June 29, 2009

The world's first zero-carbon city

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was formed in January 2009, tasked with fostering the uptake of renewable energy around the globe. They will work with academia, the energy industry, economists, environmentalists and a range of other institutions to help create and implement renewable energy policies. So far, over 100 countries have signed on.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are putting forward a case to host the secretariat of IRENA in a newly built zero-carbon city called Masdar City.

They city will be powered entirely by solar and wind power, as well as waste-to-energy technologies. Water will be retreated and recycled and all waste will be recovered, recycled and reused. People will move around in Personal Rapid Transport systems, which are essentially pods moving around in predetermined loops. I think a few years ago they were thinking of putting one in Courtenay Place, Wellington! The city will also house over 1,500 renewable energy related companies, providing a cluster of renewable technology innovation.

Only in the UAE...


  1. interesting- but how many people will Masdar City hold? when are they due to build it, or for it to be fully sustainable. i imagine the build and habitation is in stages, so would the types of people living there be 'normal' people, or those with an interest in sustainable living? in which case, imagine the ideas that could come out of the city itself.

  2. Masdar City was actually started in 2006 - before IRENA was formed. Its estimated that it will take 8 years to build. It is expected to hold around 40,000-50,000 people and will be built by 60,000 workers who will commute from Abu Dhabi each day. I'm not sure who will live there, but I guess the majority will be involved with the 1,500 companies, or will simply have to have an interest as it will be a pretty different way of life for most (no cars, etc).



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