emissions from gas-fired power generation, energy efficiency and efficient end-user consumption. This also includes testing of new technologies and/or products.
Moreover, the MoU will see the two parties collaborate on system integration, flexibility, and long-term plan for increased share of renewable energy, in addition to techno-economic analyses of sustainable energy tools, technologies and frameworks to support more informed decision-making for government and industry.
It also covers both existing and future areas of hydrogen fuels, biofuels, and other alternative fuels in the energy sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This includes carbon neutral hydrogen production using gasification, electrolysis, thermochemical and reforming technologies; large-scale hydrogen transport infrastructure; large scale onsite and geological hydrogen storage; and hydrogen use for electricity generation, fuels, chemicals, and manufacturing. Efficient and environment-friendly cooling systems such as alternative refrigerants with low global warming potential can also be added to the list, along with transformation in the energy sector and the future outlook in the various aspects and sectors of demand and supply in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Furthermore, the two partners agree to collaborate on identifying and studying proposals for future energy sector policies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; improving and proposing policy aspects in the policy framework for the Emirate’s energy sector; collaborating in areas and activities of mutual interest; and contributing to align Khalifa University virtual research institute (VRI) research with the DoE’s interests and priorities.
Other areas of cooperation outlined in the agreement include the exchange of quantitative information on data, statistics, costs, and benefits; as well as analytical information including renewable energy technologies, policies and finance instruments, and regulatory measures; in addition to verifying the data and statistics provided.
The two parties agreed to work collaboratively to promote training and capacity building, by designing and implementing a secondment program, which will focus on fields of energy strategy and policy, technology roadmaps, and long-term scenarios.
The MoU also calls on the two partners to collaborate and coordinate efforts to review the results and methodology of the Abu Dhabi Integrated Energy Model and any available models in the field of integrated energy modelling that are relevant to the process of developing strategies, policies, and decision-making in the Abu Dhabi energy sector. They will additionally explore any opportunities to undertake joint projects and research in the ‘Areas of Cooperation’ as outlined in the MoU.