Dubai: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), the official sustainability partner to Expo 2020 Dubai, is set to showcase its experimental Green Hydrogen Project in collaboration with Siemens at the upcoming world fair kicking off on October 1, 2021.
The global event will see 50 per cent of its power generated from a variety of renewable sources, where Dewa steps in to achieve Expo’s sustainability vision through onsite installations of more than 25 solar arrays and 17 green charging stations, aside from providing water and electricity to the event site.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dewa, held a virtual press conference earlier on Tuesday about the Green Hydrogen project, which will be inaugurated on Wednesday at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. The trial hydrogen facility is situated at Dewa’s outdoor testing facilities in the Research and Development (R&D) Centre of the MBR Solar Park.
This project will be in line with the model Dewa adopted in the projects of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, in which Dewa started its first phase with a pilot project with a capacity of 13 megawatts (MW). The total production capacity of the solar park’s operational phases is currently 1,013MW. The projects currently under construction will have a total capacity of 1,850MW, with future phases to reach 5,000MW by 2030.
“We have a clear approach for the energy sector in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75 per cent of Dubai's total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. We are using the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain to enhance energy efficiency and increase the happiness of all stakeholders including customers,” said Al Tayer.
Reducing carbon emissions
He said that these efforts have contributed to Dubai surpassing the target of reducing 16 per cent of carbon emissions by 2021. "We are continuing to expand the use of clean energy. We currently have promising solar projects at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, in addition to the hydroelectric power station in Hatta, as well as other projects under study to use wind energy.''
Currently branded as a work-in-progress, Dewa’s hydrogen pilot project is the first in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to produce green hydrogen using solar energy, reflecting Dubai’s commitment to convert 75 per cent of its total power capacity into clean energy by the year 2050.
In fact, Expo 2020 Dubai will also feature fuel-cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen, a kilogram of which can fuel a car for 100 kilometres, that Dewa’s hydrogen electrolysis facility will generate using photovoltaic solar panels.
Dewa’s revolutionary approach to sustainable energy is in line with the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, an initiative credited with building the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park) in Dubai – the world’s largest single-site solar power plant based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.
We are using the latest Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to enhance energy efficiency and increase the happiness of all stakeholders including customers.
Additionally, tying in with Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme of Sustainability, Dewa’s 464MW of clean energy will aid Dubai in hosting the most sustainable world expo in history.
Though the plant currently produces 240kg of hydrogen and 300 kilowatts of electricity per day, Al Tayer foresees an uptick in the output with further research and development over time. “The share of clean energy capacity in Dubai’s energy mix has increased to around 9 per cent,” commented Al Tayer, highlighting the emirate’s accelerating achievements in the clean energy sector. “This exceeds the percentage set in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy to provide 7 per cent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2020.”
Milestones achieved by Dewa
During the conference, Al Tayer also highlighted Dewa’s latest developments in its pioneering initiatives. Dewa has attracted around Dh40 billion in investments through the Independent Power Producer (IPP) and Independent Water Producer (IWPP) model that strengthens the partnership between the public and private sectors.
Al Tayer said that next July, Dewa will commission the 300MW first stage of the fifth phase of the solar park, which will have a capacity of 900MW using photovoltaic solar panels. In September, Dewa will commission the world's tallest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) tower at 262.44 metres and a capacity of 100MW, in addition to 200MW from parabolic trough. This is the largest single-site solar investment project of its kind in the world. It combines CSP and photovoltaic solar panels, with a capacity of 950MW, with investments totalling Dh16 billion. This phase is characterised by the largest storage capacity in the world for 15 hours, which allows for energy production round the clock.
He added that Dewa has started the tunneling operations of the hydroelectric power station in Hatta. The progress in the 250MW project is 22.84 per cent. The project uses the latest and safest drilling technologies to fit Hatta’s geological features while following the highest international environmental standards.
Using space technology for safe energy and water
Dewa’s space programme, Space-D, aims to build Dewa’s capabilities and train Emirati professionals to use space technologies to enhance its electricity and water networks, and will take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. The project features the launch of a main satellite equipped with the latest imaging and satellite communication technologies, which will take place in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai.
The satellite cameras will monitor the performance and efficiency of the photovoltaic solar panels at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park using special cameras on the main satellite, which will also help study the impact of weather and climate change on energy infrastructure and supply. This enhances the reliability of electricity and sustainability of resources.
“To keep pace with the continuous growth of Dubai, and as part of our commitment to creating proactive solutions to the challenges of the next 50 years, we continuously work to implement various projects to meet the growing demand for electricity and water in the Emirate. Dewa’s total production capacity is currently 12,900MW of electricity and 490 million gallons of desalinated water per day. As part of its efforts to promote sustainability and energy efficiency, Dewa, through its subsidiary Ittihad ESCO, retrofitted 7,197 buildings, including 4,878 villas in Dubai. It installed photovoltaic solar panels on 5,442 buildings, including 4,878 villas, bringing the total number of buildings that have been retrofitted and solar panels installed on them to 7,763. This is part of the Shams Dubai initiative to install photovoltaic solar panels on rooftops in Dubai.”
To keep pace with the continuous growth of Dubai, and as part of our commitment to creating proactive solutions to the challenges of the next 50 years, we continuously work to implement various projects to meet the growing demand for electricity and water in the Emirate. We are proud that Dewa has received the Global Award highest from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) for the second time. Dewa continues to maintain its position in the Platinum category, which includes leading companies and institutions that promote excellence. Dewa has also won the EFQM UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Challenge 2021. The award recognises Dewa’s efforts in sustainable development and its support of the UAE’s efforts to achieve the UN SDGs.
World record for Dewa
"We are proud that Dewa has received the Global Award highest from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) for the second time. Dewa continues to maintain its position in the Platinum category, which includes leading companies and institutions that promote excellence. Dewa has also won the EFQM UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Challenge 2021. The award recognises Dewa’s efforts in sustainable development and its support of the UAE’s efforts to achieve the UN SDGs. Dewa’s Jebel Ali Power Generation & Water Production Complex has been confirmed by Guinness World Records as the largest single-site natural gas power generation facility in the world with an electricity generation capacity of 9,547MW, adding to Dewa’s record of global achievements,” concluded Al Tayer.
- The writer is an intern with Gulf News.