LEED Platinum Siemens Headquarters Opens in Masdar City

by Zachary Shahan.

Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE, is a LEED Certified Platinum building.

Masdar and Siemens just opened another cornerstone to young and exciting Masdar City. The LEED Platinum Siemens headquarters is an amazing example of how energy efficiency and quality design can offer huge benefits to the environment as well as the personnel working in the building.

An initial requirement of the building was that it not cost more than the average Siemens office building of its size. That target was achieved, while also cutting energy use ~50% compared to a conventional building of its size.

The building’s facade is very carefully designed to prevent heat gain from excess light while still bringing in enough daylight to prevent the need for artificial lighting during much of the day. The building is oriented and designed to maximize the flow of cool air, especially in the public space under the building, something very helpful in Abu Dhabi’s extremely hot climate. Lighting, cooling, and other building needs are automated using Siemens’ state-of-the-art building automation technologies. Building materials aimed at maximizing energy efficiency and comfort are used throughout the building. The building is designed to minimize the use of unnecessary materials. And a tremendous amount more has gone into making this building extremely efficient, cost competitive, and very comfortable for its tenants. It would probably take days or weeks to go through everything.

Masdar City actually contracted the architecture firm and developer of this project, and is leasing the building to Siemens. However, Masdar City, Siemens, and the architects designing the build worked very closely to make sure the building achieved requirements on everyone’s end. Here an exclusive video for a little more info on the building as well as some inner and outer view:

Siemens will house employees ~800 employees in this Middle East headquarters. Along with dignitaries from the region, Siemens executives, and Masdar executives, I was able to enjoy the unveiling of the building yesterday. Sometime in the coming days, I’ll publish another video about the high-tech insides building (an interview with some high-level Siemens employees), but for now, here are some images and quotes from today’s event:

Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens LEED Certified Platinum building in Masdar City, UAE 1
Siemens new headquarters building at Masdar City, UAE
Siemens LEED Certified Platinum building in Masdar City, UAE 2

“This LEED Platinum certified building demonstrates that resource efficiency can be cost competitive in our market and represents the standard of buildings that need to be more widely adopted across the UAE and the region,” said H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.

The building is the first LEED Platinum building in the region, and the most efficient.

This Masdar City anchor building “has won 16 prestigious awards, including the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards 2012 in the Offices Category and the International Property Award Winners – Arabia 2012 for Best Office Architecture,” Siemens and Masdar noted in a joint press release.

*Full disclosure: My trip to Abu Dhabi  for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week was provided by Masdar. Nonetheless, I was not required to write on any particular topics and am free to voice my genuine opinions on everything I cover — which I do.

First two images courtesy Siemens & Masdar. Other images by CleanTechnica / Zachary Shahan.

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This article, Siemens & Masdar Open LEED Platinum Building In Masdar City (Exclusive Video), is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

 

Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

REmap 2030: Roadmap to Double Renewable Energy Share by 2030

by Zachary Shahan.

IRENA has just launched REmap 2030, a roadmap showing how the world can double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030, and triple the share of “modern renewables.” Overall, REmap 2030 sees modern renewables quadrupling in absolute terms by 2030, a share of at least 30% in total final energy consumption.

The roadmap focuses on 26 countries, and will eventually include individual reports for each country, which will be published later in the year. I had the opportunity to discuss the report with Dolf Gielen, Director of the IRENA Innovation & Technology Centre, just prior to the unveiling.

Below are some of the 1) interesting matters I pulled out of the summary of findings, 2) questions the report generated for me, and 3) Dolf’s responses.

One of the most surprising findings from the project, Dolf noted, was how little it would cost to achieve this doubling of renewable energy. And, actually, if you take external costs into account (health costs, climate costs, etc), doubling the renewable energy share is actually cheaper than business as usual. These low costs allow for a great increase in renewable energy supply that doesn’t hurt the economy but actually helps it!

Projections vs. Projections

REmap 2030
REmap 2030

It’s also worth noting that REmap 2030 is not a presentation of maximum potential renewable energy growth, but rather something aimed at presenting realistic potential as it stands today, while clearly acknowledging that there are ways to make the future even cleaner than in the REmap 2030 scenario. In fact, the report shows that early retirement of fossil fuel plants, a greater model shift in transportation (towards bicycling, walking, and mass transit), greater electrification (which I discuss a bit below), industry relocation, and breakthroughs in cleantech could lead to ~50% renewable energy share by 2030. Each of these improvements are genuine possibilities, and trends we have clearly seen in just the past two or three years.

One chart that stood out to me in the summary report was one that showed REmap 2030 renewable energy share for total final energy consumption was about halfway between what was projected in low-end scenarios and high-end scenarios (see below). I asked Dolf why the REmap 2030 scenario differed so much from the Greenpeace & WWF ones, and he explained that the amount of renewable energy use is comparable to most other ambitious scenarios, and with greater energy efficiency in REmap 2030 the renewable share can increase further. Renewable energy use was actually very comparable in the three scenarios.

renewable energy 2030 projections
Renewable energy 2030 projections

Transportation Projections

Of course, I was also curious about the roadmap’s projections for electric vehicle growth. The projection was that only ~10% of passenger fleet transportation would be electric vehicles in 2030, which is more than some people project, but I still think is a pessimistic projection. In the end, I am in a certain camp of people who think that electrification of transport will be very disruptive and will see explosive growth. I don’t think 10% electrification is a bad projection, and it is in line with most projections from market research firms and energy agencies, but I do think it is an underestimate. Nonetheless, even achieving 10% of the passenger vehicle market would be a tremendous change from today. It would mean going from ~0.2 million EVs in 2012 to ~160 million EVs in 2030. Dolf also mentioned that this would imply sales of at least 10 million EVs per year between today and 2030.

Digging in a tiny bit, I asked about which of the 26 countries under study would be seeing the greatest electrification of transportation. Dolf noted China and France as two examples.

On another side of the transportation pie, REmap 2030 saw fairly strong growth in the use of cellulosic biofuels. Dolf noted one startup that has created a financially attractive cellulosic biofuel plant that it is looking to replicate in multiple locations. The startup is a subsidiary of Solazyme, a company which has been working in this field for several years.

Overall, biofuels are projected to grow 6 times over, from 105 billion liters in 2012 to 650 billion liters in 2030.

Less Government Support Than Fossil Fuels

REmap 2030 does project that this doubling of renewable energy will come with a cost if you only look at the price of energy (that is, if you ignore the health and climate costs of fossil fuels). However, it is not a great deal. “By 2030, renewable subsidies rise to USD 238 billion with the REmap Options fully deployed — less than half of the USD 544 billion in global subsidies for fossil fuels in 2012.” In other words, after over a century of tremendous fossil fuel subsidies, fossil fuel industries are still getting about twice as much money from governments in the way of subsidies (annually) than renewable energy would be granted according to the REmap 2030 projection. Imagine if we gave renewables as much as fossil fuels have been getting!

By the way, Dolf also noted that that a CO2 price of USD 28 per tonne would eliminated the need for subsidies.

Net Economic Benefit From Doubling Renewable Energy

Again, if you count health, climate, and other social costs, doubling renewable energy’s share of the global energy mix will have a net economic benefit. “The doubling of renewables can reduce emissions by 8.6 gigatonnes of CO2 in 2030, enough (along with the lower emissions enabled by energy efficiency) to keep us on a trajectory to limit global warming by more than two degrees Celsius. These mitigation benefits range from USD 3-12 per GJ, and the average health benefits due to reduce air pollution range from USD 1.9-4.6 per GJ. In the most conservative estimate, the external benefits thus amount to USD 4.9 per GJ, nearly twice the additional cost of USD 2.5 per GJ. A total of 900,000 net jobs will also be created globally.” ~3.5 million direct renewable energy jobs would be created.

Renewable Energy Growth Across All 4 Sectors
REmap sectors
REmap sectors

Renewable energy will grow to a different degree in different sectors. According to the REmap 2030 projection, 40% of the total global renewable energy use would be in power generation, while the other 60% would be in the building, transport, and industry sectors. The share of renewables within each of these sectors would be as follows (end-use sectors excluding the consumption of renewable power):

  • Power — 44%
  • Buildings — 35%
  • Industry — 19%
  • Transport — 15%

Growth By Renewable Energy Technology

REmap renewables 2010
REmap renewables 2010

REmap 2030 renewable energy split
REmap 2030 renewable energy split

So, you are probably now curious, how much will solar PV grow under REmap 2030? How much will wind power grow? How much will solar thermal grow? Here are some quick findings from REmap 2030 (change is from 2012 to 2030):

  • Hydropower — 60% growth, from 1000 GW to 1600 GW
  • Wind Power — 5-fold growth, from 280 GW to 1640 GW
  • Solar PV — 12-fold growth, from 100 GW to 1250 GW
  • Solar Thermal — 10-fold growth, from 380 million square meters to 4,000 million square meters
  • Power from Biomass — 5-fold growth, from 83 GW to 400 GW
  • Biofuels — 6-fold growth, from 105 billion liters to 650 billion liters
  • Electric Vehicles — 800-fold growth, from 0.2 million EVs to 160 million EVs (10% of passenger car fleet)
RE growth projections
RE growth projections

What Will Be Displaced?

So, from which energy resource will renewable energy be getting its increased share? Coal is projected to be the main loser, declining by 26%. Natural gas and oil’s decline is estimated at 15%.

fossil fuel reductions 2030
Fossil fuel reductions 2030

Aside from country-by-country roadmaps, REmap 2030 includes roadmaps for 4 specific sectors — cities, electricity storage, global manufacturing, and grid integration. It will be interesting to dig into those once they are published.

Full disclosure: My trip to Abu Dhabi for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week was provided courtesy of Masdar.

This article is republished from CleanTechnica: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/22/remap/

About the Author

Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

IRENA and ADFD Announce Funding for 6 Renewable Energy Projects in Developing Countries

by Zachary Shahan.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) just announced funding for six renewable energy projects in six separate developing countries.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have announced funding for six renewable energy projects in six developing countries.

YouTube video here: VIDEO

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) just announced funding for six renewable energy projects in six separate developing countries. ADFD is providing about $41 million in loans for these projects, while the total combined project costs come to over $80 million.

“The remainder will come from other sources such as national contributions, banks, development partners or financial institutions,” an IRENA press release notes.

Here’s a quick summary of the projects in total:

  • “The projects selected will provide energy to over 300,000 people and numerous businesses.”
  • “In total, 35 megawatts (MW) of energy capacity will come online, along with 4 million litres of biodiesel production per year.”
  • “Projects funded in the first round of the facility were selected by ADFD from a shortlist recommended by IRENA, which evaluated the technical and commercial merit and the socio-economic benefits of the projects. Projects had to be transformative, replicable and innovative, improve energy access and address energy security.”

“Out of all those applications, 19 project applicants were asked to submit full project proposals, which 16 did. ADFD ultimately selected six projects for funding in the first cycle.”

A quick summary of the six projects is as follows:

IRENA CEO Adnan Z Amin noted in response to a question at the press conference that there’s actually a myth that there “aren’t enough bankable renewable energy projects” in the developing world. Actually, there’s a great number of them. Applications for 82 potential projects totaling over $800 million were submitted in this funding round, showing a lot of potential in this sector.

Mr. Amin also noted that Masdar* deserved recognition for leading the way in the MENA region and inspiring clean energy awareness, as well as the atmosphere for renewable energy to develop.

These first 6 projects are ready for immediate implementation (that was one of the criteria for successful applicants). Other requirements were that projects had to be chosen from all continents, from various renewable energy technologies, and of course had to be very well planned.

The next funding cycle starts this afternoon, and there are already 70 projects waiting to apply for funding in this round. In total, ”the UAE has committed the sum of USD 350 million, in concessional loans through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), to finance renewable energy projects in developing countries.”

*Full disclosure: Masdar has covered my trip to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, where this announcement was just made. Keep up to date with my covered from throughout the week on our Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week channel.

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This article, IRENA & ADFD Announce $41 Million For 6 Renewable Energy Projects In Developing Countries, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.