February 2, 2017 by Laura Gomez

Pioneering Future Energy

Masdar is on a mission to advance the clean energy industry in Abu Dhabi and around the world, and it is a catalyst for the economic diversification of the emirate.


The Mubadala Development Company, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi government, established Masdar as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2006. Masdar is guided by The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, a programme that drives new sources of income for the emirate and strengthens its knowledge-based economic sectors.

Masdar takes a holistic approach to its organisation, with four business units that are interconnected and a research arm that complements their work. The business units are Masdar Capital, Masdar Clean Energy, Masdar Special Projects and Masdar City. Masdar Institute, an independent, research-driven graduate university, rounds out the organisation.

With each unit focused on a key component of the value chain, Masdar operates with the broad scope needed to meet the most pressing sustainability challenges of tomorrow. This keeps Masdar at the global forefront of the clean energy industry as we pursue pioneering and commercially viable technologies and systems.

In 2008, Masdar City broke ground and embarked on a daring journey to develop the world’s most sustainable eco-city.

Through smart investments, Masdar City is successfully pioneering a “greenprint” for how cities can accommodate rapid urbanisation and dramatically reduce energy, water and waste.

The city, which combines ancient Arabic architectural techniques with modern technology and captures prevailing winds is naturally cooler and more comfortable during the high summer temperatures.

But the sun is also a blessing. Harnessing the sun’s rays, Masdar uses clean energy generated on site from rooftop solar technology and one of the largest photovoltaic installations in the Middle East.

At the city’s core is an innovation engine. The city is growing its neighbourhoods around the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a research university dedicated to cutting-edge solutions in the fields of energy and sustainability. The institute is Masdar City’s nucleus, which extends a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the city. Companies can foster close ties with the university and partner to spark economic growth and accelerate breakthrough technologies to market.

With a few thousand people living and working in Masdar City, it is on its way to realising its vision. But this is only the beginning. Masdar City continues to add new businesses, schools, restaurants, apartments and much more, creating the diversity of any major, modern city. When complete, 40,000 people will live in Masdar City, with an additional 50,000 commuting every day to work and study.

Masdar has committed more than $1.7 billion (U.S.) to renewable energy developments, with those investments helping to deliver nearly 1 gigawatt of clean power in the United Arab Emirates and beyond.

Within the UAE, Masdar Clean Energy projects include:

  • The 100-megawatt Shams 1 solar power project with Abengoa Solar and Total that stretches over more than 2.5 square kilometres in western Abu Dhabi;
  • Masdar City’s 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in Abu Dhabi;
  • Masdar City’s 1-megawatt solar rooftop installations;
  • And carbon capture and sequestration projects that seek to add value to the national economy while also reducing industrial carbon emissions.

Internationally, Masdar Clean Energy has invested in high-profile, utility-scale renewable energy projects like Torresol Energy, a joint venture in Spain with SENER that operates 120 megawatts of concentrated solar power plants, and the London Array, a 650-megawatt offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.


Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is a global platform that addresses the interconnected challenges that affect the widespread acceleration and adoption of sustainable development and clean energy. To seriously address the global energy challenge, the relationships between economic development, poverty eradication, energy security, water scarcity and climate change cannot be overlooked. ADSW, the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East, encourages actionable outcomes to carve a pathway toward sustainability worldwide.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East, and a significant platform for international dialogue and cooperation.

In 2015, ADSW welcomed over 32,000 participants from 170 countries, in an effort to:

  • Tackle the world’s pressing issues in energy, water and environment
  • Accelerate the global adoption of renewable energy and sustainable development
  • Address water challenges in arid regions
  • Elevate the water-energy nexus topics on the global agenda
  • Encourage the dialogue between broad industry stakeholders to strengthen strategic partnerships
  • Stimulate investment in water, energy and environment projects
  • Empower the young generations and entrepreneurs


This year, between 16th and 23rd January 2016, ADSW will, once again, bring world leaders, policy makers, thought leaders, decision makers, experts, scientists, business leaders and academics together to discuss, debate, and ultimately address the energy and sustainability challenges of the future.

Anchored by the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the 2016 programme will feature a series of complementary events, conferences and exhibitions, including: The International Water Summit; The Abu Dhabi Renewable Energy Conference; The Zayed Future Energy Prize Award Ceremony; The International Renewable Energy Agency meeting; and Ecowaste.

Find out more at

About Masdar Institute of Science & Technology

Established in 2007 with the ongoing support and cooperation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.

Masdar Institute offers eight master’s degree programmes based on the U.S. graduate education system. Students from more than 40 countries bring a diverse spectrum of backgrounds, interests and talents to the university community.

Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Abu Dhabi’s core objectives of developing a knowledge economy and finding solutions to the toughest global challenges.

For further information, please visit: