In 2005, a light bulb went off for GE, which pledged to spend $1.5 billion on alternative technology by 2010. Their Ecomagination department eclipsed that goal in 2009 and has recently committed a further $10billion to the cause. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi will be the first to showcase the results.
We have been evaluating the Masdar City initiative from the start, and though we first questioned the role that finite resources play to finance it, we also re-visited our skepticism. What we can’t question is that the world’s first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city is drawing from among the most developed renewable energy talent worldwide, including the US Department of Energy and General Electric.
GE’s 4,000 square meter Ecomagination Centre in Masdar – the first such corporate fixture – will showcase many of GE’s most innovative technology, “including wind, solar and other renewable energy products that will power the next generation Smart Grid, along with water purification technology and energy-efficient home appliances.”
Nabil Habayeb, president and CEO, GE Middle East & Africa, said that GE “see[s] enormous opportunities to deploy sustainable technologies in the region, drive new innovation and harness the region’s great interest and willingness in putting these technologies to work.”
Environmentalists fault Abu Dhabi for its recent explosive growth pattern, given its arid climate and lack of freshwater sources. However, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) bestows on Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan the honor of VIP in renewable energy finance. In their February 2008 issue of Our Planet, they wrote that the Prince is “taking his oil-rich country to the forefront of renewable energy investment.”
The White House released a set of goals that countries must embrace in order to reverse human impact on climate change: they include emission mitigation, clean energy technology, and scaled up financing. Since GE has reduced their own energy use by 22% since 2005, there’s an excellent chance they will help Masdar do much better.
:: via Treehugger
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