Back in 2006, when the government of Abu Dhabi — a Middle Eastern emirate that controls eight percent of the world's oil reserves — announced that it would build "the world's first zero-carbon city," skeptics took it with a pinch of salt. Few believed it would be possible.
Water and power keep close company, closer than we may think. “Today roughly 7 percent of the world’s energy consumption is used for water,” Masdar CEO Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber told delegates at the launch of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. “Nearly 50 percent of the water withdrawn is used for energy. This interdependency will only grow over time.”
The 200-kilograms two-seater Zerotracer completely stole the show at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week
. Yours for about 150,000 euros, the vehicle works both as a car and a motorcycle, depending on the mood of the driver, by manually removing or adding two wheels. But that is not the real reason it’s a unique show-stopper.
High-tech showcases of renewable energy were not the only key element of the three-day International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi – building political commitment towards seriously promoting renewable energy was an equally strong part of the summit, according to Mohammed El Ashry, chairman of Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st
Century (REN21), during a press conference that concluded the global event.
Trying to predict the future of the energy sector is like trying to predict the weather in London in an era of global warming. But delegates had a go at it during the three-day World Future Energy Summit, which ended in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 17.
Awareness is growing that the excessive energy currently required to desalinate water is not sustainable in the long term. So the big question is how to make it financially viable and technically possible to deploy cleaner power sources.
Among the 30,000 or so delegates who had come to attend the World Future Energy Summit and the first International Water Summit being held in Abu Dhabi Jan. 15-17 - including global leaders in politics, policy, technology and business - was Wendy 2.0, who had journeyed all the way from New York.
Any comparison of energy output from renewables to conventional energy sources must necessarily fail at the start. Renewables are new, they are a beginning, and it’s still too early to weigh such figures and to discount renewables.But despite significant advances in Abu Dhabi and Morocco, and promising commitments by the Saudis, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was reminded it is still doing less than many others.
Renewable and sustainable energy could emerge from a basic equation, according to some business leaders at the International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC), hosted by the World Future Energy Summit taking place in Abu Dhabi this week.
Politicians need to implement the right policies that would boost the green energy sector and cause people to change their behaviour, and this would be akin to letting the sunlight in, to simplify the message from IREC, which acts as a common platform for government, the private sector and civil society to discuss renewable energy.
The sight of a pregnant woman carrying a pile of firewood on her head with a toddler at her side is a fairly common one in many developing countries.
But what many don't know is that of the nearly 1.5 million people who die due to indoor smoke, 85 percent are women and children.
Would those long treks through airport corridors become more tolerable if travellers knew they were creating electricity with each weary footstep?
Some enterprising young people at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES)
in Abu Dhabi certainly think so. They dream of installing piezoelectricity tiles at airports as a way of generating clean energy.
Arid countries across the globe are finding themselves high and dry, with not enough groundwater to slake the thirst of both food crops and people.
But for coastal states, there is an obvious solution, although it is often energy-intensive.
The volatile politics of the Middle East have long been dominated by the fluctuating fortunes of a single commodity: oil.
Innovative high schools in Mexico, Britain, Tanzania and Abu Dhabi that aim to power classrooms with solar, biogas, wind and other sustainable energy sources were among the winners of the 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize
, held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
With Abu Dhabi holding the world's fifth largest oil reserve and sixth largest gas reserve - enough hydrocarbons to last another hundred years - one might wonder why the emirate has jumped into the global fray of renewable energy and clean technologies.