EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company), a leading company in the integrated coordination of planning, purchasing, and supply of water and electricity across the UAE, announced that, for the first time, over 60 percent of the total power demand was delivered from renewable and clean energy sources. The milestone was achieved on 20 December at 12:00pm, with a generation of approximately 5.5 gigawatts (GW) of the total 8.6GW system power demand being supplied from EWEC’s solar power and nuclear energy plants.
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said, “Supplying over 60 percent of the total power demand from renewable and clean energy sources for the first time ever is a true testament to EWEC’s strategic initiatives that prioritize carbon-free technologies in support of the UAE’s sustainable and economic objectives. We are proud to be playing a pivotal role in the country’s energy transition by growing and diversifying our portfolio of world-leading utility-scale renewable energy projects. This significant milestone demonstrates the country’s wise leadership in tackling climate change through actionable plans to achieve the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, ensuring the prosperity and sustainability of our country for generations to come.”
EWEC commissioned the development of three of the world’s largest single-site solar power plants. Noor Abu Dhabi began commercial operations in 2019, generating approximately 1GW (AC) of electricity. Al Dhafra Solar PV will be the new world’s largest single-site solar power plant, with a generation capacity of approximately 1.5GW (AC), and is currently under construction. Once fully commercially operational, Al Dhafra Solar PV will reduce carbon emissions by 2.4 million metric tonnes per year, equivalent to removing approximately 470,000 cars from the road.
In May 2022, EWEC invited developers or developer consortiums to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the development of a new Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project to be located in the Ajban area of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Al Ajban Solar PV will be in a similar size and generation capacity to Al Dhafra Solar PV.
EWEC forecasts that its solar power projects, combined with the addition of nuclear power to the grid from the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, will reduce carbon emissions to around 20 million tonnes by 2025 from more than 40 million tonnes in 2020. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the first nuclear energy plant in the Arab world and consists of four APR1400 nuclear reactors. Unit 1 Barakah started commercial operations in April 2021, and commercial operations of Unit 2 began in March 2022. Unit 3 was connected to the UAE transmission grid in October 2022, with Unit 4 set to become operational over the coming years.