Shaikh Mohammed, Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief executive of Emirates airline and Group; Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; and Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer at the inauguration of the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.
Dubai - Facility will include an R&D centre to support research on clean energy.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
The Park is the largest single-site solar project in the world. It will have a capacity of 5,000MW by 2030, with a total investment of Dh50 billion.
This utility-scale project will take the lead in a series of projects that use renewable energy to generate electricity in Dubai.
Shaikh Mohammed launched the Solar Park in early 2012. The first phase was successfully completed after one year, with a capacity of 13MW. Since the project was launched in October 2013, it has been able to produce clean energy and reduce carbon emissions. It has been adopted by the Dubai Executive Council as a model for clean development.
The project, which covers 4.5 million square metres, will contribute to reducing four million tonnes of carbon emissions each year by 2030. This will support the green initiatives and similar programmes adopted by the Dubai government to reduce carbon emissions.
Shaikh Mohammed also inaugurated the construction of the Dewa (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) Innovation Centre, which includes a number of research and development laboratories in clean energy, at an investment of Dh500 million.
"Launching the second project marks the beginning of a new era of an economy that is based on environmental sustainability and clean energy," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, vice-chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD and CEO of Dewa.
Al Tayer said that Dewa, through the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, has contributed to launching the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy to provide seven per cent of Dubai's energy from clean energy sources by 2020. It will increase this target to 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.
The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 initially targeted the energy mix to be 71 per cent from natural gas, 12 per cent from nuclear and clean coal and five per cent from solar energy.
After launching a tender for the second phase, Dewa set a new record price tendered for solar photovoltaic energy, with a set tariff of 5.4 US cents per kWh.
This led the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to raise the targeted renewable energy mix in Dubai from one per cent to seven per cent by 2020 and from five per cent to 25 per cent by 2030.
"The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park provides promising opportunities for Dubai. Dewa is working to provide solar energy to citizens and residents in Dubai by cooperating with the most efficient stakeholder. The park is a pioneering sustainability project because it is not only a centre for generating electricity from solar energy, but also home to a research and development centre, an innovation centre to support renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency, and an academy to equip staff," added Al Tayer.
The Solar Park includes a R&D centre to conduct studies on industrial and social needs, and scientific research in renewable energy. It also acts as a link between researchers and developers to develop strategies for innovative ideas.
The Solar Park also has two test technologies for photovoltaic (PV) panels and for concentrated solar power (CSP). The first centre tests 30 types of PV panels from international manufacturers.
The panels are studied, evaluated and tested for long-term reliability in local weather conditions. Researchers cooperate with international organisations to study the impact of dust on PV equipment. These tests will help to develop the standards of PV products.