UAE going cleantech?

Bahrain World Trade Center
Bahrain World Trade Center

The United Arab Emirates is emerging as one of the biggest markets for cleantech, thanks to a massive carbon footprint and skyrocketing energy demand.

The carbon footprint of UAE residents is greater than anyplace else, in part due to the massive amounts of construction (now mostly ceased) and their heavy use of desalination (which is powered by petroleum)

But there appears to have been a major change the past several months, triggered by the real estate crash there.

Speaking with both investors and real estate developers over the last few months, I have come to realize there has been a paradigm shift with respect to the concept of a real estate asset. There is a movement away from the traditional income-per-tenant model, to a more sustainable income stream, namely energy production.

Over and over I heard the same concept: This downturn highlights the need to secure a more stable income stream from real estate.

That means buildings will be designed with a smaller carbon footprint and with solar panels, wind turbines, and efficient energy systems. Good. Now let’s do the same here.