UAE Channels Oil Money into Alternative Energy

International-Renewable-Energy-Agency-Head-Quarters-in-Abu-Dhabi

 Rising from the desert outside Abu Dhabi, Masdar city is laying the groundwork for when the United Arab Emirates’ oil wells run dry.

Driverless electric cars shuttle between energy-saving buildings topped with arrays of solar panels.

Traditional Arabic architecture mixes with modern technology, as narrow shaded alleys run between brick-coloured buildings, focusing the wind and keeping temperatures low.

On the edge of the complex, a 10-megawatt solar farm lined with photovoltaic panels provides clean energy.

First announced in 2007, Masdar city in the suburbs of Abu Dhabi has not yet become the city of 40,000 authorities promised, with only a few hundred people, mainly students, in residence.

But the complex — which hosts the International Renewable Energy Association Agency (IRENA) and the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology — is at the forefront of the UAE’s efforts to focus on renewables.

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