“This will be the first Expo in the world to be completely powered by clean energy,” Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa
In September 2017 Dubai announced the creation of a 700 megawatt solar energy project, which by 2030 is expected to create 5000 megawatts. Unsurprisingly the largest solar projects in the world can be found in some of the most populated countries, namely China, India, and the United States. The Tengger Desert Solar Park in China is the world’s largest and currently produces approximately 1500 megawatts.
The UAE is one of the worlds greatest consumers of electricity. The UAE State of Energy Report 2015, states that UAE residents use 20-30 kw/h of electricity per day and use an average of 550 litres of water. Approximately 28,000 homes using electricity via plug sockets alone, for just one day, will consume 700 megawatts of energy. The UAE consumer uses so much electricity because of temperature control. In fact, the countries that top the power consumption list are all either very hot or very cold.
Fortunately the pace at which renewable energy technology is being innovated is increasing. Thanks in part to an estimated 70% price decrease in the cost of manufacturing solar panels since 2010, less money needs to be spent on purchase and maintenance so more money can be spent on research and development.
One area which is still in its infancy is storage for solar power. The UAE is blessed with an abundance of sunlight and hundreds of square miles of uninhabited desert. It is feasible, that with the right storage infrastructure in place, the UAE could surpass its renewable energy targets.
The UAE is serious about renewable energy as it has an immediate requirement for it. Even though oil and natural gas are still abundant, fossil fuels are not an infinite source of power and the country’s population growth shows no signs of slowing. With Dubai’s Smart City project well underway it is not inconceivable that power plants of the future could be linked directly with the homes of consumers. In Europe, Australia, and the USA, Virtual Power Plants are already in use and consumers are feeding power back into the grid via batteries and solar panels.
The UAE faces many power-related challenges and despite its small size, is competing in scale with some of the most populated countries in the world. On this blog we have listed many times the incentives Dubai in particular offers those with good ideas, and we do so once again here. If your company operates in the renewable energy sector please email me.