Members of Masdar Institute’s YFEL Program Launch Two Project Initiatives at WFES 2013

January 22, 2013

YFEL Members Interact with Global Industry and Government Stakeholders on Sustainability and Future Energy

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 22 January, 2013: Masdar Institute of Science of Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technology, today announced the launch of two new clean energy projects that underscored the participation of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2013.
A Masdar Institute outreach initiative and a key element of WFES, the YFEL program justified its inherent effectiveness among the students and young professionals with the launch of two extraordinary proposals “ an inexpensive clean energy project and an innovative off-grid solar power project. These projects illustrate the remarkable contribution of YFEL in triggering the creativity of the youth and guiding them into developing projects dedicated to clean energy and sustainability.
In addition, the YFEL stand also witnessed a presidential address and speeches by government and non-government leaders, expert panels and debates. The events further demonstrated the status of YFEL as a vital platform for members to participate in global forums and engage industry leaders in discussions on developments in advanced energy and sustainability.
Nearly 30,000 participants convened for the WFES 2013 that was held from 15-17 January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). The event was organized under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Among the dignitaries received at the YFEL stand during WFES 2013 included His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, who interacted with YFEL members and urged them to pursue their ambitions in obtaining innovations in sustainable technologies. Emirati philanthropist His Excellency Sultan bin Rashed Al Dhaheri, member of the Federal National Council and the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Economic Council, also visited the stand and cheered the YFEL members for their commitment to finding clean energy solutions.
Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, addressed the gathering on “Sustainability, renewable energy and climate change” at the YFEL stand, while Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, spoke on “Climate and energy policies: Key future challenges.”
A group of 10 members the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program proposed an innovative off-grid solar power project that seeks to bring electricity to healthcare facilities in remote areas of the UAE. The proposal envisions three power-generating options, including a self-contained PV system, a hybrid system integrating PV with other available renewable energy, such as biomass, and wind, or a hybrid system using PV combined with a fossil-fuel engine generator.
Another team of seven Emirati entrepreneurs has developed a project to bring clean-energy rice-husk gasifiers to farms and ranches across the UAE, with initial support from the YFEL. Titled “Moving toward a Sustainable Environment: Replacing Diesel-based Generators with Eco-friendly Rice-Husk Gasifiers”, the project was inspired by their visit to rural areas in northern India, where villagers were generating electricity through clean, inexpensive rice-husk gasification, rather than diesel-powered generators. Ras Al Khaimah’s Awafi area has been chosen for the first phase of implementation by Mohamed Al-Sharhan, Abdulla Al Shamsi, Iman Ustadi, Ameirah Aldahmani, Jasem Al Hammadi, Walid Shakari, and Sultan Al Awadhi.
Other leaders who addressed the members at the YFEL stand included Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and Adnan Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Energy industry leaders including Roy Adair, CEO, Hydro Tasmania, Australia, Bader Al Lamki Director, Clean Energy Masdar, UAE, Santiago Seage, Chairman & CEO Abengoa Solar, Spain, Tulsi R Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director, Suzlon Group, India, and Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President and CEO, Schneider Electric, France, offered their views at the plenary session titled “The view from Industry: a CEOs of Renewable Energy Companies.”
An expert panel that included Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Director – Sustainability, Masdar, and Director, Zayed Future Energy Prize Masdar, UAE; Morgan D. Bazilian, Deputy Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA), National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US; Harish Hande, Founder Selco, Social Entrepreneur, India; Martin Hiller, Director-General, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), Austria; and Richard Kauffman Senior Advisor to Secretary, US Department of Energy, US, discussed “How Technology and Innovation Will Shape the Future?” during one of the plenary sessions.
Dr Steven Griffith, Executive Director of Institute Initiatives and Professor of Practice, Masdar Institute, facilitated the first debate that was titled “Should China, India and the US be required to immediately place legally binding limits on their greenhouse gas emissions?” Dr Ken Volk, Outreach Manager, Masdar Institute, moderated a debate titled “Should countries implement actions that address population issues impacting worldwide sustainability?”
YFEL celebrated the successful completion of more than 60 members during the WFES 2013, awarding them certificates during a ceremony that was held in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. YFEL 2012 had more than 160 members out of which 122 are from various universities in the UAE as well as from 20 top-ranked overseas academic institutions.
Part of the Masdar Institute’s Outreach program, YFEL offers young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad an opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges  achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change. It also aims to bring young professionals closer to government representatives, business leaders and other organizations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability.