x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Salmond leaps at chance to warm Scottish green energy with Masdar

Millions of dirhams are expected to be invested in renewable energy projects in Scotland after the signing of an agreement between Masdar and the Scottish government.

Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, is due to fly to Abu Dhabi today and sign the
Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, is due to fly to Abu Dhabi today and sign the "landmark" partnership agreement at the World Future Energy Summit in the capital on Tuesday. AFP

Millions of dirhams are expected to be invested in renewable energy projects in Scotland after the signing this week of an agreement between Masdar and the Scottish government.

The agreement will mark the start of a research partnership between Abu Dhabi's Masdar Institute and the Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) - an umbrella organisation of 12 Scottish universities cooperating on renewables. It is also expected to lead to direct investment flowing from the emirate to Scotland.

Niall Stuart, the chief executive of the green energy trade association Scottish Renewables, described the agreement as "potentially highly significant" because it could offer Scottish research projects access to Masdar's huge capital reserves.

Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, is due to fly to Abu Dhabi today and sign the "landmark" partnership agreement at the World Future Energy Summit in the capital on Tuesday.

"It is clear that the work Masdar is taking forward on leading us to a low-carbon society is in perfect synchronisation with the work we are doing," Mr Salmond said.

"This is the first agreement of its kind between Masdar and an individual nation and will work towards developing further university research into renewable energy."

With 250 academics and 700 researchers involved in green technology its projects, ETP hopes the link-up with Masdar will enable not only research opportunities but the chance to forge global initiatives "to meet the challenges we all face," according to Simon Puttock, the executive director of of ETP.

The hope is Scottish expertise in areas such as wind, wave and tidal power can be dove-tailed with Masdar's lead in solar power, as well as developments in hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture.

Scientists and engineers from Abu Dhabi and Scotland are expected to begin working together on projects such as the design of generators to boost wind turbine efficiency, the testing of tidal energy machines, and research into ultra-thin solar cells.

The partnership is one of several deals first mooted during Mr Salmond's visit to the UAE and Qatar late last year. A spokesman for the Scottish government said an announcement was imminent on additional direct air routes by Middle Eastern airlines to Scotland.

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