Abu Dhabi wins International Renewable Energy Agency headquarters

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Nicosia, July 1 (ANI): Abu Dhabi has been selected to house the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The announcement was made at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, after other candidate cities, like Bonn and Vienna withdrew their candidacies.

Although IRENA was established last January, it saw its membership grow quickly from 75 member countries to 130.

The IRENA will be located in Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, the world's first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city, powered entirely by renewable energy.

Masdar is a 22 billion-dollar project being constructed near Abu Dhabi which is scheduled for completion in 2015, with a capacity to house up to 50,000 people.

The symbolism of having the seat of an organization dealing with renewable energy sources in a city powered only by renewable energy was too big to miss, although some critics had pointed out that the per capita energy consumption in the UAE was the highest in the world.

The UAE Government offered to cover all operational costs of the IRENA in perpetuity and will also grant the agency an amount of 136 million dollars over a six year period.

It should be noted that IRENA's innovation centre will be located in Bonn and the organization will have a liaison office in Vienna. (ANI)

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