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Minister of State for Advanced Technology visits Green Hydrogen Project of DEWA

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A file photo of Minister of State for Advanced Technology visits R&D Centre and the Green Hydrogen Project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

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HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), welcomed HE Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology who headed a high-level delegation from the Ministry. The two sides discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation to achieve the vision of the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to promote the UAE’s transition towards a knowledge-based economy and consolidate its position as a hub for advanced sciences and technologies.

The meeting discussed ways to increase strategic collaboration. DEWA is building robust integrated strategic partnerships with local and federal bodies in addition to exchanging information and best practices and experiences. DEWA believes in the key role of partnerships in improving sustainable growth.

The meeting was attended by HE Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, and Ibrahim Al Qasim, Executive Director, Space Sector, the UAE Space Agency. Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, was also present.

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer and Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri toured the R&D Centre, which contributes to localising knowledge and expertise. The Centre’s research areas include solar power, smart grid integration, energy efficiency, and water. It also focuses on space technologies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution applications such as 3D printing and additive manufacturing. These are some of the innovative solutions being used to produce spare parts for DEWA’s generation, transmission, and distribution divisions.

The centre has various internal labs and outdoor labs to study the performance and reliability of photovoltaic solar panels. Key internal labs include the Electrical Characterisation Lab, the Mechanical Characterisation Lab, the Materials Characterisation Lab, the Solar Simulator Lab, and the Accelerated Aging Lab for solar panels. The outdoor labs include testing different solar panel technologies and performance, as well as the Robotic and Drone laboratory, which contributed to DEWA achieving a Guinness World Records title for the first 3D-printed lab in the world.

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During the tour, HE Al Tayer highlighted DEWA’s Space Programme (Space D), which was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in January 2021. The programme supports the National Space Strategy 2030 that aims to realise the UAE’s vision in space sciences, technologies, applications and services.

Space-D aims to improve the operations, maintenance, and planning of DEWA’s networks with the support of nanosatellites, the Internet of Things (IoT), and remote sensing technologies. The programme also aims to train Emirati professionals to use space technologies in electricity and water networks. It underlines Dubai’s leading role in taking advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and earth observation technologies.

As part of DEWA’s Space-D programme, DEWA launched the DEWA-SAT 1 nanosatellite in collaboration with NanoAvionics in January 2022, becoming the first utility in the world to research and develop solutions using nanosatellite technology.

During the visit, the guests were also briefed on some projects developed by DEWA’s R&D Centre. These include a patented innovation to determine the optimal location of Concentrated Solar Power systems using a drone and an autonomous vehicle. This aims to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of these systems. Another system that was highlighted won two awards at Ideas America Awards to automatically scan photovoltaic panels using a drone and AI algorithms developed by the R&D’s researchers. Other innovations include a portable, low-cost, high-accuracy geotagging system using GNSS-RTK technology that also won an Ideas America award, and innovation to measure the diffuse reflection of solar radiation out of the total solar radiation received on the surface using an in-house developed autonomous rover.

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The visit also included the Green Hydrogen project, which DEWA implemented. The pilot project is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to produce eco-friendly hydrogen using solar power. Green hydrogen is a promising and environmentally friendly source of energy. It is usually produced by water electrolysis using renewable energy. Green hydrogen represents one of the pillars of a sustainable future that depends on accelerating the transition to carbon neutrality and reducing carbon emissions from various industries.

The Minister of State for Advanced Technology and the visiting delegation were also briefed on DEWA’s key projects, initiatives and programmes to achieve the vision and directives of the wise leadership.

A global platform for launching promising technologies

HE Sarah Al Amiri commended the development of DEWA’s projects and initiatives, as well as the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and its clean energy innovations. These major undertakings support the directives of the UAE leadership who have prioritised sustainability, green energy transition, and climate action as key pillars of our national economic strategy.

“We seek to consolidate and integrate efforts with our strategic partners, in line with the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology, to advance key economic sectors. Our combined efforts contribute to solidifying UAE’s status as a global hub for industries of the future, with a focus on green development sectors, as well as play a role in stimulating innovation and encouraging advanced technology adoption within industrial solutions. There is no doubt that the clean energy projects led by the DEWA’s Research and Development Centre and the Green Hydrogen project hold exceptional potential and offer promising opportunities for sustainable, low-carbon economic growth” said Al Amiri.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said that the R&D Centre supports DEWA’s efforts to overcome challenges in the energy sector when generating electricity from solar and clean energy. This supports the Centre’s goals to become a global platform for launching promising solutions that enrich the scientific community in Dubai, the UAE, and the world. It also helps us strengthen the skills and knowledge of Emirati researchers to maintain DEWA’s position at the forefront of utilities globally.

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Al Tayer explained that DEWA has a clear direction for the energy sector based on the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100% of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. DEWA employs the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution applications and disruptive technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, and Smart Grids, to enhance energy efficiency and increase the happiness of all stakeholders, including customers.

“Thanks to the directives of the wise leadership, DEWA is moving forward with using clean energy and currently has promising solar projects at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world with a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030. Upon its completion, the solar park will cut over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. DEWA is also building a 250MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta, which will use existing water stored in the Hatta Dam,” added Al Tayer.

Al Tayer noted that DEWA contributes to the updated plans and targets approved by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and support the UAE’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

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