If there wasn't enough cool stuff about the Masdar Initiative (concept pictured above from aerial perspective), theres more. For those of you who haven't heard, the project is headed by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, and is a plan to build an entire city costing $22B and housing over 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, and it would be zero-carbon, zero-waste, and fully sustainable. That's a heck of a claim for such an arid area, but a world first and a herald for environmental responsibility in its oil-rich surroundings. Cars will be banned from the city, and all travel will be by mass transit and personal rapid transit. Amazingly, the city is set to be habitable by 2009.
Their latest announcement is that they've put down $2 billion to start their very own solar industry operating under the name of Masdar PV and concentrating on thin-film photovoltaics, which they will build in Germany and in-country. These thin-films will be mounted on rooftops to harness their abundance of solar energy to the projected tune of 130 megawatts.
Masdar PV also plans to venture into markets like the US and Europe, where their massive economies of scale might just give Nanosolar, First Solar, and others a run for their money. Steve Geiger, their director of special projects says "You have to be working at scale to drive costs out of the system. We have to do it at scale and we have to do it in volume in multiple markets."
Certainly volume is their plan. They expect to have more than a gigawatt of annual production capacity by 2014. This is a lofty goal considering they haven't yet even begun manufacturing, something they plan to start by the end of 2009.
Complementing the thin-film, Masdar PV will also be participating in ventures that will produce solar thermal power plants, as well as getting into the production of polysilicon to be able to manufacture conventional solar cells.
For more info, check out the Masdar Initiative website.
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