Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company signed a preferred partnership agreement with BYD Company, a Chinese firm specialising in clean and energy-efficient technologies.
The agreement will initially focus on promoting the commercialisation of clean transport and battery storage systems, potentially expanding to include activities such as solar panel technology for utility scale and rooftop projects, LED lighting, and solar-powered street lighting.
BYD – which stands for ‘Build Your Dreams’ – is one of China’s largest companies and the world’s largest maker of rechargeable batteries. In January, the company won the Zayed Future Energy Prize in the Large Corporation category, in recognition of its global expansion and mission to promote safer and more environmentally friendly battery technologies.
The success marked the first occasion on which the prestigious award was presented to a Chinese company.
The Chairman and Founder of BYD, Wang Chuanfu, was also honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2014 for his personal dedication to sustainability and clean technology innovation for more than 20 years.
Mohamed Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: "Today’s agreement is the basis for a long-term partnership that will add further value to the advanced R&D already taking place at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, and will strengthen the City’s positioning as an ‘innovation ecosystem’ connecting R&D, education, business and investment.
"We are looking forward to working with BYD on a range of cutting-edge projects, and to integrating their expertise as we pursue the many growth opportunities in the clean energy sector, particularly in the Middle East & North Africa."
Established in 1995, BYDspecialises in batteries for mobile devices, grid-tied energy storage and electric vehicles (EVs), and today has a market capitalisation of more than US$19 billion.
As well as being the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, BYD is the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles and is a leader in electrified public transportation.
With a presence in more than 200 cities in 48 countries, the company sold more than 70,000 EVs in 2015 alone.
Through its manufacture of electric cars and buses, and 1GW of photovoltaic (PV) production capacity, BYD has helped secure significant carbon emission reductions. For example, a single BYD electric car operated as a taxi saves more than 14,900 litres of fuel per year compared with a conventional car – with 34 tonnes of CO2 emissions prevented.
The Preferred Partnership Agreement will see Masdar City provide a platform to showcase BYD technology and access to ongoing research at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, as well as to the many demonstration projects active across the City, such as the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) driverless vehicles programme and Electric Energy Storage Solutions Hub.
AD Huang, General Manager of the Middle Eastern and African Region for BYD, said: "Our partnership with Masdar is an additional source of inspiration to realise new energy and technology solutions that also protect the environment. The agreement will raise our profile in the UAE and the wider Middle East, and help us to deliver on our ‘Three Green Dreams’ for the region: affordable solar power generation, efficient energy storage and electrified public transportation."
Masdar City’s existing projects and future expansion are on show at a dedicated exhibition stand throughout Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the real estate exhibition and conference running until April 14.