Dubai seeks 2,500MW through rooftop solar sources
DUBAI — Technical, commercial and legal frameworks are currently being put in place to facilitate the integration of solar power in Dubai as the emirate seeks to boost its renewable energy capacity significantly in the coming years through rooftop solar power sources, Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of Dubai Water and Electricity Authority, or Dewa, said.
Speaking at the Word Energy Forum in Dubai on Wednesday, Al Tayer said Dewa has identified that distributed rooftop solar power sources can make a practical contribution to Dubai’s power needs in the order of 20 per cent or around 2500MW by 2030.
“Solar power is the most significant and strategic renewable resource in the UAE. Dubai has ongoing plans to build Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park of a 1000MW capacity by 2030. The $3.5 billion project, which upon completion will be one of the biggest solar parks in the region, and possibly beyond, he said.
The solar park will make substantial contribution to Dubai’s future energy needs. The first phase 10MW solar PV plant will be in operation before end of year 2013, Al Tayer said.
By 2030, Dubai’s average energy growth is projected to be in the range of 4-5 per cent per annum. “Our target is to reduce Energy consumption by 30 per cent through the implementation of enhanced Energy Efficient initiatives and, by the same token, to significantly reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide.
Al Tayer said Dubai would diversify its fuel mix by adding new capacity with “clean coal” power generation accounting for 12 per cent of total power production. Renewable sources, including solar power, will contribute five per cent, nuclear power 12 per cent and 71 per cent from gas.
Currently, the combined power generation and desalinated water production in Dubai are most efficiently produced using natural gas and LNG as the primary fuel (99 per cent) and supplemented by liquid fuel- Diesel oil as a secondary fuel (one per cent).
Al Tayer said sustainability has become the main concern worldwide due to the adverse impact of climate change.
“The long-term national initiative to build green economy in the UAE under the slogan “A green economy for sustainable development.
This new initiative is fully in line with Dubai’s Strategic Plan’s focus on sustainable development, environmental stewardship and meeting stakeholders expectations,” he said.
Al Tayer pointed out that it is now five years since the launch of Dubai’s sustainability drive, marked by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s declaration of the Green Buildings initiative on October 24, 2007. “This initiative is rooted in the belief that resource efficiency in general, energy and water in particular, is no longer an option. The Green Building Regulations and Specifications were issued in 2010,” he said.
He said Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy, as an independent formal governing entity, seeks to ensure sustainable energy resources for the emirate’s growing economy at a reasonable cost, and reduce and mitigate any negative impact on the environment. “In that legal framework, the Council governs all the activities related to the energy sector in the Emirate of Dubai, including energy efficiency and resources management.
In 2010, the Council developed Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which is driven by a vision to make Dubai a role model to the world in energy security and efficiency.
He said the implementation of Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 would create business opportunities and enhance the green economy. Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence was set up in 2011 in cooperation with UNDP in order to capture and implement carbon dioxide emission reduction Projects, the objective being to achieve a cleaner environment. A regulatory body has been created in 2011 to focus on power and water privatisation,” said Al Tayer.