ABU DHABI. 4th May 2023. (WAM). The UAE has been a leader in the development of renewable and clean energy and is looking for alternatives to conventional sources.
The country continues to work towards achieving its goals for the next fifty years, including leading efforts to ensure that the energy sector is sustainable, benefits future generations, and supports climate action.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched as a result of efforts to promote and develop clean and renewable energy, preserve natural resources and reduce carbon emission.
The UAE will host COP28 at Expo City Dubai in 2023 from 30 November to 12 December. This will provide a platform to promote the UAE’s progress towards achieving sustainable development. It will also showcase the major clean energy projects of the country, including its solar projects which help reduce the effects and reach climate neutrality by 2020.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Energy Park, in Dubai. This project uses an independent production system to produce 5,000 Megawatts (MW). The park will boost climate action by offsetting more than 6.5 million tonnes carbon emissions each year.
The park is managed by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. It has a production capacity of 2,327MW, using photovoltaic and concentrator solar power. This represents nearly 15,7 percent of Dubai’s total electricity production capacity, which totals 14,817MW. The park contributes to the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 – the emirate’s carbon neutrality plan for 2050.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched in January 2012 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President, Premier and Ruler for Dubai.
Phase I of the park, which has a 13-megawatt capacity, started operating in October 2013. It uses 153,000 photovoltaic cells connected to 13 transformers in reflective buildings. These panels convert 33 kilovolts to 28 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, reducing carbon emissions by more than 15,000 tons.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launched the Phase II of the Park in March 2017. The park has a capacity of 200MW photovoltaic power, which will provide clean energy to nearly 50,000 homes in Dubai, and offset 214,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.
This phase involved the installation of 2.3 millions photovoltaic panels over 4.5 square kilometers. DEWA proposed at the launch the lowest price in the world of US$5.6 per kilowatt hour for Phase II.
In June 2016, DEWA announced that a consortium led by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company Masdar was awarded the Phase III project tender. The 800-MW production facility will begin operating in November 2020.
The authority announced that it had set a new record for the cost of photovoltaics production after offering the lowest price in the world at 2,99 cents per kilowatt/hour.
The third phase of the project is the first in the Middle East, North Africa and North Africa to use a solar tracking system with a single axis that increases energy productivity by up to 30%. The project’s third phase uses 3 million solar panels that use advanced technologies to provide clean energy for over 240,000 homes and offsets 1.055 millions tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Phase IV was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid in September 2017.
This is the largest solar project in the world that uses two technologies, concentrated solar power and solar photovoltaics, to produce a combined 950 MW of power. Of this, 517 MW are already operational. The remainder of the work is still under construction.
The first phase uses three technologies with a combined 700 MW of concentrated solar energy. These include a system with parabolic reflectors that has a 600 MW capacity, or three units of 200 MW; the tallest solar tower in the world at 262.44 meters with a capacity of 100 MW, using molten-salt technology; and solar panels with 250 MW of capacity.
The project’s Phase IV is the largest solar energy storage project in the world, providing solar power 24 hours a day. This phase will provide clean energy to nearly 320,000 households and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 1.6 millions tonnes per year.
In November 2019 the coalition will implement Phase 5 of the project, with a production capacity of 900 MW.
DEWA set a new world record when it received the lowest bid, USD 1,6953 cents for kilowatt hours (kW/h), during this phase. 800 MW are currently in operation and the remainder is still in the works. Phase V will produce enough clean energy to power over 270,000 Dubai homes and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 1,18 million tonnes per year.
DEWA organized a conference in March 2023 to inform local and international developers of Phase VI, which will have a total production capacity of 1,800 MW. This phase will operate between 2024-2026.
The Innovation Centre
The Innovation Centre of the park is a global hub for innovation in the energy and water sector. It provides a unique learning environment through hosting events, forming partnerships and promoting innovation.
Visitors can explore the latest inventions in clean energy. The centre also creates shows with drones and holograms, and tests interactive experiences such as self-driving vehicles and the Metaverse.
The Research and Development Centre
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park’s Research and Development Centre of DEWA aims to be a global platform that generates creative solutions and technology to improve DEWA operations and services.
Solar power, smart systems integration, energy efficiency, water and the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, robotics, drones, 3D printing and space technologies, along with energy system analysis and space technologies, are all areas of focus for the centre.
The centre has published 154 articles and registered eight patents since its founding. The centre has 48 researchers including 32 PhDs and Masters.
Green Hydrogen Project
The Research and Development Centre also participates in DEWA’s “Green Hydrogen Project,” in collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens Energy. It is the first centre of its kind to produce hydrogen using solar power in the region.
The Green Data Centre
According to Guinness Book of Records, the Green Data Centre will be launched in February 2023 as the largest data center powered by solar energy.