Dubai: Have you seen this unique structure in Dubai? It is not just an architectural gem but also ties in with the country's ambitious sustainability goals. This is the Innovation Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It has a planned production capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030, with investments totalling Dh50 billion. When completed, it will save over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The solar park also houses a Research and Development (R&D) Centre and a 3d-printed lab, along with the pictured Innovation Centre.
This year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed 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 to produce 300 megawatts of energy that can cater to the needs of 90,000 houses.
Making the announcement on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Our end goal of the huge project is to produce 5000 megawatts before 2030. Clean energy in Dubai will constitute 13 per cent before the end of the year, and our goal is 75 per cent before 2050 and we are proceeding successfully according to our plan".
The Innovation Centre’s research on solar power supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to diversify the energy mix and provide 75% of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.
The Innovation Centre will be an educational platform that hosts events, conferences, seminars, and workshops. It will build a strong collaboration with schools, universities, start-ups, and local and international organisations for research, knowledge-exchange, and organisation of exhibitions.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA’s) Innovation Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is a pioneering global hub for renewable and clean energy innovation that is expected to shape the global future of sustainable energy.
The Innovation Centre is located at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The Centre is a clean technology innovation hub to promote a sustainable energy future in Dubai and beyond. Through the Innovation Centre, DEWA aims to raise awareness about sustainability, while building national capabilities and increasing competitiveness.
The Innovation Centre is the first and largest government centre to receive the ‘Done by Youth’ seal from the Federal Youth Authority. Developed by a team of young Emiratis, the Centre supports the next generation of innovators in clean energy technologies while focusing on developing national capabilities.
The Centre also features an exhibition on photovoltaic solar power and the key components of solar photovoltaic cells, solar photovoltaic technologies, CSP and the Solar Power Tower. It also showcases DEWA’s renewable energy journey, Smart DEWA, solar cell applications in spacecraft and satellites, a model that explains the working mechanisms of electric vehicles, a wind turbine, and the development of DEWA’s sustainable buildings. The Innovation Centre received a platinum rating from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) with 101 points out of a possible 110 in the first quarter of 2020. This is the highest score in the world for a new government building.
By the end of 2021, clean energy capacity is expected to increase to 13.3 per cent of Dubai’s total energy mix after adding 517 megawatts from solar photovoltaic panels and CSP in the fourth phase of the solar park. These include 100 megawatts from the world's tallest CSP tower at 262.44 metres, 200 megawatts from the first project of the parabolic trough, and 217 megawatts using photovoltaic solar panels.
The fifth phase will provide clean energy to over 270,000 residences in Dubai, including 90,000 residences by the commissioned first stage, and will reduce 1.18 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. To be commissioned in stages until 2023, the fifth phase uses the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies with Single Axis Tracking to increase energy production.
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