Mohammed bin Rashid Solar park
Mohammed bin Rashid Solar park Image Credit: Gulf News

We live in a time of unprecedented pressures on our environment, a period where every tonne of carbon emitted into the atmosphere is adding to the process of warming our planet as never before.

And, given the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that highlighted the grave consequences of our warming planet, any and every measure that reduces our reliance on carbon-producing energies and processes is vitally important.

On Tuesday, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a new production phase in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park that will provide clean energy to power some 90,000 homes.

The new phase of the project will see it produce 300 megawatts of energy using solar power and innovate technologies, ensuring that these homes will be cooled and powered using renewable energy from a clean and carbon-free source.

“Our end goal of the huge project is producing 5,000 megawatts (MW) before 2030” Shaikh Mohammad said as he made the announcement on Twitter, adding that clean energy in Dubai will constitute 13 per cent of the emirate’s needs before the end of the year.

Dubai’s energy needs

Doing that would be no small achievement, having an immediate and significant reduction in Dubai’s carbon footprint. By 2050, Shaikh Mohammad said, some 75 per cent of Dubai’s energy needs will be from renewable sources — greatly progressing the UAE toward real and meaningful climate change action.

The new model of energy production in Dubai is being made possible by a partnership with the private sector that is providing Dh40 billion in investment to produce clean energy. That level of investment is significant, reflecting confidence in the economic future of Dubai. It’s a win-win process, one that allows everyone to succeed and make profits.

Tuesday’s announcement makes a significant expansion for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It is already the largest single-site solar park in the world and by 2030 will have a planned production capacity of 5,000MW through investments worth Dh50 billion. In environment terms, however, the park will mean that 6.5 million tonnes of potential carbon emissions will have been averted — helping our planet stabilise from global warming.

The mantra of the environmental movement has long been to think global and act local. By stepping up the production of clean energy locally and powering some 90,000 homes with electricity harnessed from the abundant rays of our sun, Dubai certainly is living up to that promise.