UAE-GGGI launches a Public-Private Partnership Project (PPP) to Design 100% Renewable Energy Micro-grid

September 21, 2018

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 16 September, 2012 – A new public private partnership will pilot a cutting-edge micro-grid powered by 100% renewable electricity in Abu Dhabi. Global Green Growth Institute (Chairman, Lars Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark), an intergovernmental organization committed to promoting Green Growth in the developing world, today announced it is joining hands with Masdar Institute (MI) and the Research Institute for Industrial Science and Technology (RIST) in Pohang of South Korea to design a robust and cost-efficient micro-grid operating on 100% renewable energy. The project is supported by approximately US$1 million from GGGI and POSCO, the world’s fourth largest steel producer.

The announcement of this innovative collaborative UAE-South Korea research project, which is led by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Directorate for Energy & Climate Change and coordinated by the GGGI, was made during the Project Launch event, which was held at Shangri-La Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The launch event was celebrated by high profile guests from the UAE and Korea, including Dr. Tae Kyun, KWON, Korean Ambassador to the UAE, Dr. Thani AL ZEYOUDI, Director of Energy and Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Fred MOAVENZADEH, President of Masdar Institute, Dr. Hee Don CHUN, Executive Vice President, RIST, and Mr. Jeong-Won DOH, Executive Vice President, Daewoo International Corp.

During the event, the joint Project Team between MI and RIST revealed a conceptual design for an island-based renewable micro-grid. The conceptual design consists of a control system, energy storage, and a high efficiency DC distribution system. It is designed to incorporate renewable energy sources such as solar PV, small wind power and biofuel production from waste and algae. The micro-grid system can be linked to local seawater desalination and electric powered boats for island access.

The Public Private Partnership project is coordinated by GGGI and will tap the expertise of Masdar Institute in the design and simulation of micro-grids with renewable energy, and the RIST team’s established expertise in commercializing technologies demonstrated by the project on Jeju Island, South Korea.

MI proposed an initial concept for the project to GGGI on October 2010 and the GGGI UAE Country team provided MI an essential link to an industrial Partner within GGGI’s partnership network – RIST.

The 100% renewable energy micro-grid project features new research collaboration potential between the UAE and South Korea. Korea is expanding smart grid technology rapidly and already hosts a successful demonstrations project on Jeju Island. The project island in the UAE will become a ‘sister’ island, featuring advanced micro-grid and ‘smart renewable’ technologies.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and CEO of Masdar, said: “This project is another powerful example of the leading role Abu Dhabi and the UAE are playing in clean energy innovation. Masdar has funded development projects on small islands that can potentially benefit from micro-grids, and we are interested in their potential role in supporting renewable energy deployment in rural areas.”

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute, said: “The first UAE-South Korea collaborative research project under the GGGI program reflects the common interest between the two countries to partner with each another on clean energy ventures. It will benefit from the synergy between Masdar Institute and RIST, which already has a track record in implementing a similar project in Korea. We believe the micro-grid project will bear testimony to our expertise in furthering research and innovation in sustainability while developing the UAE’s human capital as directed by the country’s leadership.”

Dr, Hee Don Chun, executive vice president of RIST, said: The UAE project will benefit from the outcomes of research already conducted on Jeju Island and we are confident the expertise from Masdar Institute will further stimulate innovation in micro-grids which is optimized in MENA region environment. In addition, RIST will seek further opportunities for collaboration with MI in terms of green technology research based on each institute’s core competence.”

Dr. Scott Kennedy, Dean for Research, Masdar Institute, said: “Micro-grids are gaining increasing popularity as a key enabler of smart grid infrastructure and an important technology in expanding electricity access to areas with weak or non-existent power infrastructure. Such grids are essentially small, low to medium voltage power systems that can operate in isolation or connected to a larger transmission system. Featuring advanced control systems that allow them to operate in grid-connected or isolated mode, they can also include up to 100% renewable energy, therefore providing zero-carbon power.”

The Joint team already conducted a pre-workshop in Pohang, Korea in July, 2012 and visited a potential demonstration site in Abu Dhabi, the UAE in August, 2012 to set up the conceptual design. The team will develop a UAE tailored micro-grid model and an action plan for a subsequent implementation project until March, 2013. The developed micro-grid model will be highlighted during the World Future Energy Forum in January 2013 in Abu Dhabi.