The initiative will employ energy efficient desalination technologies powered by renewable energy to reduce energy consumption at three test sites across the UAE and will operate for a period of 3.5 years.

Masdar will coordinate the pilot program with key Abu Dhabi stakeholders, such as the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), the Regulation and Supervision Bureau, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, and the Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company.

Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar CEO Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said that connecting desalination technologies to renewable energy enables the company to capitalize on their abundant resources, such as solar, as a means to improve water security.

Commenting on the initiative ADWEA director general H.E. Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi said, "In parallel to its own efforts, ADWEA looks forward to collaborating with Masdar on the development of desalination technologies with improved energy efficiency in line with our commitment to improving the sustainability of our operations.

"We strongly support such collaboration and Masdar’s efforts in this regard," added Al Nuaimi.

The Gulf region, with scarce water resources, accounts for nearly 50% of the world’s desalinated water.

In the UAE, seawater desalination requires about 10 times more energy than surface fresh water production, and its costs are projected to increase by 300%.