UAE Solar Atlas commissioned

The UAE Solar Atlas has been commissioned to provide valuable technical data for setting up solar energy projects in the country.

By Haseeb Haider

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Thu 21 Jun 2012, 10:33 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:40 PM

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the Abu Dhabi-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), and other collaboration partners on Wednesday made an announcement in this regard. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 that is being held from 20-22 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The beta version of the atlas was released earlier in April 2012. The data on solar energy will be freely available online from early 2013 and can be accessed by government organisations or private enterprises for assessing the technical feasibility of any proposed renewable energy project. The data would also be fed into Irena’s global geo-referenced renewable energy (RE) potentials database.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, and CEO of Masdar, said that the official launch of the UAE Solar Atlas comes at a time when investment in solar energy is witnessing an uptrend.

“This multi-stakeholder initiative will immensely help investors to assess risks and commercial viability before implementing new solar energy projects,” Al Jaber said.

A robust satellite-based solar mapping tool, which was developed and validated at the centre, is utilised for producing hourly, daily and yearly solar irradiance maps for the Solar Atlas. The accurate assessment of the three solar irradiance components helps to simulate the efficiency of available power generation technologies. An accurate assessment of the spatial distribution of solar resources, with detailed and bankable data for specific potential sites, is expected to help attract investments for creating new solar energy capacity.

Adnan Amin, director-general of Irena, said this Internet-based platform is designed to raise awareness of technology opportunities and serve as a repository for high quality renewable energy resource data, offering an avenue for those seeking to choose the solar energy route as part of their energy mix.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken a leading role in initiating the national contribution to the Irena global atlas project. Other local stakeholders include the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), UAE National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) and Masdar Power.

A team of 12 researchers and engineers contributed to building profiles of solar and wind resource quality, land use, and grid connectivity in collaboration with local and international partners.

Dr Hosni Ghedira, director of the UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment, said that the research centre is mandated to develop the UAE solar and wind energy resource maps, in addition to developing regional knowledge and leadership in renewable energy assessment and mapping for the Arabian Peninsula and countries with similar climate, mainly in Africa.

More news from