Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer
Saeed Al Tayer reckons that by 2030, Dubai should reach a clean energy mix of 25%. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will only partially fund its future projects, with bulk of the investment coming from the developer, DEWA MD and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said on Tuesday.

“We will invest in equity and most of our future projects will be private and our investment will be partial,” Al Tayer said, adding that the public-private partnership model was the most economical, reliable and technologically advanced way of investing.

Earlier this year, DEWA announced its plans to invest Dh40 billion in capital expenditure over the next five years, with special focus on the expansion of renewable and clean energy projects. The authority will also invest Dh16 billion to strengthen and expand electricity, water transmission and distribution networks, and Dh12 billion to complete the Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the Hassyan Power Complex and the Independent Water Producer (IWP) projects at Hassyan, and other DEWA projects.

Al Tayer said that the capacity of DEWA’s current projects with the private sector using the IPP model exceeds 4,000 megawatts (MW), with investments amounting to more than Dh40 billion. He said that through this model, DEWA was able to save an additional investment of Dh26 billion.

Al Tayer also shared details about tenders for upcoming projects.

“We have two tenders with respect to the Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant,” he said. “With respect to power, we have about 900MW IPP.”

Clean energy

The clean energy capacity of Dubai’s energy mix has reached about 12 per cent, surpassing the target of the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy two years ahead of its schedule, Al Tayer said. Carbon emissions in Dubai dropped by 22 per cent in 2019 and 33 per cent in 2020, surpassing the target of reducing 16 per cent of emissions by 2021.

Al Tayer reckons that by 2030, Dubai should reach a clean energy mix of 25%.

Change in tariff?

“We didn’t increase the price since we started the tariff, so nothing on its way for now,” Al Tayer said when asked if residents could expect lower utility bills.

Hydrogen is the future

Al Tayer said that hydrogen is set to compete with solar. While hydrogen is the future, solar has all the attention in the short term because of the pricing.

“This will take some time. But it’s like the solar initiative when we started 15 years ago, solar prices were very high - it was about 50 fils per kilowatt, but now the prices are down to 1.6 cents per kilowatt,” said Al Tayer. “And we hope that hydrogen will follow the same trend and become affordable.”