Extra TerraViva Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2013

Are the Masdarians the new Jetsons?

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.

credit- John K_CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Power Flows

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 “Nearly 50 percent of the water withdrawn is used for energy.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.” 

It’s a car, it’s a motorcycle — it’s the clean-vehicle future

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. 

Abu Dhabi El Ashry

High-tech Gear Did Not Outshine Policy in Abu Dhabi

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. 


Peering into the Energy Crystal Ball

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.


Clean Water from Cleaner Energy

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.


Quite the Jetsetter

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.

Home-made solar_Credit_Cam McGrath

Star Rises a Little

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. 

Steve Howard of Ikea

Policy + Profit + People = Sustainable Power?

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. 

Green Peace

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. 

Tripping the Light Fantastic

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.

And Now Some Drops to Drink

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. 

Digging for Water, But Striking Oil

The volatile politics of the Middle East have long been dominated by the fluctuating fortunes of a single commodity: oil.

Students Score with Future Energy Prize

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. 

Rich in Hydrocarbons, Building a Clean Energy Future

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. 


From Sports Cars to Bottled River Water, Japan Goes Green

Boasting a yellow two-person convertible run on hydrogen gas and free bottles of Tokyo tap water, the Japanese pavilion at the Water and Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi seemed to pull the most crowds. It was also a sign of the growing interest of Japanese companies in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city, a promising emerging market. 

Mideast Energy Crisis Looks For Light at the End of the Tunnel

When Jordan's Queen Rania Al Abdullah took the podium to address world political and business leaders at a back-to-back energy and water summit here, she said she was representing a country that relies on imports for over 90 percent of its energy needs.

Power and Empowerment

The frustrated energies of Arab youth that burst on to the streets over the past two years will need energy by way of electricity to calm them, Queen Rania of Jordan said at the launch of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on Tuesday. 

Lounge Greenly

The centre table in the lounge is made of pine used for making crates. What's better, it's certified by the Forest Stewardship Council that promotes responsible management of the world's forests. The glass candle stand on that table and the vases around the room are made of recycled glass; the sofa filling is washed grain stack. The French window looking out on to the patio is well insulated yet allows a great deal of daylight in. It's a happy place to lounge around. 

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