Today, there are still more than one billion people worldwide that do not have access to electricity. Is renewable energy the answer?
“Distributed renewable energy projects, especially those in rural areas, offer important and often cost-effective options to provide such access,” the Renewables Global Status Report 2017 reports.
UAE is just one of the countries in the Middle East that is working towards achieving this goal, investing billions of dollars in a number of sustainable energy initiatives.
UAE’s latest initiatives
Among the latest developments in this area is a recent investment by Ducab, manufacturer of cabling products, in a new cable line called Ducab SolarBicc, developed for the UAE’s growing solar energy sector.
A statement released by the company says that SolarBICC cables are now being supplied to two of the largest solar power-generation projects in the region: Shams 1 in Abu Dhabi and Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.
Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Ducab, said that the UAE continued to take significant steps to diversify its economy and that today that transformation was clearly seen within the nation’s power and energy sector, when it comes to the adoption of clean energy sources.
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“Ducab is committed to accelerating this transformation by investing in innovation and creating tailored products that make it easier, safer, and more cost effective to deliver sustainable energy not only in the UAE, but around the world,” he added.
In addition to its new SolarBICC range, Ducab will also be showcasing at the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2017) its Ducab NuBICC nuclear-grade cables, which are already used in nuclear power plants in the UAE and abroad.
The statement added that wind energy also featured prominently at this year’s WETEX, following the recent announcement of the first large-scale wind farm set to be developed in the GCC.
The investment is particularly timely, following the latest announcement by UAE’s Ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the largest single-site Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world, which will be built at a total cost of AED14.2 billion ($3.87 billion).
Concentrated Solar Power Project
According to the Government of Dubai, “Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has achieved another world record by awarding the 700MW AED14.2 billion fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.”
It said that the contract was awarded to a consortium comprising Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and China’s Shanghai Electric.
“The consortium bid the lowest Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of USD 7.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kW/h). The project will have the world’s tallest solar tower, measuring 260 metres. The project will be commissioned in stages, starting from Q4 of 2020,” it explained.
Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050
Dubai’s initiatives in renewable energy are all part of the implementation plan for the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by Al Maktoum and aiming to generate seven per cent of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25 percent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.
According to the Government of Dubai, the strategy also aims to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy and consists of five main pillars: infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, and environment-friendly energy mix.
It explains that the infrastructure pillar includes initiatives such as Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest generator of solar energy in the world from a single location with a capacity to produce 5,000 MW by 2030 and a total investment of AED 50 billion.
As for the legislation pillar, it focuses on the establishment of a legislative structure supporting clean energy policies.
The funding pillar, the Government adds, includes the establishment of Dubai Green Fund, worth of AED 100 billion, which will contribute through its financial resources to easy loans for investors in the clean energy sector in the Emirate at reduced interest rates.
It explains that the fourth pillar aims to build human resources capabilities, through global training programmes in the field of clean energy.
As for the fifth pillar, it is focused on creating an environment-friendly energy mix comprising solar energy (25 per cent), nuclear power (seven per cent), clean coal (seven per cent) and gas (61 per cent) by 2030.
“The mix will gradually increase the employment of clean energy sources to 75 per cent by 2050, making Dubai the city with the least carbon footprint city in the world,” it said.