UAE: Dubai announces solar park for clean energy

To produce 1000MW by 2030, 10MW in first phase in 2013

10 January, 16:06

(ANSAmed) - DUBAI, JANUARY 10 - Taking its name from the Dubai Sheikh, the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is a mega solar plant expected to achieve productive capacity of 1000 megawatts by 2030. Divided into a section for photovoltaic power and one for concentrated solar power (CSP), the park will be able to produce 10MW of energy starting in 2013, said Dubai authorities during the project launch. With 2.5 billion euros of investment, the solar park is part of the energy diversification set in motion by Dubai to free itself of its heavy dependence on traditional sources. The current 7.361MW of energy produced by the DIWA, the water and power authority, depend on gas and hydrocarbons. ''Currently Dubai produces 4.5 MW of energy through solar plants,'' said the CEO of Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy Najib Zaafrani, "but the emirate aims to meet one per cent of its energy requirements through solar technologies by 2020, and to arrive at 5% by the end of the following decade.'' The project's first phase, which will cover a 48 square kilometre area along the Dubai-Al Ain highway, will be ''entirely'' funded by the emirate itself, but the private sector will also take part through engineering consultancy services and in the subsequent development of the park. In the same period ''photovoltaic energy will be given precedence over CSP,'' said the vice chairman of the Supreme Council for Energy Said Al Tayer, ''since it has fewer interconnectivity requirements with the existing DIWA network.'' The United Arab Emirates, one of the countries with the highest environmental pollution in the world, due both to the luxurious lifestyle and the energy requirements of a country without water resources and with high temperatures the year round, has recently announced that it will be investing a billion dollars in renewable energies before 2015.

The capital Abu Dhabi is also involved in the building of Masdar, a pioneering project for the first city in the world with zero emissions which will meet 7% of its energy requirements with solar energy. (ANSAmed).

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