Sharjah launches energy hub in innovation free zone

The UAE along with other oil producers in the Gulf is looking to produce green hydrogen from renewables


Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, a research and development free zone, launched a new hub targeting opportunities in energy and low carbon.

The MEA Energy Innovation Hub will function as a "regional gateway to innovation and business growth" and will look to tackle challenges facing the energy sector.

The hub will "launch, scale-up and commercialise technology ventures" through initiatives such as accelerators and collaboration programmes.

Human capital development and triple-helix engagement, which refers to innovative interaction between government, private sector and academia, will also be a focus at the energy hub.

Spanish innovation consultancy Barrabé is involved in building the hub, which will also look at supporting the UAE's growing renewable industry.

“The purpose of the MEA Energy Innovation Hub is to promote the latest innovations that drive the path of sustainable development, and find ways to confront the effects of climate change and mitigate global warming,” UAE energy and infrastructure minister Suhail Al Mazouei said at the launch of the new initiative.

A new focus area for innovation will be hydrogen, he added.

The UAE and other oil producers in the Gulf, such as Saudi Arabia, are looking to produce green hydrogen from renewables.

The clean fuel will form part of the UAE's mix of green energy, as it looks to diversify its consumption away from hydrocarbons.

"Our region is currently the most competitive in terms of cost at $1.5 per kilogram, indicating that the development of sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy projects is the core of the UAE's international efforts," Mr Al Mazrouei said.

The country was looking for local and international partners to find "new solutions" to old challenges.