Market News

 November 17, 2006
Abu Dhabi launches $250M clean energy fund

 Abu Dhabi, UAE -- The oil rich region of Adu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has launched a US $250 million fund to promote clean energy technologies. The fund is the latest in a series of developments that have seen the UAE become a regional leader in renewable energy as the country seeks to diversify its oil-based economy and respond to environmental concerns.

Supported by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the MASDAR Clean Tech Fund will be used to spur development of technologies for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, as well as water-related technologies such as desalinisation. Masdar means 'source' in Arabic.

The initial funds have been provided by the Abu Dhabi government ($100m), investment bank Credit Suisse ($100m) and UK investors Consensus Business Group ($50m).

$175 million will go towards individual firms chosen for their "innovative solutions in sustainable energy", with the majority focused on solar energy and water projects. One-quarter of the investments will be made in 'early stage' companies, 45% in 'growth stage' and 30% in 'late stage' companies.

The focus will be on technologies that are potentially suitable for commercialisation in the UAE, though the fund hopes to have an international influence on clean energy as well. The UAE has excellent potential for solar energy as well as carbon sequestration in depleted oil fields.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, commented that "Sustainable energy and climate change are the two great concerns of our age and the race is on to develop cleaner and sustainable fuel sources. This quest is reminiscent of the space age or the industrial revolution. Our fund's objective is for Abu Dhabi to lead the way in developing scalable, cost-efficient, clean energy solutions by channeling our deep energy expertise and considerable financial resources into innovative technologies on a global basis."

For more information on the Masdar fund and related organizations click here.