Dubai: Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, inaugurated the UAE Wind Program on Thursday.
The 103.5-megawatt (MW) project, developed by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC (Masdar), will introduce cost-effective, large-scale, utility wind power to the UAE’s electricity grid, further diversifying the country’s energy mix and advancing its energy transition.
The UAE Wind Program is expected to power more than 23,000 UAE homes a year. It will displace 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to removing more than 26,000 petrol-powered cars from the road annually.
The project spans four locations, including Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, where a 45MW capacity wind farm plus 14 MWp (megawatt peak) solar farm has been developed. Other locations include Delma Island (27MW), and Al Sila in Abu Dhabi (27MW), as well as Al Halah in Fujairah (4.5MW).
Speaking at the event, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate and Chairman of Masdar, said: “The UAE Wind Program is a great source of national pride and a demonstration of Masdar’s ability to pioneer and implement innovations in wind and renewable energy technologies… For a viable energy transition, the world must triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement goals. As we look forward to hosting COP28, today’s inauguration shows the UAE’s firm commitment to this target, boosting clean energy investments both at home and abroad.”
Previously, wind energy was not viable at utility scale due to low wind speeds in the UAE, but innovations within climate technology and UAE-led expertise have made power generation using wind possible. Larger turbines, lower hardware costs, and the discovery of a unique weather phenomenon that generates high winds at night, have made the UAE Wind Program project scalable and economically viable.