Dubai: Innovation centre to educate youth on clean energy
The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to provide 75 per cent of the total power output through clean energy sources by 2050.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s newly opened Innovation Centre will be instrumental in building capabilities of the next generation of innovators in the field of clean energy
Dr Aaesha Al Nuaimi, director of the Solar Innovation Centre at Dewa, said the newly opened centre, at the heart of Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park, aims to act as an education centre for students to learn about clean energy.
The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 is the guiding vision for the emirate, which aims to provide 75 per cent of the total power output through clean energy sources by 2050. For the year 2020, the target was 7 per cent, but it has already been overachieved. DEWA produced 9 per cent of the total output last year through renewable means.
The opening of the Innovation Centre will bolster DEWA’s efforts, engage the young in building capabilities on this front and seeing reason in adopting greener ways of life. “We want students to get the right skills that enable them to innovate in this field. The centre is meant to inspire people and raise awareness about Dubai’s vision of transitioning to clean sources of energy,” said Dr Al Nuaimi.
The Innovation Centre is already attracting interest from local and international universities. “We are building partnerships with local and international universities as well as start-ups, international and local entities in the field of the clean energy. We are supporting university students in their projects related to the clean energy and also giving them financial support,” said the head of Innovation Centre.
One of the challenges students are working on is to find alternative ways to clean and maintain photovoltic cells in desert’s harsh weather conditions. New technique for desalinisation of water is another such project. “Our region is great for harnessing solar energy. However, the performance of PV panels in general is affected by the high temperature, which affects its lifetime,” said Dr AlNuaimi. During the Innovation Week, DEWA launched Cleantech Innovators programme that enabled students at school and university level to showcase their innovations in clean energy. These innovations focused on energy storage, water desalination using solar, wind, and thermal power, 3D printer applications using environmentally friendly materials and recyclable materials for construction. “We will continue to accept proposals from students until May on various sustainable energy related projects,” said Dr AlNuaimi.
The Innovation Centre is being run by a young team that is geared to realise Dubai’s targets on clean energy. All of the 12 members are under 35 and are keen to make a difference to the way energy is consumed in the UAE.
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