Reading Time: 3 minutes
During the 8th World Government Summit, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, delivered a keynote speech titled Shaping a Green Future. He shared Dubai’s leading experience in supporting the UAE, which has become a role model in the shift to clean and renewable energy.
“The UAE has become a role model in the shift to clean and renewable energy. In Dubai, we have 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. We implement pioneering projects to diversify Dubai’s clean and renewable energy sources to include all available technologies,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer explained that DEWA’s strategy to ensure energy security and sustainability includes three main pillars: The first is to produce more clean energy, especially solar energy. One of DEWA’s major projects to achieve this goal is the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model in the world with a production capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030. By the end of this year, the share of clean energy capacity in Dubai’s energy mix is expected to reach 13.8%. The second pillar is to decouple the water desalination process from electricity generation, and desalinate water using Reverse Osmosis (RO) and solar energy. We aim to produce 100% of the desalinated water by 2030 using a mix of clean energy and waste heat. The Third is ‘Disrupting the role of utilities by digitisation using the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), UAVs, energy storage, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.
“The transition to clean and renewable energy is accompanied by several challenges globally. One of the key challenges is renewable energy storage, which can be addressed by developing long-duration energy storage (LDES) technologies. A study by McKenzie in November 2021 estimates that by 2040, LDES deployment could result in the avoidance of 1.5 to 2.3 gigatons of CO2 equivalent per year, or around 10 to 15 per cent of today’s power sector emissions. In the United States alone, LDES could reduce the overall cost of achieving a fully decarbonised power sector by around $35 billion annually by 2040,” added Al Tayer.
Al Tayer explained that DEWA works to develop energy storage technologies through pioneering projects, including the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. On its completion, the project will have the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, allowing for energy availability round the clock. It will use three technologies: a parabolic basin complex, a solar power tower, and photovoltaic solar panels. DEWA is also building a 250MW pumped storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta. This is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf region. It will have a storage capacity of 1,500 MW hours, and a lifespan of up to 80 years. DEWA, in collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai and Siemens Energy, inaugurated the Green Hydrogen project, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to produce hydrogen using solar energy. The plant has been designed to accommodate future applications and testing facilities of hydrogen, including energy storage and green mobility. DEWA also launched a pilot project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park for energy storage using Lithium-Ion batteries from Tesla, in addition to another pilot project to install and test sodium-sulfur batteries for energy storage.
“In addition to energy storage, big data will play an important role by using sensors in solar power stations to gather real-time data on solar radiation and analyse it in conjunction with data from DEWA’s satellites to improve solar power generation,” said Al Tayer.