Harnessing sunshine in an oil-rich world
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) — home to the third largest supply of oil in the world — is trying to set a regional and global example with ambitious 'green' plans.
According to the UN, the UAE ranks forty-third among global polluters. Rapid economic growth in developing countries is being blamed for the majority of growth in carbon dioxide emissions.
The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says temperatures in the Middle East will rise by 1-2 degrees Celsius between now and 2030.
To address these concerns, the UAE intends to create a 'green city' —carbon neutral and waste free — on a six square kilometre plot in Abu Dhabi, writes Ahmed A. Elewa in this Gulf News article.
The initiative is funded by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company and will cost US$5 billion.
Scheduled for completion in late 2009, the city includes plans to invest US$350 million in solar energy generation as an alternative to oil and natural gas.
Abu Dhabi also has plans for a 100 megawatt solar power plant, which could expand to 500 megawatts and supply power to 500,000 homes.