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Masdar Revises Zero-Carbon Plan, Delays Phase One

Masdar, the Abu Dhabi government-backed renewable energy company, abandoned plans for Masdar City to be carbon-neutral from the start and delayed the city’s first phase by two years to 2015.

The project will be completed between 2020 and 2025, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

“While still aiming to eventually be powered 100 percent by renewable energy, Masdar City will no longer rely solely on on-site clean energy sources,” the company said. “The purchase of renewable energy from off-site locations may also be utilized as energy demands increase over the project’s lifetime.”

Founded in 2006, Masdar City is the showpiece of Abu Dhabi’s pursuit of alternative energy. The $22 billion venture, which includes a research university, was reviewed this year after the financial crisis caused spending reductions.

Masdar is also scaling back the Personal Rapid Transport system consisting of electric driverless vehicles known as pods, the statement said. The company will test alternative vehicle technologies instead, it said.

(Updates with Masdar comment in third paragraph.)
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