Thursday, February 16, 2017
At the end of last month, one of the largest solar rooftop power plants in the region started operating in Dubai, located in the Swiss power and automation technology group ABB's headquarters in Dubai's industrial area by the name of "Al Quoz”. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) inaugurated the plant. The attendees at the inauguration included many ABB and DEWA team members, such as the ABB President of Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), Frank Duggan, Executive Vice President-Strategy & Business Development at DEWA, Waleed Salman, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, and ABB Electrification division manager for the Middle East and Africa, Waleed Salman.
The 315-kilowatt (kW) solar project will enable the energy produced at the plant to supply electricity for ABB offices. Any surplus energy will then be transferred over onto DEWA's network. This supports DEWA’s Shams Dubai initiative, which enables customers to generate electricity and create solar power through photovoltaic panels on their rooftops. Thanks to ABB’s solar power technology, this project presents one of the first steps supporting His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai's Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, announced towards the end of 2015. To express his commitment to the project and strategy, Al Tayer said, “We contribute to the objectives of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.”
The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 will ideally support the ultimate goal of making Dubai a global center of clean energy, and the UAE a leading example in sustainability practices. In terms of Dubai’s energy mix, it aims to increase the share of renewable energy significantly over the next 30 years. As His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum explained, “It aims to provide 75% of the emirate’s energy through clean energy sources by 2050, reflecting our commitment to establish a sustainable model in energy conservation, which can be exported to the whole world, and support economic growth without damaging the environment and natural resources. Our goal is to become the city with the smallest carbon footprint in the world by 2050.”
This solar project is illustrative of ambitious and significant sustainability efforts and their follow-through. Through this, Dubai has come one (small but significant) step closer to becoming the World’s energy-smartest city.