Dubai: The UAE has become the first country in the world to produce aluminium using the power of the sun, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) announced on Monday.
Dewa is the supplier of EGA’s smelter with 560,000 megawatt hours of solar power yearly from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The energy is sufficient to make 40,000 tonnes of aluminium in the first year with the potential for significant expansion. EGA will supply solar aluminium to global customers under the new product name, CelestiAL.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa and vice-chairman of EGA, noted: “This global achievement of both Dewa and EGA confirms our firm commitment to achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in building a green economy in the UAE and reaching the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, in diversifying energy sources and providing 75 per cent of Dubai’s energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.”
“To achieve these goals, we have launched many initiatives and projects, most notably the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar energy project in the world with a capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030. The solar park projects use photovoltaic panels and concentrated solar energy technologies,” he added.
Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has a current installed capacity of some 1,013 megawatts, using photovoltaic solar panels. Dewa is implementing an additional 1,850 megawatts of projects using solar panels and concentrated solar power (CSP). Eventually, this capacity will reach 5,000MW by 2030.
Cut in carbon emissions
Al Tayer said through the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy, “Dubai has reduced 22 per cent its carbon emissions in 2019. Results achieved have exceeded the targets set in the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 16 per cent this year.”
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, added: “Aluminium is a lightweight, strong and infinitely recyclable metal and these properties mean that as a material it plays a vital global role in the development of a sustainable future. However, it also matters how sustainably aluminium is made. CelestiAL, aluminium made in the UAE with solar power, will help make modern life possible for people around the world while protecting our planet for future generations. This is a great milestone for the UAE and our industry.”
From smartphones to skyscrapers
Aluminium is used in products and infrastructure from smartphones to skyscrapers. Its use includes applications that contribute to a more sustainable environment from wind farms to electric vehicles, from mass transit to solar panels.
EGA’s sourcing of solar power from Dubai’s electricity grid will be tracked with the use of International Renewable Energy Certification System to ensure that the energy used to produce EGA’s CelestiAL solar aluminium is sourced from the sun.