Dubai: Twenty young social media influencers, particularly trending Instagram users with around 200,000 followers, visited the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to see the best innovations and practices in energy efficiency. 

The 3rd Emirates Energy Award’s (EEA 2017’s) Organising Committee organised the visit. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world.

The total capacity of the solar park will reach 5,000MW by 2030, with total investments of Dh50 billion.

By the time the solar park is completed, it should help reduce over 6.5 million tonnes per year of carbon emissions.

During the visit, social media influencers were shown the operations at the solar park. The group took photos of the site using the hashtag  #EEAinstameet and posted them on their Instagram accounts.

By the numbers

The group visited other projects inside the park, including the 13MW photovoltaic first phase, which commenced operations on 22 October 2013, the 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park that is being commissioned, and the 800MW photovoltaic 3rd phase that is under construction.

The 200MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant will be operational in April 2021. CSP will eventually generate 1,000MW by 2030.

The social media influencers also visited the research and development centres that focus on industrial and social needs.

The centre comprises of two solar testing facilities: the first for photovoltaic panels and the second for CSP.

“The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park supports the wise vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy, green economy and sustainable development," Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy and President of the EEA.

"It is also part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai, with a total power output to 7% by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050,” Al Tayer added. 

“The strategic vision of our wise leaders is to establish UAE’s position as a global platform to encourage innovation and help innovators. The EEA is open to all creative ideas, best practices and innovations.

"As part of the National Innovation Strategy and the Dubai Innovation Strategy, we intend to boost research efforts in renewable energy to create plans and technologies that will help the UAE to achieve its sustainable development and green economy goals to guarantee a happier and sustainable future, for generations to come,” said Al Tayer.

“It was a pleasure to welcome the group of young social media influencers to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, one of the leading projects in the region on clean energy.

"The EEA’s mission is to support best practices that help reduce energy consumption. We are confident that such innovative practices will have a positive impact on society and will help raise awareness about energy efficiency and the importance of saving water, which are the key drivers for sustainable development,” said HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Energy, and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the EEA.

“This is the third EEA to inspire a healthy competition that motivates people to display their innovative ideas and outstanding initiatives for sustainable development. The award categories include energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability and environmental protection. We encourage the individuals and companies from both public and private sectors to present their projects and eco-friendly technologies,” continued Al Tayer.

EEA has 10 categories with gold, silver and bronze medals. These include  Energy Efficiency-Public Sectors, Energy Efficiency-Private Sector, Large Energy Project, Small Energy Project, Connecting Solar Power to Buildings Project for Large Projects (over 500 kW), Connecting Solar Power to Buildings Project for Small Projects (less than 500 kW), Education and Capacity Building  (Gold, Silver, and Bronze), Research & Development Young Professional Energy Award and Special Recognition Award.

Applications will be received up to 1 April 2017. The EEA website offers further details on how to participate in this regional award.

EEA 2017 is held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with the theme "Innovative Solutions for Clean Energy".