Complex Made Simple

UAE’s Masdar City participates in Earth Hour

Masdar City illuminates Earth Hour with solar-powered lanterns to reinforce clean energy’s role in combatting climate change.

Masdar City, which offers a pioneering ‘greenprint’ for sustainable urban development, last night joined millions of people and organisations across the world, when it switched off its lights between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to mark Earth Hour.

The low-carbon city used the opportunity to demonstrate to visiting children the potential of renewable energy to address climate change, a key focus of this year’s Earth Hour. The children were given solar-powered The Learning Light lanterns, provided by d.light, the 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize Small and Medium Enterprise category winner, as a memento of their visit.

Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, director of sustainability at Masdar and director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “For us, switching off the lights for Earth Hour is not just a symbolic gesture. It reinforces Masdar’s daily work to mitigate climate change by advancing renewable energy in accordance with the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

“In Masdar City, we have incorporated a range of measures to reduce energy demand and improve efficiency. Masdar is delivering life-changing clean energy plants to remote communities around the world and has 1.5 gigawatts of renewable energy deployed or under development globally. Meanwhile, our Shams 1 solar plant is contributing enough electricity to power up to 20,000 homes in Abu Dhabi.”

She added: “Earth Hour at Masdar City underscored the importance of fostering a spirit of innovation among children, the future energy leaders, as part of the UAE leadership’s strategic vision to transition to a sustainable economy, based on an energy mix that is diverse and clean.”

More than 20 children and their parents gathered at the Knowledge Centre at Masdar City to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship, which was of particular importance to the founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

In 1995, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) presented its highest conservation award, the Golden Panda, to Sheikh Zayed, marking the first time it had been awarded to a head of state.

The WWF held the first Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia in 2007. That year, 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights to draw attention to climate change. Last year’s Earth Hour broke all records, with the participation of 162 countries and over 7,000 cities and towns. Participants are encouraged to go beyond just supporting Earth Hour and commit to year round measures to protect the planet and help combat climate change.