Dubai so­lar park R&D fund to reach Dh500m by 2020

The National - News - - BUSINESS - MAH­MOUD KASSEM

In­vest­ments into the re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­tre at the Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum So­lar Park will reach Dh500 mil­lion by 2020, ac­cord­ing to the Dubai Elec­tric­ity and Wa­ter Au­thor­ity.

“The R&D Cen­tre was launched in 2014 and fo­cuses on four key op­er­a­tions,” Dewa said.

“These in­clude pro­duc­ing elec­tric­ity us­ing clean and so­lar en­ergy, in­te­gra­tion of smart grids, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and wa­ter. This is part of Dewa’s ef­forts to pro­mote the pro­duc­tion of clean en­ergy and re­duc­ing op­er­at­ing costs.”

Dubai has been po­si­tion­ing it­self as a pi­o­neer when it comes to so­lar power. Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid, Vice Pres­i­dent and Ruler of Dubai, hailed in Septem­ber the launch of the world’s largest sin­gle-site con­cen­trated so­lar power (CSP) plant, a mile­stone in the emi­rate’s am­bi­tion to gen­er­ate 75 per cent of its en­ergy needs from re­new­able sources by 2050.

Dewa said in Septem­ber that it had selected Saudi Ara­bia’s Acwa Power and China’s Shang­hai Power to build the Dh14.2 bil­lion, 700-megawatts ex­ten­sion to the Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum so­lar park, pro­vid­ing more than three times the ca­pac­ity of the ini­tial plans for the ex­ten­sion.

Un­der the terms of the con­tract, the new plant will de­liver en­ergy at 7.3 US cents per kilo­watt-hour. The project will have the world’s tallest so­lar tower, mea­sur­ing 260 me­tres.

Dewa has also been en­cour­ag­ing the in­stal­la­tion of so­lar rooftops in the emi­rate as part of the Shams Dubai ini­tia­tive, which aims to have so­lar pan­els on ev­ery rooftop across the emi­rate by 2030.

Since Septem­ber, the emi­rate has added nearly 100 sys­tems bring­ing its to­tal up to 529 so­lar in­stal­la­tions with a ca­pac­ity at just un­der 20MW.

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