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Masdar Sustainability Report: Almost 27,000 Tons of CO2 Released

Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy firm Masdar released 26,987 tons of carbon dioxide last year, according to the company’s first sustainability report.

Some 19,671 tons of the CO2 released by Masdar came from the construction of its facilities. The remainder came from the company’s operations, according to the report, which covers the 12-month period up to and including September 2012. As this is the first sustainability report Masdar has released there are no earlier figures available for comparison purposes.

The company is developing Masdar City, a planned city in Abu Dhabi that will be powered entirely by renewable energy and will serve as a hub for cleantech companies. Much of Masdar’s construction emissions relate to this project.

The ready-mix concrete used to build Masdar City contributes significantly to the city’s carbon footprint. However, Masdar says it has has taken a variety of steps to improve the material’s sustainability.

The green, ready-mix concrete used at Masdar City is produced on-site by Al Falah Ready Mix. Al Falah’s batching plant replaces 40 to 60 percent of the concrete’s Portland cement with a supplementary cementing material. This material reduces the concrete’s embodied CO2 by as much as 58 percent, Masdar says, and cuts the amount of waste sent to landfill.

The company consumed 38,558 MWh of energy in the reporting period, the report says. Some 20,573 MWh of that consumption was related to the company’s operations, and some 17,985 MWh was from construction.

Masdar City accounted for 17,572 MWh of the company’s operational energy consumption. Roughly three quarters of the energy consumed over the course of the year at Masdar City comes from grid electricity with the remainder coming from photovoltaic generation on site. The exact ratio between on-site solar power and grid electricity usage varied significantly from month to month and is show on the graph above.

The company says one of its highlights has been the addition of 860 MW of clean energy capacity to the global energy mix. The report does not, however, detail over what time period this 860 MW of capacity was added.

Masdar is part of the group developing a wind power array in the London Thames estuary. When fully operational, the London array will make a substantial contribution to the UK government’s target of deriving 15.4 percent of all electricity supply from renewable sources by 2015. Based on the current schedule the London Array project would represent nearly 7 percent of this target, the report says.

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