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For a time, according to property news elsewhere, the UAE has been at the top of the list of countries with the biggest carbon footprint, particularly in 2008, way ahead of Kuwait and much bigger countries like the US and Germany. But a slew of government initiatives had been taking place through the years, and have helped restore a semblance of balance in a country striving to grow further on a greener economy.
In Dubai, metro station facilities and the introduction of hybrid taxicabs, and other eco-friendly transportation options have helped in the move of ‘greening’ forward. All Dubai Metro units are designed to reduce energy consumption, and the availability of mass transit has reduced the need for more cars to be driving around the city especially during peak hours.
To reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuel – known to be a primary contributor to global warming – the UAE government has a number of projects aimed at harnessing alternative, sustainable, and renewable energy resources, not the least of which are the solar cells in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. According to the Masdar City website, “The plant is the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The facility produces around 17,500 MWh of clean electricity annually and offsets 15,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.”
Shams solar power plant, also in Abu Dhabi and partly owned by Masdar, was launched in 2013. The massive 100-megawatt solar-thermal project provides energy for thousands of homes in the country, effectively displacing about 175,000 tons of CO per year.
The property news late in 2013, the 13MW photovoltaic (PV) power plant at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park also became operational in Dubai.
Certainly not small feats to accomplish in this day and age, but with adequate funding and the right infrastructure and policy support, more is set to be accomplished.
Handy Hints on Renewable Energy
• UAE’s solar power projects reduce its dependence on fossil fuel
• Dubai’s eco-friendly transport options help in ‘green’ movement
• Masdar City’s solar power plant is the largest in the Middle East
Source: Claire Dangalan, Special to Properties