Best prac­tice: Mas­dar

Element - - BUSINESS -

The en­ergy sys­tems of the show­case desert ‘eco-city’ of Mas­dar in the United Arab Emi­rates are prob­a­bly the best demon­stra­tion of just how far off hu­man­ity is from be­ing able to in­stall large scale re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion in­side an ur­ban cen­tre. Orig­i­nally launched in 2006 with the vi­sion of be­com­ing a fully self-suf­fi­cient city that would meet all its own en­ergy needs and pro­duce no waste, the dream has been scaled down some­what to the point where although it is cur­rently pow­ered en­tirely from its own sources, only a model block of six build­ings hous­ing 60 staff and 240 stu­dents has been built. Mas­dar’s de­vel­op­ers now hope to source at least 20% of en­ergy re­new­ably on site as the city grows, with the rest coming in from out­side.

That said, city backer Sheik Mo­hamed Bin Zayed Al Nayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has bankrolled some very in­ter­est­ing ex­per­i­ments, which may pro­vide just a glimpse of how some­thing like this might work in the fu­ture. A 22-hectare, 10MW so­lar pho­tovoltaic plant is al­ready op­er­a­tional within Mas­dar City, the largest such so­lar plant in the Mid­dle East. The sun’s en­ergy is also be­ing tapped via evac­u­ated tube so­lar col­lec­tors to pro­vide domestic hot water on a grand scale, and new re­search into pos­si­ble air-con­di­tion­ing so­lu­tions are un­der way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.