Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, has unveiled a pilot project to develop advanced energy-efficient seawater desalination technologies that can be powered by renewable sources, reported.

Masdar said it hopes to have a renewable energy-powered desalination facility at commercial scale by 2020.

The pilot project includes three test sites in the United Arab Emirates that will operate for 3.5 years.

According to Masdar, the program aims to bridge the gap between desalination technologies that are being developed at universities and research centers worldwide and large-scale industrial applications.

"The availability of potable water is one of the most pressing issues in the world, particularly in the Gulf region where water production is a costly and energy-intensive process," said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. "With the UAE's growing economy and rising population, it is crucial that we identify a sustainable desalination solution to meet our long-term water needs. Connecting desalination technologies to renewable energy enables us to capitalize on our abundant resources, such as solar, as a solution to improve water security.”