Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE visits Dewa’s R&D centre

Officials of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Dewa at the meeting. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), Chairman of World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), welcomed Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE, to Dewa’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

Al Nuaimi headed a delegation from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) that included Sultan Alwan, Acting Undersecretary, and other senior officials.

The two parties discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation to promote sustainability and innovation, as well as accelerate the development of a sustainable green economy, and strengthen the UAE’s pioneering ability to manage environmental and climate change challenges. This is done by using clean and renewable energy technologies, especially solar power, to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability for generations to come.

Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Excellence at Dewa, and Abdul Rahim Sultan, Director General of the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), along with senior officials from WGEO and Dewa also attended the meeting.

Al Tayer and Al Nuaimi toured the R&D Centre, 70 per cent of whose researchers are Emiratis. The Centre’s research focuses on solar power, smart grid integration, energy efficiency, and water. It looks at Fourth Industrial Revolution applications, such as 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The outdoor testing facilities of the R&D Centre include the Green Hydrogen project, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to produce green hydrogen using solar power. The station has been designed to accommodate future applications and test platforms of different uses for hydrogen, such as for industry and transportation.

Increasing cooperation

The meeting included talks on ways to increase cooperation and strategic collaboration between Dewa, WGEO, and MOCCAE. Dewa is building robust integrated strategic partnerships with all local and federal bodies. This is in addition to exchanging information and best practices and experiences because of the importance of improving sustainable growth and addressing both climate change and development issues. The UAE will host the MENA Climate Week 2022, which is the first event of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, on 2-3 March 2022 during Expo 2020 Dubai. The event aims to encourage more momentum to address climate change in the Middle East and North Africa.

Clean energy achievements

Dewa has made significant achievements using clean energy. The share of clean energy capacity in Dubai’s energy mix has increased to 9 per cent. This exceeds the percentage set in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 7 per cent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2020. Al Tayer noted that these efforts have contributed to Dubai reducing its carbon emissions by 22 per cent in 2019, two years ahead of the target to reduce it by 16 per cent by 2021 in the Carbon Abatement Strategy.

Al Tayer said that Dewa has a clear direction for the energy sector based on the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75 per cent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. Dewa employs the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution applications and disruptive technologies. Dewa currently has promising solar projects at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world with a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030. Upon its completion, the solar park will cut over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Dewa is also building the 250MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta, which will use existing water stored in the Hatta Dam. Dewa has additional projects underway to use wind energy.

“Tackling climate change through implementing robust mitigation and adaptation measures is a strategic priority of the UAE. At the centre of our efforts is the diversification of energy sources and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix with the ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality. To achieve these objectives, MOCCAE actively collaborates with government and private sector stakeholders to integrate climate action in future strategies and directions,” said Al Nuaimi.