- We are implementing major development projects and strategic initiatives to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100% of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.
- We are implementing a 250MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta, which is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf region.
- DEWA launched the DEWA-SAT1 nanosatellite, in cooperation with NanoAvionics, becoming the first utility in the world to use nanosatellites to improve operations, maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks.
What do you have to say about the present scenario of the Dubai solar market? How do you see it evolving?
The production capacity of the clean energy in Dubai has reached 2,127 megawatts (MW) using photovoltaic solar power (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP). This is about 14.6 percent of Dubai’s total power production capacity of 14,617 MW. Additionally, there are 733 MW of ongoing solar project in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
We strive to keep pace with demand by implementing pioneering projects to diversify sources of energy production to include various clean and renewable energy technologies and sources available in Dubai. We are implementing major development projects and strategic initiatives to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100% of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.
We are implementing several leading projects to diversify clean energy sources. These include multiple clean and renewable energy sources and technologies such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), and green hydrogen production using solar power. Among the most prominent of these projects is the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world, using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model with a production capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030.
We are also encouraging our customers through the Shams Dubai initiative to install photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of their buildings and facilities to meet part of their energy needs. By the end of 2022, the total installed capacity of the initiative reached 500MW.
We are sure that the Dubai solar market will continue its steady positive growth.
Do you think Dubai is on the right path to achieving net zero by 2050? What are some steps to be taken in this regard?
Dubai is definitely on the right path to achieving net zero by 2050. In DEWA, we have already updated our strategic plan to focus on ensuring net-zero by 2050 and supporting the circular economy. We are working to diversify energy sources in Dubai through pioneering projects that include clean and renewable energy technologies available in Dubai.
We are implementing a 250MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta, which is the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf region. It will use the stored water in Hatta Dam and will have a production capacity of 250 MW and a storage capacity of 1,500 megawatt-hours. In light of the importance of green hydrogen in the transition to net-zero, we have implemented the Green Hydrogen project in the solar park. It is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to produce green hydrogen using solar energy. It stores the hydrogen and then converts it back into electrical energy in addition to other uses in the air, land, and sea transport as well as in industry. We have participated in establishing the largest district cooling company in the world. District cooling uses 40% less energy.
To promote green mobility, we launched the Green Charger initiative to establish a state-of-the-art infrastructure for electric vehicles that currently has over 350 charging stations using the latest smart and innovative technologies to provide a seamless experience for users. Implementing the Dubai Demand Side Management Strategy contributed to reducing electricity consumption in Dubai by 17% per capita and water consumption by 21% per capita compared to 2010. This contributed to avoiding over 14 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in between 2011 and 2021. To enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness of electricity and water networks, we launched ‘DEWA SAT-1’ nanosatellite as part of DEWA’s space programme (Space-D).
This year we will launch DEWA SAT-2 nanosatellite. DEWA is the first utility in the world to use nano-satellites in its operations. We also make use of big data through sensors in solar power stations that gather real-time data and analyse it in conjunction with data from DEWA’s satellites 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 the more energy-efficient 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.
Highlight the major achievements of DEWA in 2022.
In 2022 DEWA achieved its record standalone 2022 net profit of AED 11.1 billion and increased the 2022 dividend pay-out to its shareholders by 60% to AED 9.90 billion. In April 2022, DEWA was listed as a public company on the Dubai Financial Market. This was the largest IPO in the UAE, and the largest utility IPO globally since 2008. Further DEWA’s majority-owned subsidiary, EMPOWER, listed on the Dubai Financial Market as a public company in November 2022. DEWA is the only entity in the region to have listed both itself and its subsidiary in the course of the same year.
During 2022, DEWA commissioned two 400 kV substations, fifteen 132 kV substations and 1,113 11-6.6 kV substations. DEWA has also deployed 1,108,530 smart electricity meters and 996,917 smart water meters. By the end of 2022, the company installed an additional 1,100 MW of generation capacity, representing an 8.2% increase. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park In 2022, DEWA added 200 Megawatts of parabolic trough concentrated solar power energy from the 4th Phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar park which is currently in progress, The 4th phase is 950MW with the largest investment project in the world that combines Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and photovoltaic solar power (PV) with investments of AED15.78 billion.
DEWA also added 600 megawatts of photovoltaic solar energy, from the 5th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The 5th phase is currently underway, with a total capacity of 900MW and investments of AED 2.058 billion. The current production capacity of the solar park is 2,127 megawatts (MW). This is about 14.6% of Dubai’s energy mix. Launching the 3U nanosatellite DEWA-SAT1 In January 2022, DEWA launched the DEWA-SAT1 nanosatellite, in cooperation with NanoAvionics, becoming the first utility in the world to use nanosatellites to improve operations, maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks.
The launch came as part of the DEWA’s Space D-programme, which includes the launch of nanosatellites developed by Emiratis at DEWA’s Research and Development Centre. DEWA also launched an independent Ground Station capable of tracking and communicating with DEWA’s satellites at their low Earth orbit of 400-700 kilometres. New Guinness world records DEWA has achieved a number of Guinness World Records.
In 2022, DEWA has marked another breakthrough by achieving the Guinness World Records title for the second time for owning and managing the Largest Single-Site Water Desalination Facility in the world with a production capacity of 490 MIGD, which is equivalent to approx. 2.2 million cubic meters per day . This is the second world record for DEWA’s Jebel Ali Power Generation & Water Production Complex. In 2021, the Complex was confirmed by Guinness World Records as the Largest Single-site Natural Gas Power Generation Facility in the world.
In 2022, DEWA’s Moro Hub also achieved the Guiness record as world’s largest solar data centre, among other Guiness records received by DEWA.
World-leading results of DEWA’s main KPIs:
In 2022, DEWA achieved a number of world-class KPI results, surpassing best European and American peers:
-DEWA recorded the world’s lowest average annual Customer Minutes Lost (CML) of 1.19 minutes per customer.
-DEWA reduced the line losses of the electricity transmission and distribution network to 2.2%, one of the lowest worldwide.
-DEWA reduced the line losses of the water transmission and distribution network to 4.5%, one of the world’s lowest
DEWA won 26 prestigious local, regional, and international awards in 2022, which raised DEWA’s total awards between 2015 and 2022 to 410 awards (68 local, 69 regional, and 273 global).
DEWA has been ranked the third most valuable utility brand in the Middle East and the third fastest growing brand in the UAE according to the annual report issued by ‘Brand Finance’ for the strongest and most valuable brands in the world in 2022.
Also during 2022, DEWA has achieved several prestigious awards such as:
-The first in the world to receive the Innovation Kitemark
-Achieved a score of 100% in the IDCXS, also a world first.
-Awarded with the IIP (Investors in People) in the platinum category, the highest level of achievement in this award.
DEWA Named Sole Winner Of 2022 Organizational Achievement Award:
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has been crowned with the prestigious Global Excellence Assembly awards 2022, based in the USA, in the “Organizational Achievements” category. This is in recognition of DEWA’s global achievements in total quality and excellence. DEWA is the only entity worldwide to win this category in the second round of the award this year, surpassing 988 entities from 16 countries DEWA scored 94% in the evaluation conducted by the International Council of Excellence according to the Baldrige model.
This global achievement, adds to DEWA’s record of world-leading awards and achievements, making it one of the best and most efficient utilities in the world. DEWA’s surpassing other prominent global entities underlines its position as one of the most distinguished utilities in the world.
What have been some recent initiatives undertaken toward DEWA’s strategic directions?
In line with our commitment to keeping pace with the government plans and strategies that aim to achieve net-zero by 2050 and the UAE’s efforts to promote circular economy, we have updated our strategic plan, adding achieving net-zero by 2050 to our vision. DEWA’s new vision now is “A globally leading sustainable innovative corporation committed to achieving net-zero by 2050.”
We are organising the first Middle East and North Africa Solar Conference 2023 (MENA-SC), from 15 to 18 November 2023. MENA-SC is the first scientific and technical conference of its kind in the region that specialises in photovoltaic systems. Researchers will focus on a wide range of topics, including unconventional and new concepts for future technologies; silicon photovoltaic materials and devices; Perovskite and organic materials and solar cells; PV module and system reliability in MENA region; solar resources for PV and forecasting; and power electronics and grid integration. MENA-SC will be held in conjunction with the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and the Dubai Solar Show (DSS) 2023. DEWA organises this largest exhibition for water, energy, sustainability and innovation technologies in the region and one of the largest specialised exhibitions in the world. Holding the two events simultaneously is an additional momentum to gather all global decision-makers, officials, and researchers to showcase the latest innovative technologies, practices and experiments in sustainability and renewable and clean energy.
The presence of the Middle East and North Africa region on the global sustainability agenda continues to grow. The region is witnessing significant momentum in accelerating climate action and strengthening bridges of international cooperation to mitigate the repercussions of climate change. This can be seen from the hosting of the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) in November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and preparations of the UAE to host COP 28 in Dubai Expo City in November 2023, which will accelerate the pace of climate action to combat climate change and global warming. Choosing the two countries to host COP 27 and COP 28 marks the beginning of a series of regional events that will last for 18 months, placing the Arab world at the centre of global activities in mitigating climate change.
Tell us about the Green Hydrogen focus at DEWA.
Innovative technologies to produce green hydrogen using clean and renewable energy are witnessing rapid developments and steady progress. Studies indicate that green hydrogen production will increase by 57% annually to reach 5.7 million tonnes in 2030. The UAE aims to acquire 25% of the low-carbon hydrogen market, which is expected to reach more than USD 400 billion. The green hydrogen project implemented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, is a key project in supporting the UAE’s efforts to achieve global competitiveness in the green hydrogen market. This pilot project, which covers an area of about 10,000 square metres, has been designed and built to be able to accommodate future applications and test platforms for various uses of hydrogen, including energy production and transportation.
Our Green Hydrogen project aligns with Dubai’s commitment to sustainability and its support for energy and climate change issues. It also supports the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to turn Dubai into a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, as well as DEWA’s strategy to diversify energy sources and increase investment by supporting innovation and research and development in energy storage technologies. This includes green hydrogen, which some describe as the ‘Fuel of the Future’ and will play an important role in the global energy mix and in combating the effects of global warming.
The project supports the UAE Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, which is a major driver for providing future solutions to climate change challenges and achieving the UAE’s leadership in hydrogen. we are also developing a road map and an ambitious strategy for the green hydrogen, which represents one of the pillars of a sustainable future that depends on accelerating the transition to carbon neutrality to support a green economy. The objectives are to create energy storage facilities, develop the green mobility sector, and reduce carbon emissions from various industries, as well as generating electrical and thermal energy, producing water and other applications.