Masdar Clean Tech Fund Soldiers On

Jan 28 2009 | 9:57am ET

Abu Dhabi's Masdar Clean Tech Fund, a $250 million private equity fund, announced Monday it would press on with plans to spend billions on renewable energy projects despite the financial crisis and falling oil prices.

Masdar's HeadquartersMasdar's Headquarters“The current financial situation has no impact whatsoever on Masdar’s intended and planned projects. Our appetite is still the same and we are still pursuing and proceeding with all the projects already announced and we also have an appetite to look for the right opportunities,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Masdar, at a press conference at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi last week.

Masdar's plans include an agreement with the Seychelles government to invest in wind energy, solar energy and waste-to-energy technologies, full details of which are to be announced on Tuesday.

The Seychelles interest in clean tech is self-explanatory: the island state is under direct threat from rising sea levels associated with global warming. Phase one of the plan involves generating 18MW of electricity – enough to supply 15% of Mahé Island's total energy demand – from wind power.

Masdar aims to monetize the Seychelles' renewable energy projects by certifying them under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) offsetting scheme and then selling the resulting carbon credits.

The investment fund also announced plans to work with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to reduce gas flaring and promote energy efficiency in Nigeria – projects that will also apply for CDM certification.

Masdar currently has three projects in Spain and is building a solar manufacturing plant in Germany. In addition, it is continuing work on its $22 billion Masdar City, the world's first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city. The project has received $300 million in funding from the Abu Dhabi government.

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