Business | Economy

Dewa seeks companies to retrofit old buildings with smart grid

Vice Chairman of Dubai Supreme Energy Council urges everyone to promote smart grid

  • By Saifur Rahman and Zaher Bitar, Gulf News
  • Published: 16:32 October 22, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, DEWA, signing an agreemnt with Dr. Leonard Birnbaum, CCO and Member of the Executive Board RWE AG. Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammad Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group are seen.

Dubai: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will commence power generation in the third quarter of 2013 with a capacity of 13MW, Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Dubai Supreme Energy Council, told reporters on the sidelines of the World Energy Forum on Monday.

He said: “The first phase of Dubai’s $3.3 billion (Dh12.12 billion) solar park will be in operation by the end of 2013.”

The Solar Park will have a 1,000MW capacity by 2030, and, upon completion, will be one of the biggest solar parks in the region.

Al Tayer said the solar park plan was part of a vision “to make Dubai a role model to the world in energy security and efficiency”.

“By 2030, Dubai’s average energy growth is projected to be in the range of 4-5 per cent per annum and our target under the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, is to reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent,” he added.

By 2030, Dubai aims to have diversified its fuel mix by adding new energy sources such as 12 per cent from clean coal, five per cent from renewable energy including solar power, 12 per cent from nuclear power and 71 per cent from gas.

Smart grid

Meanwhile, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) is looking at hiring companies to retrofit the existing and old buildings in Dubai with new technologies that will help them to become part of the smart grid that is under development in Dubai.

“We are looking at companies that could install new technologies and retrofit the old buildings with those so that they could become part of the smart grid,” said Al Tayer, who is also the Managing Director and CEO of Dewa, responding to a question by Gulf News. He was talking about Dewa’s success in energy efficiency.

He said that Dewa’s plant utilisation is one of the highest in the world. “Customer minutes loss in Dubai is 5.8 minutes per customer per year, compared to 16.4 minutes in Europe while power transmission and distribution losses in Dubai is the lowest in the world — at 3.49 per cent, compared to 4.30 per cent in Western Europe,” he pointed out.

“However, despite our successes at Dewa, if the customers do not use utility smartly, then power will still be wasted. So, we need to use utilities smartly and make the grid smart.”

Dewa, the sole provider of power and water that serves more than the emirate’s two million population, is currently in the process of implementing a number of initiatives as part of a 20-year energy strategy that will raise the level of energy efficiency in the emirate.

One of them is the smart grid. [A smart grid is an electrical grid that uses information and communications technology to gather and act on information, such as information about the behaviours of suppliers and consumers, in an automated fashion to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity.]

Roll-out of smart grid technology also implies a fundamental re-engineering of the electricity services industry, although typical usage of the term is focused on the technical infrastructure.

Since a large number of buildings in Dubai have been constructed within the last 10-12 years, it would be easy to implement smart grid technology to enhance energy efficiency. However, Dubai also has a large number of old buildings fitted with wiring systems that do not conform to the latest technologies.

Al Tayer said, in a few weeks’ time a 100 per cent green building will be inaugurated in Dubai’s Al Quoz area. This will source up to 600 kilowatt power by capturing solar energy.

“This will be the first of its kind building in the Middle East and North Africa. By 2014, we expect all new buildings to become energy efficient as they will be built as per the new green building codes,” Al Tayer said.

RWE Technology and Dewa establish JV in Dubai

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has signed a joint venture with RWE Technology GmbH, that specialises in building power plants. The agreement was signed on Monday alongside World Energy Forum by member of the RWE Executive Board, Leonhard Birnbaum; RWE Technology Managing Director, Michael Fübi, and Dewa CEO and MD, Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer.

The deal is aimed at the two partners intending to develop the leading service company for energy consulting in the region. RWE Technology GmbH will provide its expertise as an international project and engineering specialist in the power plant sector.

Saeed Al Tayer said in a statement that business potential between Dewa and RWE has “endless possibilities”.

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