x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Denmark and Abu Dhabi sign clean energy deal

Denmark signed a wide-ranging clean energy cooperation deal with Abu Dhabi yesterday that paves the way for commercial partnerships.

Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs after the signing ceremony of an MoU on the opening day of World Future Energy Summit 2014 yesterday at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Ravindranath K / The National
Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs after the signing ceremony of an MoU on the opening day of World Future Energy Summit 2014 yesterday at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Ravindranath K / The National

Denmark signed a wide-ranging clean energy cooperation deal with Abu Dhabi yesterday that paves the way for commercial partnerships across a range of areas.

The Scandinavian country has set itself renewable energy targets of 30 per cent by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2050 and argued that its experience would provide valuable lessons for the emirate.

“Our plans are the most ambitious in the world, but we’re on schedule,” said Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the ceremony on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit in the capital. “Even the abundant oil and gas resources of Abu Dhabi will eventually run dry. This country needs to diversify its economy sooner rather than later.”

Signed by Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar, and Rasmus Helveg Petersen, the Danish minister of development cooperation, the agreement spans sustainable development policy, the commercial development of renewables and carbon capture and injection.

Among the first initiatives to come from the agreement, which was not assigned a dollar amount, are plans for a “Danish incubator” at Masdar City to serve as a hub for technology companies. Abu Dhabi will also benefit from educational training and job exchange programmes.

Green technology now contributes 11 per cent of Denmark’s exports, Prince Frederik noted at a signing ceremony that was also attended by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister.

“Sustainable and clean energy is also good business,” he said.

Prominent among Danish exporters is Vestas, the wind turbine producer that has struggled through nine consecutive quarters of losses as it battled Chinese producers for market share.

Optimism about the company, which remains unprofitable, has buoyed after its order book for 2013 rose to 5,214 megawatts, up from 3,738MW the previous year.

In 2011, the company won the emirate’s US$1.5 million Zayed Future Energy Prize, which honours achievement among companies, individuals and non-governmental organisations.

ayee@thenational.ae