Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai is gearing up to host COP28, the United Nations’ climate change conference. The previous year’s conference held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, drew global attention to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), highlighting the impacts of climate change.

The UAE is taking decisive steps towards a carbon-neutral future, aligning with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). In fact, the UAE has designated 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, cementing its commitment to attain a sustainable future.

In order to attain carbon neutrality and move towards a sustainable energy future, the country must focus on revitalising existing infrastructure or constructing new ones that are sustainable for today’s generations and those to come. This endeavour calls for innovative solutions and advanced technologies, which can be effectively provided by private sector expertise through public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Beyond technical innovation, the UAE also looks at their impact on societies and how they can further improve lives and continue to inspire others.

PPPs in motion

A good example of this can be seen in Hitachi Energy, a company with a rich history of nearly 250 years, pioneering in technological advancements. By utilising the energy platform, Hitachi Energy has developed innovative solutions like the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) systems, a groundbreaking innovative technology. This technology facilitates the integration of renewable energy with minimal losses on a large scale and enables interconnections between countries and even continents.

Video by Clint Egbert and Anas Thacharpadikkal

Undoubtedly, electricity forms the essential foundation of the entire energy system. Given the pressing urgency of transitioning to sustainable energy, there is a growing demand for collaboration and innovation among various individuals and organisations. This collective effort is crucial to foster worldwide development and address the challenges posed by climate change.

Dr Mostafa AlGuezeri, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy for the UAE, Gulf, Near East and Pakistan, emphasises the crucial role of collaboration in facilitating the necessary speed of the energy transition. “As we are approaching closer to COP28, we are taking more prominent strides towards shaping a sustainable energy future for all,” he says.

Image Credit: Supplied

“We prioritise co-creating solutions with customers and partners by actively engaging in diverse stakeholder partnerships. With this approach at the core of our technology, Hitachi Energy aims to foster more alliances that hasten the journey towards a sustainable energy future, benefiting everyone involved.”

To pave the way for a seamless shift towards electrification across different domains like transportation and urban centres, Hitachi Energy has provided support to the Shams 400 kilovolt substation in the UAE. This integrates solar power for upcoming phases of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park – one of the world's largest renewable projects based on an independent power producer mode – into Dubai’s electrical grid.

“A project like this supports the goals for increased use of renewables in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050,” he adds. “And when completed in 2030, the park will occupy 214 square kilometres, generate 5,000 megawatts of electricity, and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 6.5 million tonnes.”

Moreover, Hitachi Energy is playing a critical role in Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single-site photovoltaic solar power plant, with powerful step-up transformers and power quality solutions that are securing an efficient and reliable connection to the Abu Dhabi grid. With a capacity of 1,177 megawatts, Noor Abu Dhabi generates emissions-free electricity, catering to the energy needs of 90,000 people in Abu Dhabi. This accounts for over 6 per cent of the city’s population, making it a significant contribution.

Advancing a sustainable energy future for all

Guided by the strategy pegged on the four pillars of the UN SDGs – planet, people, peace, and partnership – Hitachi Energy is advancing the world's energy system to be more sustainable, flexible and secure. Through a commitment to contributing to social, environmental and economic value, Hitachi Energy generates synergies that combine both digital and energy technologies to make significant contributions to the global energy transition.

“The core idea that drives our technology solutions and services is to help build sustainable societies and add to the energy value chain with economic and social benefits to ensure a greener future for all,” he says. “To achieve this, we have made immense contributions to green energy generation, establishing smooth and cost-efficient grid connections, and the supply of mission-critical digital applications across the industry under a decarbonised operating model.”

Within the UAE, Hitachi Energy further enables the UAE’s 2050 Net Zero Initiative by contributing to the construction of the Hatta Hydro project, the country’s first unique pumped storage hydroelectric power plant. This pioneering project is currently being developed in the Hajar Mountains and is led by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Hitachi Energy is providing technology for grid connection and stabilisation solutions for this project. Once it is operational in 2024, the Hatta Hydro plant will generate up to 250 megawatts of environmentally friendly, sustainable, and versatile energy.

Hitachi Energy’s HVDC Light technology and MACH digital control platform help in the transfer of cleaner and more efficient power from the mainland to power ADNOC’s offshore production operations, enabling a carbon footprint reduction of its offshore operations by more than 30 per cent.

Having recently achieved the first step in its own Sustainability 2030 plan, Hitachi Energy now uses 100 per cent fossil-free electricity in its own operations, as the company continues to move towards being carbon-neutral by 2030.

“We have already made significant progress in our journey towards carbon neutrality, including the electrification of our own operations,” adds Dr AlGuezeri. “In Sweden, for example, Hitachi Energy now uses 100 per cent renewable electricity from hydropower and solar panels to support its operations.

“Hitachi Energy’s sustainability commitment in the UAE matches the same enthusiasm with which we are advancing the world’s energy system to be more sustainable, flexible and secure,” says Dr AlGuezeri. “And as the pioneering technology leader, we collaborate with customers and partners to enable a sustainable energy future for today’s generations, and those to come.”

This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.