Masdar City: Zero Carbon
Cities all over the world are trying to curb their carbon emissions, and this week has already seen the US state of California implement a mandatory green building code, however this could all be over-shadowed by Masdar City, Abu Dhabi's carbon-neutral metropolis.
The project that was unveiled in 2007, aims to be the world's first carbon-free city by relying entirely on solar and other renewable energy sources. It also aims to be completely zero-carbon and zero-waste by banning cars within the city, allowing its residents to rely on the public transport system and personal rapid transit systems.
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It is an ambitious plan, but Abu Dhabi isn't skimping on money for the project investing over US$15 billion in it thus far. It is expected to cost US$22 billion when it is finally finished.
Currently, the development is on track with Khaled Awad, director at Masdar's property uni, telling reporters that the city's first phase will be operation by 2013, with the second phase designs ready to go immediately after.
Abu Dhabi recently invested over US$1 trillion into infrastructure projects and Masdar City represents the emirate's aim to become a main development hub for renewable energy. Currently, the UAE is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita. As such, Abu Dhabi is aiming to make sure that once its oil exports dry up, the emirate has a future as a clean energy exporter.
Part of the emirate's grand plan is to generate some 7 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. It has already integrated its first solar power plant into its electricity grid.
However, Masdar City's power needs will be completely renewable with a massive solar power plant even powering all the construction activity.
The project has even inspired similar projects abroad with the city's developers currently in talks to build Malaysia a similar development. Masdar CEO, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, said of the talks,
"Masdar is committed to building strategic partnerships and creating worldwide networks in the push for new low carbon energy technologies and clean, sustainable ways of living. We value this partnership with Malaysia and applaud their move to actively pursue and invest in new green technologies."
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