Dr Schmidt: heading new centre

Dr Schmidt: heading new centre

iEnergy will up use of renewables

April 2014

A CENTRE has been announced that will help develop technologies contributing to Abu Dhabi’s goal of having renewable sources contribute 7 per cent of energy production capacity by 2020.

The Institute Centre for Energy (iEnergy) has been set up by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies.

iEnergy will help meet the 7 per cent goal by producing knowledge and technologies that will lead to the establishment of the UAE as a global leader in sustainable energy production for supply and distribution as well as efficient use and storage of energy. The collaborative research environment that iEnergy will create within Masdar Institute and the wider regional research ecosystem will also help position the UAE as a trailblazer in energy markets of the future, a statement from the institute said.

The centre is to be headed by Dr Jens Ejbye Schmidt, an internationally well-known researcher in the field of bioenergy and professor in chemical and environmental engineering at Masdar Institute. It will focus on facilitating research in the areas of sustainable energy production, energy efficiency, advanced materials and biochemicals for energy applications, as well as thermal and electrical energy storage.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, president, Masdar Institute, said the creation of iEnergy reflects a commitment to bring all energy-related research projects under a more focused group. The new centre aims to generate knowledge and create technologies required to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and help Abu Dhabi become an energy hub of the future.

As a focal point for energy-related projects, iEnergy will work closely with the Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment (ReCREMA) and the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC). ReCREMA has contributed its resources and knowledge to developing a publicly-accessible atlas of solar and wind resources, particularly for developing countries. The SBRC is a non-profit consortium with Boeing, Etihad and UOP Honeywell as founding members. It is focused on the joint research and advancement of sustainable aviation biofuels.

Dr Schmidt said: “iEnergy aims to achieve research excellence recognised through application of research findings locally and internationally and publication of influential academic papers, while organising and participating in high-caliber international conferences. It will also identify research directions that leverage existing strengths, align with the institute’s strategic vision and respond to opportunities within Abu Dhabi.”

iEnergy will also pool resources to support world-class research by coordinating funding opportunities and supporting strategic partnerships that catalyse external funding opportunities.

Abu Dhabi continues to achieve milestones in the energy sector, while additionally making headway in future energy with the launch of several major projects. Masdar has commissioned London Array – one of the biggest wind power projects in the UK – as well as several solar energy projects in Spain and Africa. In the UAE, Masdar’s Shams-1 solar power project remains one of the largest in the region. The creation of iEnergy builds on Masdar Institute’s efforts to pioneer renewable energy research in the UAE.

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