Members of Masdar Institute's YFEL Program Launch Two Clean Technology Projects

Bader Al Zarei
Director - Communications
Public Affairs Department – Masdar Institute

Members of Masdar Institute's YFEL Program Launch Two Clean Technology Projects

Abu Dhabi-UAE: Members of the Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program, an outreach initiative by Masdar Institute of Science of Technology, recently launched two extraordinary proposals – an inexpensive clean energy project and an innovative off-grid solar power project.

The two projects follow a steady stream of novel concepts launched earlier by YFEL members during 2012 and 2011. These projects portray the intense involvement of YFEL members in innovating and implementing clean energy and sustainable concepts in the UAE, making their mark as future leaders. They also 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.

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: "The two clean technology projects proposed by YFEL members are the outcome of the insights they have gained year-long from expert faculty members and industry professionals. As directed by the country's leadership, YFEL informs, educates and empowers youth, making them capable future leaders. We hope the examples set by these YFEL members and others before them will motivate more youth to contribute to developing sustainable living concepts."

A team of seven Emirati 'green' 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 the 'green' seven – Mohamed Al-Sharhan, Abdulla Al Shamsi, Iman Ustadi, Ameirah Aldahmani, Jasem Al Hammadi, Walid Shakari, and Sultan Al Awadhi. This region, which is home to ranches, Ghaf trees and mild weather in winter, will witness the first small-scale pilot project. If the technology and system prove successful, the team will establish a company to install rice-husk gasifier systems in farms and ranches across the UAE.

The pilot will provide customers across Awafi with cheap and eco-friendly electricity that meets energy requirements in a way that can replace their current use of diesel generators. With zero emissions, no government formalities, easy operation without the need for technical expertise, lowest-cost electricity and lowcost maintenance, the project supports Abu Dhabi's move towards a low-carbon economy in the UAE as outlined in the Vision 2030 plan.

Meanwhile, a group of 10 YFEL members has proposed an innovative off-grid solar power project that seeks to bring electricity to healthcare facilities in remote areas of the UAE. The off-grid solar power project aims to implement a system that would provide a continuous, reliable and sustainable supply of energy to an entire hospital. 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.

Muna Al Amoodi, Project Leader and a Senior Environment Officer at Dubai Aluminum Company (DUBAL), said that through the project, team members will be able to implement the principles of advanced energy and sustainability that they have learned about and put them into practice. She added that team will also learn about business challenges particularly concerning renewable-energy projects in developing countries as a result of their exposure and interaction with professionals that they have consulted to support the project.

Eventually, one or two hospitals will be identified for the rooftop solar project, and while the focus for this year is hospital facilities, in future, schools and households may be considered.

The off-grid solar power project will consist of two phases – phase 1 includes a feasibility study addressing technical and economic issues regarding the proposed sites and the possible system designs. The phase-2 will involve the purchase, installation, commissioning and handover of the project, as well as maintenance and operational training, performance observations and a final project presentation.

A key element of the annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) held in Abu Dhabi, YFEL currently has more than 100 members. The program 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.

Members of Masdar Institute's YFEL Program Launch Two Clean Technology Projects Members of Masdar Institute's YFEL Program Launch Two Clean Technology Projects Members of Masdar Institute's YFEL Program Launch Two Clean Technology Projects
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