Sunday, February 3, 2008

Abu Dhabi pushes to be leader in renewable energy

By Simeon Kerr in Abu Dhabi

Published: January 21 2008 02:00 | Last updated: January 21 2008 02:00

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company is using the emirate's excess petrodollars and its low-cost manufacturing environment in a bid to become the world's leader in renewable energy, initially exploiting the United Arab Emirates' plentiful sunshine for solar power, writes Simeon Kerr.

The company, also known as Masdar, plans to fund research and development of a variety of alternative energy technologies, foster the businesses that create them, and use the emirate's financial clout to make these expensive ideas economical. "We have a unique ability to invest at all stages of the development timeline," says Steven Geiger, Masdar's director of special projects.

Masdar has invested most of the $250m in its Clean Tech Fund, which it launched in 2006 with Credit Suisse and Consensus Business Group, in 10 firms developing alternative energy technologies, including a way to turn human bio-waste into a coal-like substance.

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