UAE’s Masdar invests in British green technologies

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Infrastructure and Projects Authority's commercial finance specialist, Philippa Eddie and Zouk Capital's Managing Partner Samer Salty (R) with Masdar’s CEO Mohamed Al-Ramahi and British Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke (R) at the the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) conference in London. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Masdar’s CEO Mohamed Al-Ramahi and British Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke sign the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) agreement in London. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The UK already has one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in Europe, and this investment will help make it the fastest by installing state-of-the-art technology. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Masdar’s CEO Mohamed Al-Ramahi and British Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke address the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) conference in London. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Masdar’s CEO Mohamed Al-Ramahi and British Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke sign the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) agreement in London. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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The UK already has one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in Europe, and this investment will help make it the fastest by installing state-of-the-art technology. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Infrastructure and Projects Authority's commercial finance specialist, Philippa Eddie, addresses the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) conference in London. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
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Khaled Al-Qubaisi, CEO of Aerospace, Renewables & ICT for Mubadala, addresses the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) conference in London. (AN Photo/Sarah Glubb)
Updated 08 October 2019

UAE’s Masdar invests in British green technologies

  • Masdar has a long history of putting money into renewable energy and is a cornerstone investor in the CIIF
  • UK pioneer in tackling climate change by becoming first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050

LONDON: UAE renewable energy investor Masdar is pouring millions into a UK government fund to make Britain one of the world’s best-served countries for electric vehicles.
British ministers announced more than £500 million (SR2.29 billion) of new investments in green technologies, including a £400 million fund to bolster Britain’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with cooperation from private-sector investors.
“We were absolutely delighted that Masdar chose to invest 35 million in this fund, which the government topped up to 70 million for the installation of 3,000 rapid charges across the country,” British Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke said during a conference held in London.
This more than doubles the number of rapid charges across the UK, producing a dense network of stopping points where cars can be charged in 20 minutes, compared to existing technology which can take 40 minutes.
The Masdar investment, in partnership with the UK Treasury and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), is part of the UK’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, making Britain the first major economy to do so, a law that was passed by former premier Theresa May in the last few weeks before she stepped down.
“I think today is such a good news day for both Britain and the UAE, but also our global environment in the long-term, which will allow us to start to transform our EV (electric vehicle) infrastructure, because, of course, we’ll only be able to persuade large numbers of people to switch to using EVs when we have the right infrastructure to make that possible,” Clarke told Arab News.
Masdar has invested more than £3 billion in the UK over the past 10 years, predominantly in offshore wind farms that produce enough clean energy to power more than 1 million households, which “shows Masdar’s continued participation in the UK’s clean energy commitment.”

Masdar’s CEO Mohamed Al-Ramahi told Arab News: “Decarbonization and electrification of mobility is a strategic target for us and we are very excited to be a cornerstone investor in this fund, alongside the UK and the Abu Dhabi government, and hopefully this will be replicated in other countries around the world as well.”
The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) is managed by Zouk Capital, a London-based private equity and infrastructure fund manager that invests in clean and efficient economies and has also helped finance major projects throughout Europe, including Germany and Italy.
“The opportunity for the CIIF is actually huge and the EV market is on an ever-steepening growth curve with record numbers of EV vehicles being sold every month,” said Samer Salty, Zouk’s managing partner.
With climate issues on the rise, there is a heightened sensitivity to air pollution, and as a result, more European governments are seeking alternative energy methods, particularly in the EV market.
When asked if this initiative sets an example to other governments, IPA’s commercial finance specialist, Philippa Eddie, told Arab News: “I think this will make a big difference in terms of catalyzing private-sector investment into this very fast-growing electric vehicle charging sector… in terms of having public-sector money directly alongside private-sector money.”
It is part of a larger initiative that would ensure a cleaner and healthier Britain and increase sustainability to support the government’s commitment to tackling climate change.
A further £142.9 million was unveiled in green projects, including combating air and water pollution, removing greenhouse gases, cleaner food systems, reusing and recycling materials in innovative ways and sustainable management of marine resources.
Moreover, the UK committed to phasing out new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
Khaled Al-Qubaisi, CEO of aerospace, renewables and ICT for Mubadala, said: “The UAE has made huge strides in recent decades to become a leader in energy production and green energy practices, but it is essential that we continue to partner and share our knowledge and learn from other countries. Our governments are tightly aligned on climate commitments.”
The UAE government has also set a target of achieving 50 percent clean energy by 2050 and is well on the way to achieving that even earlier.
“I hope that we continue to find strategic partnerships that work for both our countries, because together we’re showing that change is possible and providing leadership to governments and private companies around the world, showing that by working together we can affect real change,” Clarke said.


At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

Updated 6 min 24 sec ago

At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable future

  • A single tree that to bear 40 different types of apple

DAVOS: The World Economic Forum is not all about the fourth industrial revolution or the rise of AI.

You can also find all manner of strange and intriguing products on display from biodegradable plastic made from algae to wallpaper made from recycled corn husks.

One stand titled “How do you design a tree?” is part of a conservation effort where a single tree is designed to bear 40 different types of apple.

Another stand displays colored seaweed on a rack, showing how clothes can be dyed in a sustainable, non-chemically corrosive manner.

Propped along a large wall is Fernando Laposse’s wallpaper made of variations of purple corn husks that are reinforced with recycled cardboard and cork to create wallpaper and furniture. The husks come from corn that needs very little water and can be grown in the desert, which makes it all the more sustainable.

“This initiative helps the local economy as it brings in jobs and a resurgence of crafts and food traditions while also ensuring sustainability,” Laposse said.

Another display shows a machine that extracts pellets from a mixture of algae and starch and is used to create a thread that is the base of 3D printing. These sustainable, biodegradable plastics made from algae are being experimented with in different regions.

With the rise of deep fakes — a branch of synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness — another stand delivers a warning on the looming dangers of unregulated software.

The Davos forum prides itself on its sustainability, and key topics have included climate, mobility, energy and the circular economy. Everything is recyclable, and participants must download an application in order to keep up with the program and any changes — a move to cut down on paper waste.