Masdar is on target to complete the world’s largest offshore wind farm in London’s Thames estuary by the end of 2012. In partnership with the Danish firm Dong Energy and E. ON from Germany, Masdar has already laid foundations for 22 of the London Array’s 177 turbines that will eventually produce 1 gigawatt of clean wind power. As it works to complete this project in the UK, the energy company’s renewable portfolio in Abu Dhabi is also being revised to hopefully include, pending government approval, wind energy.
Solar is Abu Dhabi’s golden child
Masdar’s energy plan in Abu Dhabi is in a state of constant flux. Mostly this has to do with the changing energy market and advent of new technologies. Frank Wouters, the director of Masdar Power, told the National that in 2009, it appeared that solar energy was the Emirate’s golden child of renewable energy. The country is rich in solar energy after all, and not particularly windy.
But he claims that the company was recently shocked to realize that new turbines which harvest energy from even moderate winds have made wind farms in Abu Dhabi a feasible opportunity.
Until the wind started blowing
Wouters told the paper that wind energy has turned out to be the lowest cost renewable energy option for Abu Dhabi, which is relying on the company to meet its goals of sourcing at least seven percent of its energy from clean energy sources by 2020.
In order to implement new projects, however, government approval and financial intervention is necessary. A 100MW solar farm planned for the western fringe of the country required a “green tariff” boost from the Executive Council, which is tasked with deciding which initiatives are viable and which are not.
Masdar’s progress at Masdar City and in Abu Dhabi has been the source of great public interest. Critics still married to the company’s original blueprint will no doubt be disappointed as the reality of implementing a carbon-free city in the middle of the desert has proven to be a much more malleable task than originally thought.
:: The National
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