Abu Dhabi driving country's energy transition through solar and nuclear plants

The UAE Capital has several renewable energy projects that reduce carbon emissions


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 20 Jan 2023, 8:56 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 Jan 2023, 8:57 PM

The UAE Capital is driving the country’s energy transition through several renewable energy projects.

Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) has commissioned the development of three of the world’s largest single-site solar power plants.

Noor Abu Dhabi began commercial operations in 2019, generating approximately 1 gigawatt of electricity.

Al Dhafra Solar PV will be the new world’s largest single-site solar power plant, with a generation capacity of roughly 1.5 gigawatts and is currently under construction.

Once fully commercially operational, Al Dhafra Solar PV will reduce carbon emissions by 2.4 million metric tonnes per year, equivalent to removing approximately 470,000 cars from the road.

A third plant, Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project will be located in the Ajban area of Abu Dhabi. Al Ajban Solar PV will be in a similar size and generation capacity to Al Dhafra Solar PV.

Meanwhile, Shams 1, developed by Masdar, was the largest renewable energy project in operation in the Middle East when launched in 2013. It occupies 2.5sqkm and has a capacity of 100 megawatts.

The plant displaces about 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or removing 15,000 cars from Abu Dhabi’s roads.

EWEC forecasts that its solar power projects, combined with the addition of nuclear power to the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant grid, will reduce carbon emissions to around 20 million tonnes by 2025 from more than 40 million tonnes by 2020.

The Barakah is one of the largest nuclear energy plants in the world, with four APR-1400 units. Construction of the Plant began in 2012 and has progressed steadily ever since. The development of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 96 per cent complete.


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