The UAE Solar Atlas has been launched at the Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 in Brazil. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) and partners have announced the commissioning of the Atlas that will help in assessing the technical feasibility of any proposed renewable energy project.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 that is being held from June 20 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The beta version of the Atlas was released in April. The online version of the Atlas can be accessed by government organisations or private enterprises for assessing the technical feasibility of future projects. The data would also be fed into Irena’s global geo-referenced renewable energy potentials database.
A delegation from Masdar Institute is actively participating in the summit as part of the overall Masdar initiative. Masdar Institute is part of the UAE Pavilion that also hosts Masdar and other Mubadala entities. The Solar Atlas is prominently displayed for the benefit of the visitors and stakeholders. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Special Envoy for Energy & Climate Change, UAE, and CEO of Masdar, said that the launch of the Solar Atlas comes at a time when investment in solar energy is witnessing an uptrend.
Commenting over the Atlas, Adnan Amin, director-general of Irena, said, “This multi-stakeholder initiative will immensely help investors to assess risks and commercial viability before implementing new solar energy projects. Masdar is proud to be part of this project that will provide further momentum to greater adoption of clean energy sources.”
Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, president, Masdar Institute, said, “The commissioning of the Solar Atlas nsures renewable energy markets regularly receive reliable and stable data on the annual solar irradiance. Such data can prove extremely valuable for deploying various technologies including roof or land area for photovoltaic cells.”
The UAE Atlas project set up a team to achieve two objectives – to collect and combine existing databases on wind and solar potentials in the UAE into one open web-portal platform from which solar and wind energy maps can be accessed; and train university students and researchers in solar/wind resource mapping, both to run data collection and analysis and to continue education of future participants.