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Masdar, the landmark initiative by the Abu Dhabi government to promote advanced energy and sustainability worldwide, has been named 'Sustainable City of the Year' at the Euromoney and Ernst & Young Global Renewable Energy Awards 2007.
broadly (see sections on Economic Development and Environment). Masdar is building a complete walled ‘city’ in Abu Dhabi, which will be solar powered and will house 47,000 people. The city, which is planned to open in late 2009, will be a zero-carbon, zero-waste zone.
Projects already in active development include both photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) and Masdar has formed a key partnership with Conergy AG of Germany, which will enable it to provide up to 40 MW of capacity, enough to power 10,000 homes, through the use of photovoltaic systems. As the demand for green energy increases Masdar, with Conergy’s assistance, hopes to further develop, design and roll-out advanced alternative energy systems, including state-of-the-art solar cooling, wind and biomass technologies for both household and industrial purposes.
The alternative energy movement is in its infancy, but a number of interesting projects are up and running already. For example, in pursuit of the emirate’s goal of developing real solar powered solutions for daily living, Abu Dhabi Public Transport Department has erected a prototype solar-powered bus shelter in the capital. The public can enjoy facilities such as cash withdrawal machines, access to the internet, coffee and soft drinks vending machines, and public telephones inside the shelters.
In Dubai, solar-powered parking meters have been in use for some time. These are now being joined by solar-powered street lights and solar-powered water taxis.
Dubai is also focusing on alternative ways of meeting soaring energy demands brought about by its huge construction programme. Plans have been unveiled to build a 68-storey building with a revolving 312-metre-high tower carrying solar panels and wind turbines that will generate enough electricity to meet the energy needs of five other similarly-sized buildings.
In addition, property developer Tecom Investments is investigating the use of solar energy to provide electricity to some of its new projects. A prototype of a floating solar island, which could be used to feed a thermal plant, to power a desalination plant, or both, is currently being developed at the headquarters of the Swiss centre of electronic and micro technology (CSEM or Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique) in Ra’s al-Khaimah. The US$5