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HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD&CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), emphasised that the UAE is one of the biggest countries to invest in clean energy projects. He called for more concerted efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change to ensure a sustainable future for all that all stakeholders will outline at COP 28, which will be hosted by the UAE later this year.
Al Tayer said that DEWA has, for many years, stopped launching new projects to produce energy using fossil fuels. It restricts new water desalination projects to reverse osmosis technology using clean energy. He noted that DEWA’s results surpass major European and American utilities in several indicators. Losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks were reduced to 2.2%. Water network losses were also reduced to 4.5%. DEWA has achieved a new world record in electricity Customer Minutes Lost (CML) per year. Dubai recorded 1.19 minutes per customer.
Al Tayer made these remarks in his keynote speech titled ‘Sustainability, a key pillar and a success story in the UAE’ at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit. A large number of ministers and officials from the energy and sustainability sectors were present. The Summit is part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which is hosted by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) under the theme ‘United on Climate Action Toward COP28.’ DEWA is the Opening Ceremony Associate Partner of ADSW 2023.
In his speech, Al Tayer said that the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week summit is an important platform to exchange experiences and develop innovative solutions that support global efforts to ensure a more sustainable future, in line with the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership. This vision has inspired and pioneered futuristic strategies and policies in sustainability, innovation, and future shaping as well as developing the economic, social, health, and services sectors for the future. This supports sustainable development, agility, and rapid adaptation to global geostrategic developments and crises and successfully overcoming them.
“These efforts have resulted in the UAE assuming a leading global position in various fields, especially in diversifying energy sources, supporting the circular economy, launching major clean energy projects, having the largest and most efficient solar power plants, in addition to being the first country in the region to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes to generate electricity. The UAE has achieved a leading global position, deserving the top ranks in many indicators related to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, from the response stage to the recovery and overcoming the health, economic, and social repercussions of the pandemic. Many countries around the world, including European countries, are expanding the use of fossil fuels and retrofitting and operating old nuclear power plants, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war and the subsequent geopolitical developments that have demonstrated the fragility of the global energy system. However, the UAE is carrying out its renewable and clean energy plans as well as the development that balances the economy and the environment to support efforts to combat climate change, and I recall the words that are full of confidence and hope by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, at COP 27 who said, “As we prepare to host COP28 in 2023 at Expo City Dubai, we increasingly focus on supporting the implementation of recommendations from previous conferences, and we are working to complete the first global stocktake of emission pledges under the Paris Agreement.” “On the same note, a recent partnership agreement we have signed with the United States will help accelerate this transition towards clean and renewable energy sources. The agreement aims to raise USD100 billion in investments to generate 100 gigawatts of renewable energy in the UAE, the US, and developing economies around the world,” His Highness noted. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that COP28 will be the most important event hosted by the nation in 2023,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer noted that the UAE has an advanced position as one of the biggest countries to invest in clean energy projects. It is a regional and global leader in ambitious national policies and pioneering projects that anticipate the future to enhance sustainability and protect natural resources for future generations. The UAE utilises its track record in clean and renewable energy and in reducing emissions, to organise the most successful global environmental event that will underline the role the region plays in supporting efforts to formulate the global sustainability agenda through effective strategies to adapt to the effects of climate change and mitigate its effects.
“To achieve the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who said “We have started our first steps and early preparations for the sustainability of our resources and to bid farewell to the last drop of oil,” the UAE has built major clean energy projects inside and outside the country. These support its strategic plans for the post-oil phase. By launching the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, the UAE was the first country in the MENA region to launch such important strategic initiative. The wise leadership has also launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100% of Dubai’s total power production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar)’s clean energy projects are spread in over 40 countries around the world with investments totalling USD 20 billion. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is being implemented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, is the largest single-site solar park in the world using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. Its production capacity has reached 2,027MW using the latest and best photovoltaic solar power (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies. The solar park features the world’s tallest solar power tower at 262.44 metres and the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, allowing for energy availability around the clock. We have developed a green hydrogen pilot project, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa. We have also prepared the outline of a roadmap for a green hydrogen strategy that will be implemented in phases as part of our efforts to support the implementation of the net-zero by 2050 strategy. For many years now in Dubai, we have stopped launching new projects to produce energy using fossil fuels, and restrict new water desalination projects to reverse osmosis technology using clean energy, in addition to raising fuel efficiency in the main production units to about 90%, competing with the highest international benchmarks,” added Al Tayer.
Al Tayer revealed that DEWA’s results surpass major European and American utilities in several indicators. Losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks were reduced to 2.2% compared to 6-7% in Europe and the USA. Water network losses were also reduced to 4.5% compared to 15% in North America. DEWA has achieved a new world record in electricity Customer Minutes Lost (CML) per year. Dubai recorded 1.19 minutes per customer, compared to around 15 minutes recorded by leading utility companies in the European Union.
“As an added value, we launched the DEWA’s space programme (Space-D), to enhance the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the production, transmission, and distribution divisions. This also improves performance and increases the happiness of stakeholders. DEWA has maintained its top position among global utilities in the Digital Quotient Report 2022, which was prepared by a prestigious international consultant. DEWA’s initial public offering (IPO) was the largest IPO in the world in the utility sector during 2022. The offering saw strong investor demand. The total demand for DEWA shares amounted to AED315 billion. The order book for the IPO was 37 times oversubscribed,” said Al Tayer.
“Through our strategies, initiatives, and innovative projects, we aim to promote sustainable development not only in the UAE but also globally. Through this platform, I call for more concerted efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change through innovative projects to ensure a sustainable future for all. Together, we will outline this future at COP 28, which will be hosted by the UAE later this year. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, once said ‘Every challenge is an opportunity for learning, a chance to test our capabilities and knowledge,’” noted Al Tayer.
Al Tayer commended the efforts of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which realises the vision of wise leadership in advancing the global sustainability agenda and motivating sustainable economic and human development to ensure a brighter and more sustainable future for us and for generations to come.