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Abu Dhabi to Invest $15 Billion in Green Energy

By Stanley Carvalho
Reuters
January 21, 2008


Gulf Arab oil exporter Abu Dhabi plans to spend $15
billion in the first phase of an initiative to develop green energy and build
the world's largest hydrogen power plant, it said on Monday.

The investment would be part of the Masdar initiative, set up to develop
sustainable and clean energy, Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed
al-Nahayan told the World Future Energy Summit in the emirate. He gave no time frame.

"I would like to underscore the government of Abu Dhabi's commitment to the
Masdar initiative by announcing an initial investment of $15 billion," he said.
"Next month ground will be broken on Masdar city, the world's first
carbon-neutral city."

The money will go into infrastructure, renewable energy projects such as solar
power, and manufacturing, to position Abu Dhabi as a leader in the global clean
energy market, said Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, or Masdar.

The project includes plans to start building a zero carbon, zero waste city of
up to 15,000 residents in the desert in the first quarter of this year.

"Achieving a zero carbon city is doable," he said.

Abu Dhabi, capital of the seven-member United Arab Emirates federation, would
also build the world's largest hydrogen power plant with 500 megawatts of
capacity, said Jaber.

Masdar will hold a 60 percent stake in the "multi-billion-dollar joint venture,"
a Masdar official said, adding that the rest would be equally held by British
Petroleum and Rio Tinto.

The project's engineering and design would be concluded by the end of 2008, he said.

Masdar has said it plans to develop a network of carbon capture and storage
projects (CCS) to pump greenhouse gases into oilfields, reducing emissions while
boosting oil output.

CCS, an as yet commercially unproven technology, should free up natural gas that
is now reinjected to push oil out of oilfields. The UAE needs the gas for power
generation to meet rising demand as petrodollars fuel an economic boom.

According to a U.N. Development Programme report issued last year, UAE
greenhouse gas emissions were 34.1 metric tons per head in 2004, the third
highest in the world after Qatar and Kuwait and well above U.S. per capita
emissions of 20.6 metric tons.

Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with France this month for cooperation on the
development of nuclear energy in the world's fifth-largest oil-exporter.

Sheikh Mohammed also announced the establishment of the Zayed Future Energy
Prize, with an annual prize pool of $2.2 million, designed to reward
achievements in energy innovation.

Masdar's $250 million Clean Technology Fund has already invested in different
projects and Jaber said there were plans to launch another fund soon.

 

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