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Solar energy costs to see record lows in 2017

Enough investments available for UAE’s $600b transition to 44% clean energy by 2050, Dubai Carbon CEO says

Image Credit: Evangeline Elsa/ Gulf News
Ivano Iannelli, CEO of Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Solar energy costs will witness record lows this year, following two world records set in Dubai and Abu Dhabi last year, a senior executive told Gulf News.

“Solar PV (photovoltaic) cost will further go down below 2 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour) this year [beyond 2.42 cents/kWh record set in Abu Dhabi last year],” Ivano Iannelli, CEO of Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (Dubai Carbon), said in an interview during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Dubai Carbon tries to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon and green economy through the consolidation of knowledge.

Iannelli was referring to the two world records in 2016 as Dubai and Abu Dhabi authorities received the cheapest bids to build solar photovoltaic (PV) plants.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority revealed in May last year that it had received a bid of 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour from developers seeking to be part of the third phase of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It was a world record then, which was subsequently broken by a bid of 2.42 cents per kilowatt-hour, received by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority in September last year. The project at Sweihan will generate 350MW of electricity that will be supplied to the grid.

The second phase of Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai had set a world record in 2015. Its tender was awarded to the lowest bidder for under six cents per kilowatt hour for a 25-year fixed contract, the lowest solar price ever achieved worldwide as of January 2015.

This downward trend in solar energy cost will accelerate the transition towards a low carbon economy, the executive said.

The UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050 that envisages increasing the share of renewables up to 44 per cent in the energy mix by 2050 will further speed up this transition, he said.

Asked about the $600-billion (Dh2.202-trillion) investments required for this transition to clean energy, Iannelli said there was no dearth of investments for green projects. About $77 trillion investments are available in the international market for green projects, according to World Green Economy Organisation in Dubai, he said.

These investments will bring tangible savings to the economy. According to the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the $600 billion investments in clean energy will bring $700 billion savings.

The efforts towards transitioning to a green economy have already caused considerable reduction in carbon emissions in the UAE. This momentum is further stepped up with initiatives like Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Iannelli said.

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