Dubai Electricity and Water Authority ( Dewa ) will invest Dh30 billion ($8.2 billion) to increase the capacity of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa said.
Currently the park is generating a 13 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
“The Solar Park is one of the largest renewable energy projects in the region with a planned capacity of 1,000MW by 2019, at a cost of Dh12 billion and by the completion phase in 2030 its capacity will be increased up to 3,000MW at a cost of Dh30 billion,” Al Tayer said. According to Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, solar energy will account for seven per cent of Dubai’s total energy production by 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030.
Al Tayer was speaking at a press conference to announce the upcoming opening of the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (Wetex 2015), which will be held from April 21-23 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
In line with Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which encourages research and innovation, Dewa also announced opening of the Research and Development Centre, which will focus on innovative projects, and which has a budget of Dh150 million, according to Al Tayer.
This center will focus on projects related to solar energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, desalinating water via solar energy and smart grid, Al Tayer said.
An experimental section is also running side by side with the center and includes input from the world’s top 20 companies in the field of energy, he said.
Currently Dewa has a joint venture with RWE Technology Gmbh, a German company specializing in building power plants and consulting on utility projects worldwide.
“This partnership aims to develop the leading service company for energy consulting in the region,” he said.
Dewa has already won contracts in Saudi Arabia and Turkey and is exploring the Egyptian market for any possible investment opportunity, Al Tayer said.
Dewa has also allocated Dh7 billion for implementing a smart grid in the aim to raise the level of energy efficiency across the emirate, Walid Salman, the executive vice president of strategy and business development at Dewa , said.
The smart grid is an electrical grid that uses communications technology to gathers information, such as data about the behavior of suppliers and consumers, in an automated fashion to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity.
“Through this initiative, Dewa will roll-out a smart grid technology to upgrade around 100,000 old buildings in Dubai to enhance energy efficiency, save power and protect the environment,” Salman said.
“This will imply a fundamental re-engineering of the electricity services industry, although typical usage of the term is focused on the technical infrastructure,” he said.