The Solar Impulse journey has been an inspiration to many around the globe. The project has demonstrated the role clean technologies play in combating climate change and carbon dioxide emissions, but more importantly it is has been a catalyst in driving change, educating the youth and ensuring the welfare of future generations.
I was recently asked to serve as an advisory board member for the Beacon of Hope, a non-profit initiative set up by Shaikha Shamma bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.
Beacon of Hope aims to encourage philanthropy, create awareness of energy poverty and the need for clean energy, and promote the importance of literacy to children in regions affected by war, poverty or natural disaster.
When one considers that 17 per cent of the global population lacks access to electricity, the conversation shifts to the greater socio-economic effect this lack of access has on development. Energy is essential for social and economic growth — it powers opportunity for nations and individuals.
Yet some countries are unable to produce their own energy and must rely on fossil fuel imports to help develop their economies. Renewable energy offers a more viable, secure and reliable solutions to this need.
The UAE is committed to developing renewable energy technologies that can help sustain its growth, but also playing a wider role in the global community.
Through Masdar’s Special Projects Division, the UAE has developed a number of projects that help ensure long-term energy access to communities in complex or remote areas.
Just last week, Masdar delivered five additional renewable energy projects to Pacific Island countries as part of the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund. These five projects are in addition to six projects that were already delivered and will eventually provide a total of 3.1 megawatts of clean energy.
Solar Impulse, which Masdar is a proud sponsor of, represents a symbol of hope that can influence multiple aspects of our lives.
Beyond demonstrating that clean technologies are a sustainable solution to combating climate change and reducing CO2 emissions, Solar Impulse is also about sending a message to citizens of the world, educating youth and ensuring the welfare of future generations.
It shows us the promise of using renewable energy, but also shows that we’ve barely scratched the surface of its possible end uses. One thing is certain: both the public and private sectors around the world recognise the importance of energy security and the effect that the lack of energy access can have on nations and their citizens. From China to Bangladesh, to rural areas of Africa and Asia, and everywhere in between, renewable energy represents of a beacon of hope to smaller communities looking to increase their energy access.
Hasan Al Redaini works for Mubadala. He is travelling with the Solar Impulse team on their round-the-world flight attempt to assist in lectures and demonstrations.
Source: uae news