By Stanley Carvalho
Senior official says carbon neutral city will grow to 'reflect the market'.
The first phase of Abu Dhabi's carbon-neutral Masdar City will be ready and operational in 2013, a senior official from the green energy company said on Wednesday.
"It is on track, 2013," Khaled Awad, director at Masdar's property unit told reporters.
The design for phase II will be ready before 2013.
"Masdar City will grow organically to reflect the market," he said.
In 2007, Masdar unveiled ambitious plans to invest $15 billion in renewable energy projects such as the world's flagship carbon-free city in Abu Dhabi.
Masdar hopes the initiative will earn Abu Dhabi a reputation as the world's main development hub for renewable energy.
The UAE is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita. Abu Dhabi has pumped billions into Masdar, its clean energy initiative, as it aims both to cut emissions and prepare the world's third-largest crude exporter for a future less dependent on oil.
Abu Dhabi itself plans to generate some 7 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.
Masdar City was originally going to generate its energy needs through solar, wind and hydrogen power projects.
In June, the company said it had integrated its first solar power plant into the emirate's electricity grid. (Reuters)