Tag Archives: ecological salvation

Sustainable City Masdar

The sustainable city of Masdar, designed to house 50,000 people and covering an area of 7 sq. km. on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, will be the world’s first carbon neutral city.

Whilst we in Australia are still debating how to tackle Climate Change and implement policies to shift from carbon-guzzling fuels to alternative energy, in a most unlikely place in the world, the United Arab Emirates is well on its way to making this shift. Based on policy decisions made years ago, the UAE already has real programs for a carbon neutral sustainable city at an advanced stage of implementation.

The State of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, launched their Masdar ‘Carbon Neutral’ City Plan and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (‘MIST’) in 2007. Four years later, sustainable city Masdar, with MIST (associated with USA’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology) at its centre, is under construction.

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

Image Solar Panel Roof MIST

Sustainable City Solar Panel Rooftop

MIST, with onsite student accommodation facilities, solar, geothermal and construction prototype practice facilities was designed by Lord Foster (Foster & Partners Architects UK) has been completed. Abhu Dabi’s Future Energy Company (FEC’) Headquarters, also designed by Foster, is now under construction.

Sustainable City Promises

Image of model Masdar Sustainable City

Residential Quarter Model by Aedas Int'l

The water use savings for Masdar are huge. For a city of 50,000 people the sustainable city designers promise 8,000 cu m3 of desalinated water use compared to 20,000 cu m for a conventional city: a saving of $2 billion in oil use over 25 years.

Additionally, the design offers 99% recycling of city/construction waste and a car-free person-mover automated transport system with 200m maximum  walking distance from domicile to public transport.

Whilst China’s Dong Tan Eco-City has yet to get off the drawing board, the Masdar development is in its second stage.

Alternative Energy Companies Hub

Construction of a hub of 1,500 alternative and sustainable energy and associated technologies companies, including company giants like Siemens, are taking space around the administrative core of the city.

Benefitting From Results

It is the FEC management and the Masdar Institute that methodically plot the technological space and the standards that define this carbon neutral city. Their aim is to develop methodologies, intellectual property and hardware which Masdar FEC’s management will sell to the rest of the world:

Reproduce Masdar Elsewhere

The management of MIST distils the results of field testing from their various initiatives, including the use of materials and their  industry applications to define guidelines based on these results.

Abu Dhabi intends to leverage the knowledge gained in developing this sustainable city with a minimum carbon footprint, by building other sustainable communities elsewhere.

The Masdar project is developing through a six-pronged development structure consisting of:

1.    Masdar Institute of Science and Technology,
2.    Masdar Research Network,
3.    Innovation and Investment,
4.    Special Projects,
5.    Carbon Management and
6.    Masdar Zone Development

What Australia Can Learn From Masdar

There are lessons here for Australia, specifically ‘how to implement and quickly achieve real results,’ in a situation where we are running out of time.

This article written by Sasha Ivanovich FRAIA

SIA Architects Pty Ltd



Sasha recently returned from a four week study of the City of Masdar as the recipient of the Commonwealth Endeavour Award and hosted by Aedas International in UAE and supported by RISE.

How Important is Solar Energy?

Garry Baverstock
Co-Founder & Director, solar-e.com
Email: g.baverstock@solar-e.com

solar energy

Since 1969 I have recognized that the use of solar energy is the ecological salvation for planet earth.

In the 1960’s it became obvious to most scientists involved in energy science and engineering that fossil fuel sources had limited life in the long term. In spite of the growing awareness of pollution of cities, politicians and oil companies at the time had scant regard of the pleas of eminent scientists. Even though the “Greenhouse Effect” was known since 1958, most governments in the world were just too concerned about maintaining their economic position at the time to act. Celestia sun, solar energy

The warnings now have much greater credence with a growing proportion of the world’s population. This has resulted in a rise of use of solar energy. Of course all forms of energy are related or derived from solar energy. However, it is the applications that avoid releasing CO2 into the atmosphere or lock up CO2 in the process (such as bio-mass) that have relevance for the 21st Century.

solar-e.com has been formulated to assist in this critical technological and social change, which simply must become mainstream. If not, the current changes in the earth’s climate will be insignificant to the catastrophes and human misery that lay ahead if substantial changes do not occur soon!

Apart from the environmental benefit of the “Big Switch” to solar energy, there will be socio-economic benefits, yet not fully appreciated by most scientists, the business community and most governments. It is time for a greater focus, and delivery of real, not perceived, outcomes.

In 2001, the photovoltaic industry was growing at a rate of 30% p.a., which shows the “solar energy age” has well and truly started. Most people always recognized that solar energy was the energy source of the future. Although the last 30 years of the twentieth century can be seen as an evolutionary process, the speed of development has been slow in relation to the growth of production of greenhouse gases.

Communication, networking, education, dissemination of ideas and information, can help to quicken the pace of development of all forms of solar energy, not only increasing use in the developed world, but ensure the developing world does not make the same errors of judgement in the past and leapfrog the outdated 19th Century forms of energy generation.

I believe this process will take about 50 years, but this early part of the 21st century is the most critical time in human evolution and survival of planet earth’s ecology and environment, as we know it. The equilibrium of greenhouse gases must be restored as soon as possible. If 25% of all energy sources were to be provided by solar and renewable sources and pollution from commuter traffic significantly reduced, the danger of catastrophic effects could be averted. This target must be met by all countries within the next twenty years. Ask the Gurus!

solar-e.com is here to facilitate the process and put genuine seekers of the truth of what is happening and what can be done with those who can deliver the outcomes. We see the large fossil fuel producers as important strategic partners as this important step of evolution occurs.

It is going to take remarkable cooperation and collaboration but it can be done. It must!

Name- Celestia sun
Source- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Celestia_sun.jpg
Image has been released into the public domain

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