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Smart grids to achieve Abu Dhabi's energy objectives [Oil & Gas News]
[December 31, 2012]

Smart grids to achieve Abu Dhabi's energy objectives [Oil & Gas News]

(Oil & Gas News Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MASDAR says that smart metering grids will allow Abu Dhabi to achieve its Vision 2030 goals by helping to manage demand, while research has shown that demand for smart metering products is likely to grow by 12 per cent over the next five years.

Market potential has opened up for existing control technologies to be integrated by utilities like Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea).

However, much remains to be done to develop comprehensive and holistic methods of assessing system performance and reliability, according to Dr Amro Farid, assistant professor of Engineering Systems and Management at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and research affiliate in the MIT Technology Development.

"In the near term, smart meters will deliver greater information to customers on their bills and electricity usage patterns and allow utilities to provide greater customer support in key functionality like outage management, power quality support, and mobile workforce deployment.

"In the mid-term, smart grids can help to enable demand-side management thus saving millions of dirhams in potential investment into new thermal power generation.

"Smart grids, finally, will enable the high penetration of renewable energy resources like solar and wind energy; thus allowing the UAE to achieve its 7 per cent commitment to renewable energy," says Dr Farid, during his keynote presentation at the Fleming Gulf's second Annual Smart Grids and Smart Meters Summit, held in Abu Dhabi.

The global smart meter market, which experienced double-digit growth during 2006-2011, is projected to grow further in 2012 with a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent through 2017 when its value will reach $8.2 billion, according to management consulting and market research firm Lucintel.

Dr Farid adds: "Smart grids are a key national infrastructure whose benefits cannot be fully quantified in the short- or long-term. Investments into the smart grid in that regard is similar to investments into roads, bridges, water distribution and communications technology. The real challenge is in the system integration of the technologies to bring holistic system benefits. Utility leaders such as Adwea have done much to integrate existing technologies." Meanwhile, Masdar has announced the awarding of the design and construction contract for its new headquarters complex, which will also house the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). The headquarters will be one of the most advanced, sustainable multi-use complexes in the UAE. It will be the cornerstone of Masdar City – the special economic zone, clean-technology cluster and low-carbon city in Abu Dhabi. Completion is set for summer of 2014.

The Masdar and Irena headquarters aims for a four-pearl certification under the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System, one of the strictest energy efficiency and sustainability standards in the world. It will be fitted with 1,000 sq m of rooftop photovoltaic solar panels – supplying renewable electricity to its tenants – and reduce water usage by more than 50 per cent compared to a typical Abu Dhabi building.

The headquarters will be a three building, 32,000 sq m complex. The buildings will share a community courtyard, connecting offices to spaces to shop, dine, walk, and experience the modern, sustainable lifestyle exemplified by Masdar City.

"The award of this contract marks a major milestone in the development of Masdar City," says Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the CEO and managing director of Masdar. "The buildings integrate cutting-edge technologies in energy efficiency, green building and water conservation. We remain committed to the growth of Masdar City as a technology cluster, enabling companies to set up Middle East operations to support the achievement of regional renewable energy targets and the development of clean technologies.

"Higher education and research are at the core of Masdar City, enabling companies to partner with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to accelerate the development of technologies. Organisations, such as Boeing, Siemens, Global Green Growth Institute and Irena are already working with us and capitalising on the opportunities offered by the technology hub," adds Dr Al Jaber.

Irena, currently situated in Khalidiya in Abu Dhabi, advised on the design of its custom headquarters to meet its organisational requirements.

"It's only fitting that the headquarters of Irena – dedicated to the sustainable use of renewable energy – be located in one of the most sustainable buildings in the world," says Adnan Amin, director-general of Irena. "The building is a shining example of how we can meet our energy needs today while preserving the earth's resources for tomorrow." Brookfield Multiplex was awarded the design and construction contract.

"We are thrilled to be selected, and even more honoured to begin construction of one of the most sustainable developments in the world," says Ashley Muldoon, CEO of Brookfield Multiplex, a 50-year-old global company responsible for building the Emirates Towers in Dubai, London's new Wembley Stadium and the Central Park tower in Western Australia, among other projects worldwide. "Our innovative strategies and holistic approach will significantly reduce the buildings' potable water consumption, energy demand, waste to landfill and embodied carbon emissions from materials." The headquarters adheres to updates from the 2011 redesign, which was made to meet market demand and allow for the integration of newer technologies.

"Masdar is at the forefront of the new energy economy," says Dr Al Jaber. "We make bold decisions about the technologies we adopt and push the boundaries of sustainable development. We remain agile in how we invest – making sure we progress the sector, while also encouraging technology advancement." Construction of the complex will source materials from Abu Dhabi's sustainable supply chain. The building uses green materials, including low-carbon cement, high-recycled-content aluminium, recycled steel and sustainably sourced timber, among others.

The headquarters complex concept was designed by architectural firm Woods Bagot.

"Woods Bagot was absolutely delighted to be appointed by Masdar to design its dedicated new headquarters," says Ross Donaldson, group managing director of Woods Bagot. "The project presented an irresistible challenge to create a highly efficient, yet aspirational workplace environment, embodying Masdar's vision for sustainability, delivered in a commercially viable way." The headquarters complex will be located alongside other key developments within Masdar City. Developments include the expansion of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, construction of the first commercial building and the final stages of construction of the Middle East headquarters of Siemens.

(c) 2012 Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group Provided by an company

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