Energy is one of the foundations of modern society. It helps fuel social and economic growth, and powers opportunity for countries and individuals.
Yet today, more than 1 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity. Through Masdar, our renewable energy company, Mubadala is using its leadership and deep-rooted focus on sustainability to help diversify the global energy mix and ensure long-term energy security. By sharing lessons learned and best practices, Masdar is helping more than a dozen countries increase their access to energy, diversify their energy portfolios and take initial steps to reduce their carbon emissions.
Access to stable and affordable energy is important for myriad reasons regardless of where you live. But it’s especially important for those who live on a small, remote island that is heavily dependent on importing fossil fuels.
That was the Seychelles three years ago before Masdar, Mubadala’s renewable energy company, provided the technologies to help diversify the island nation’s energy mix.
Today, the Seychelles has five wind turbines that produce nearly 7 gigawatt-hours of clean energy annually, displace about 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year and power more than 2,100 homes.
“The Port Victoria wind farm is helping the Seychelles take the initial steps toward attaining comprehensive diversification of our energy portfolio,” says Phillippe Morin, CEO of Public Utilities Corporation, which has been involved with the project since its inception. “Diversification is paramount to improving the security of energy supplies, stabilizing energy costs and creating jobs.”
Since coming online, the wind farm has provided more affordable electricity to utility customers who, as a result, have seen a reduction in their monthly statements. Morin adds, “The skeptics are now convinced that renewable energy technologies can work in the Seychelles and can contribute to the country’s economic growth.”
The Port Victoria initiative is symbolic of the Seychelles’ commitment to reducing its carbon footprint through cleaner energy sources, and the first of many renewable energy projects it will work on with Masdar to produce 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul
CEO of Masdar
Access to clean energy is a pathway toward economic and social development. For island nations, such as the Seychelles, that rely on imported fuel for electricity generation, renewable energy provides a viable alternative. In fact, wind and solar power projects deliver immediate savings, while underpinning long-term energy security.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
CEO of Energy at Mubadala and Chairman of Masdar
By investing in, and developing renewable energy projects domestically and internationally through Masdar, we are extending our leadership beyond hydrocarbons to ensure we play a significant role in the growing share of renewable energy globally.
For the last 50 years, Mauritania, which is largely dependent on fossil fuels and has a low access rate to its power grid, has transitioned into a developing country. This change has affected energy consumption, making it important to diversify the country’s energy mix to sustain future growth and provide increased energy access.
As part of its commitment to support renewable energy adoption in developing countries, Masdar inaugurated the Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott, in 2013. The solar plant is the first utility-scale installation in the country and one of the largest solar power installations in Africa.
“Energy access is a pathway to economic and social opportunity,” said Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. “Electrification, through sustainable energy sources, is critical to ensuring our people have access to basic services, and is a step toward improving our infrastructure and long-term economic development.”
Today, the solar plant produces more than 25,000 megawatt-hours of clean electricity, delivering it to more than 10,000 homes throughout Nouakchott. It displaces nearly 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and accounts for 10 percent of Mauritania’s grid capacity.
While energy access remains a concern in Mauritania, the country is better positioned today to harness its renewable sources to fuel economic growth and prosperity.