Friday, August 16, 2013

Masdar, Building the City of the Future

Interesting Documentary on the City of the Future in a very warm environment ...

Masdar, also known as the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, is a renewable energy company based in Abu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates. The company's mission is to invest in renewable energy and clean technology in Abu Dhabi and around the world for both financial and social returns. Masdar is an important part of Abu Dhabi's efforts to diversify its economy beyond oil production. It pursues an "integrated, holistic" business model that merges higher education, research and development, finance, and the development of large-scale renewable energy projects and sustainable communities. Masdar has three business units including Masdar Clean Energy, Masdar City, and Masdar Capital. Masdar's mission is complemented by the Masdar Institute, an independent research university. Masdar is a subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company and was founded in 2006.

Masdar Clean Energy

Masdar Clean Energy invests in large clean energy projects such as utility-scale wind and solar, energy efficiency, and carbon capture, storage and use. In the United Arab Emirates, projects developed by Masdar Clean Energy include Shams 1, the world's largest concentrated solar power plant with 100 MW of capacity.[1][2] Partnering with the government of Seychelles, it developed a 6 MW wind farm for Mahé Island.[3] As of May 2013, Masdar is building a 100 MW hybrid photovoltaic and natural gas concentrated solar power plant in Al Ain called Noor 1,[4][5] and a 30 MW wind farm on Sir Bani Yas island.[4]

Masdar is also involved in numerous international ventures. It holds 20% equity in the London Array, a large wind farm off the coast of Britain designed to generate up to 1,000 MW of power.[6][7] Masdar invested in the 20 MW Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant and the twin 50 MW Valle 1 and Valle 2 solar power stations in Spain, which were developed by Torresol Energy, a joint venture between SENER and Masdar with respective equity stakes of 60% and 40%.

Masdar City

Masdar City is located in Abu Dhabi, and is designed to be the most environmentally sustainable city in the world. The low-carbon, low-waste city relies entirely on renewable energy. Power is generated by a 10 MW photovoltaic power plant located on site and 1 MW of rooftop solar panels. The city is designed to be a hub for clean technology companies. Its first tenant was the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which has been operating in the city since it moved into its campus in September 2010. The city as a whole was originally intended to be completed by 2016 but that date has now been pushed back to between 2020 and 2025.

Powered entirely by renewable energy, current Masdar City buildings are designed to cut energy by 56% and potable water consumption by 54%. Much of the energy efficiency achieved at Masdar comes from careful design. For example, street layouts mitigate the effects of the hot summer sun, walkways and plazas face away from the south and contain awnings and shade trees, building exteriors use materials to minimize reflected sun. According to Masdar, the city is 40 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than a conventional urban area.

In October 2010, Siemens announced that it would located its Middle East headquarters in Masdar with the first phase of construction being completed in 2013. The building won the 2012 MIPIM Architectural Review's Future Projects Award in the office category. As part of its agreement with Masdar, Siemens is helping to develop smart grid applications to reduce the cities energy consumption. The company is also working with the Masdar Institute to develop new carbon capture and storage solutions. Siemens is the first multinational firm to locate in Masdar.

Masdar City will host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency, commonly known as IRENA. As of May 2013, construction of IRENA's headquarters was underway. Masdar was selected to host IRENA's headquarters after a high-profile campaign by the UAE. In its bid, the UAE offered rent-free offices in Masdar City, 20 IRENA scholarships to the the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and up to and up to US$350 million in loans for renewable energy projects in developing countries.

Transportation in Masdar City depends primarily on mass transit and personal rapid transit systems that Masdar refers to as "pod cars". The cars used in the personal rapid transit system are fully automated and do not require drivers. The relative absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar's perimeter wall, designed to keep out the hot desert winds, allows for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the city. A test fleet of 10 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicles were deployed in 2011 to test battery degradation in the UAE's desert climate as part of a one-year pilot program.

Masdar Capital

Masdar Capital invests in the commercialization of clean technology, through two funds with a total of US$540 million in assets. These funds include one with a value of US$250 million co-managed with Credit Suisse and another with US$290 million developed in conjunction with Deutsche Bank. Masdar Capital actively-manages its portfolio of assets to increase returns. Masdar Capital also works to take advantage of synergies between its investments and other aspects of Masdar's mission.

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

The Masdar Institute is a graduate-level research university focused on alternative energy, environmental sustainability, and clean technology. Its campus is located in Masdar City. The Masdar Institute was Masdar City's first occupant. [10] The design of the campus emphasizes flexibility, the use of traditional architectural elements, and modern materials to provide for an optimized combination of natural lighting and cooling that minimize energy needs. By 2013, 336 students were enrolled at the institute. These students were selected from more than 2,000 applicants. 42% of enrolled students are from the UAE and 35% are women. The Masdar Institute plans to eventually enrol about 800 students. Admitted students from all countries are offered a full-tuition scholarships, monthly stipends, travel expenses, laptop computers, textbooks, and accommodation in order to facilitate their studies. Masdar students and faculty are engaged in over 300 joint projects with academia, private enterprise, and government agencies. Their research tends to focus on renewable energy, smart grids and smart buildings, energy policy and planning, water use, environmental engineering, and electronics.

More info on Masdar's Official Website

Source: France 5 & Wikipedia

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