In the UAE, IRENA, intergovernmental organization promoting the adoption of renewable energy, has opened its new headquarters in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, which will use predominantly solar power to meet over 10% of its total energy requirement.
Described by the IRENA’a director general as a “paragon of sustainability”, is able to produce 350,000kWh of electricity annually.
The newly inaugurated IRENA headquarters, featuring a 1,000 square metre rooftop PV array will use solar energy to generate 75% of the building’s hot water needs, with the solar water heating system having a total annual output of 27,850kWh, reports PV Tech.
Adding to this, the building’s HVAC system, namely its air conditioning system and other energy intensive applications is made sustainable, in that 75% of energy released as exhaust air is recycled by the building's air conditioning system to cool fresh air as it comes in.
Supporting the UAE sustainability vision
The building supports the Estidama sustainability programme of Abu Dhabi – the emirate’s 2030 plan establishing its vision for sustainability.
PV Tech notes that Masdar City has been designed with sustainability in mind, and that it be powered by renewable energy wherever possible. At the inauguration, the chairman of Masdar, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who is also a minister of state in the UAE described Masdar City as "the perfect setting for IRENA’s mission to advance the deployment of renewable energy worldwide.”
Adnan Z Amin, director-general of IRENA added: “ … Its advantageous location in Masdar City, and in Abu Dhabi, positions the headquarters as a nerve centre for renewable energy action and knowledge for the future.”
According to a recent IRENA report, solar and wind energy may be the most cost-effective sources of clean energy in the UAE, with solar costs having fallen by 80% since 2008.
The intergovernmental organisation, also reported that in 2014, there were 7.7 mn people working in the renewable energy industry globally, and envisions that the new HQ will help it to lead by example.