The Dubai government has established numerous ambitious programmes to reduce carbon emissions by 16 percent by 2021.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, developed and managed by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), is one of Dubai’s key initiatives aimed at meeting the goals outlined in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy (DCES) 2050, namely producing 75 percent of the city’s energy requirements from clean sources by 2050.
The Solar Park is the world’s largest single-site solar park, with a capacity of 5,000MW planned by 2030. The power plant, located in Seih Al Dahal, Dubai, will save around 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year beginning in 2030.
A variety of photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies are used in the solar park. It also has an Innovation Centre and one of the major R&D centres in the region, which comprises PV solar and CSP testing facilities, as well as a solar-powered water desalination plant.
The park’s operation began in 2013, with the opening of the first phase of the project, which had a capacity of 13MW. The second phase of the solar park was opened successfully in April 2017, bringing the total capacity to 200 MW.
Regarding future expansions, the third phase will be implemented in stages (200MW implemented in 2018, 300MW for the second stage, and 300MW for the third stage). Finally, the fourth phase – 950MW – received the lowest international Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) bid of USD 7.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the CSP plant and added 250MW of PV solar panels at the world’s lowest cost of 2.4 USD cents per kilowatt hour. In addition, it will have the world’s tallest solar tower at 260 metres.
The Research and Development Centre exemplifies DEWA’s aim to increase energy supply sustainability, diversify energy sources, and foster an innovative corporate environment.
In addition, the outdoor testing facility’s primary goal is to research and assess the performance and dependability of solar panels under desert climatic conditions. Therefore, it continuously analyses the performance of each solar panel (energy production, yield, degradation rate, dust effect, and so on) over time.
DEWA constructed a pilot solar-powered reverse osmosis water desalination plant for research and development objectives in water desalination utilising solar energy. Desalinating brackish water with solar energy and energy storage batteries yields a daily capacity of 50 m3 of drinking water.
Furthermore, DEWA is also constructing an Innovation Centre, which will be equipped with the latest renewable and clean energy technology and act as an exhibition centre showcasing the field’s most recent innovation. DEWA’s goal with this centre is to promote awareness about sustainability issues while strengthening national competencies and increasing competitiveness.