By Claire Ferris-Lay
Deal will see Masdar academics team up with Scottish universities on green energy goals
Scotland’s First Minister is expected to ink a deal with Abu Dhabi’s green city Masdar next week to boost research into renewable energy, it was reported on Sunday.
The partnership, due to be signed by Alex Salmond at the World Energy Future Summit, will see Masdar academics partner with Scottish universities to study new technologies to power wind, solar, wave and tidal machines, the Scotsman said.
Salmon is also expected to confirm a new air route between Scotland and the Middle East, the newspaper said.
“The work Masdar is taking forward on leading us to a low-carbon society is in perfect synchronisation with the work we are doing here in Scotland.” Salmond told the newspaper.
“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.”
Masdar, the cornerstone of the UAE capital’s clean energy plans, in October said it had scrapped plans for Masdar City to be carbon-neutral from its launch and pushed back the city’s first phase by two years to 2015. The Abu Dhabi-based in November said it had cut its staff numbers by nine percent as it looked to create a leaner organisation.
Masdar chief executive, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, last year requested Scotland to fast-track a detailed framework for action in a bid to grow renewable energy research and investment opportunities between the two countries, Salmond told Arabian Business in November.
Scotland’s first minister said he hoped to sign a “significant” research and investment deal with the green city.
“The agreement potentially with Masdar we regard as very significant. In addition to things announced we are expecting significant announcements to come,” he said.
“I hope and believe that some time in the early New Year we will be able to sign an agreement for action between Masdar and the Scottish enterprise.”
Salmond declined to say how much the deal would be worth but said it could potentially be valued at “billions” of dollars.
Scotland’s First Minister said long term investment is vital to rebalancing the global economy. Scottish exports to the Middle East are around £1.02bn ($1.6bn), according to official figures.