Given its celebrity status and our skepticism of its real sustainibility, we at Green Prophet endeavor to keep abreast of Masdar City’s progress. We questioned the Masdar carbon credit scheme as another attempt to justify the world’s interminable pursuit of black gold, but recently it seems that oil-fed businessmen such as Masdar’s CEO are beginning to catch up and acknowledge that yes, oil is a finite resource.
So when an energy company propelled by one of the oiliest economies on the planet says that oil will not always be around, what alternative does he offer?
According to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, the Middle East holds 66% of the world’s remaining oil, while the United Arab Emirates has the 3rd largest oil reserve.
“But that does not mean oil and gas will be there forever,” Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar’s CEO told media in Toledo following a recent speech to an American university in Ohio. In response to this revelation, the UAE is developing one of the grandest, most ambitious renewable projects in the world.
“We will make it [alternative energy] commercially viable and offer it to the world,” said Al Jaber.
He also assured his audience that the $22 billion carbon neutral Masdar City project – designed to be the first of its kind – is on task to provide 7% of the United Arab Emirates’ power with renewable energy sources by 2020.
However, Al Jaber admits that they are slightly behind schedule, albeit within its planned budget, because “All the experts, the architects and contractors, none of them knew how to make [Masdar City]. It’s never been done in the history of the world.”
Though Masdar recognizes the impermanence of oil resources, we can’t help but notice the irony that those same resources are financing a $22 billion “sustainability” project that will only benefit 45,000 people.
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