A cool breeze in blowing in the Middle East, a region perennially beset by news of war and terrorism and that is closely associated with Big Oil. Masdar, a renewable energy company based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, signed an agreement to build the region’s first large-scale wind farm.
The 50MW wind farm will be erected in the Sultanate of Oman’s Dhofar Governorate and will cost US$125M. It will generate power to light up 16,000 homes, mitigating 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. This follows the company’s earlier announcement of a 402MW offshore wind farm to be constructed in the UK.
Of the proposed wind farm, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state, says “the region is rapidly adopting renewable energy as a viable solution to meet growing electricity demands and to address long-term resource security… The Oman wind project is a prime example of how clean energy can deliver reliable power supplies and improve energy security, while also supporting a transition to a low-carbon future.” Al Jaber also happens to be the chairman of Masdar, indicating a major paradigm shift in this oil-exporting country.
The project will supply 7% of the Dhofar region’s power needs and will reduce the use of non-renewable petroleum reserves. It will make use of 25 wind turbines which will be put up starting early 2015.
Now that is a breath of fresh air not only for the region, but hopefully for the world.