Exclusive: DEWA CEO Rules Out ‘Wind and Hydro’ For 2050 Clean Energy Mix

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has confirmed that wind and hydro will not form part of the emirate’s ambitious 2050 clean energy plan.

Speaking exclusively to Impact4All on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA said, “We have just completed a feasibility study and it’s just not possible. Hydro is not possible. Even for wind … we don’t even have 25 pent cent wind during the year and the speed is not feasible.

“We are barely reaching 4m/s speed and, for wind power, it needs to be at least 6m/s for a viable wind turbine.”

The CEO of Dubai’s state energy utility also confirmed the government’s aim to use solar parks to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s power output to 7 percent by 2020, 25 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050 and 75 percent by 2050.

He told Impact4All that nuclear would ‘play a part’ in the clean energy mix but the exact percentage was “still under discussion”.

Al Tayer noted that much of the emirate’s power needs are diverted towards air cooling in Dubai’s vast network of buildings. “As such, we are focused on retrofitting more than 30,000 buildings so that they are energy efficient ,” he said. “We have already fitted 2,000 buildings in the last two years. We want to be a role model in building energy efficiency.”

The DEWA head added that ‘AI and digital’ would play a leading role in the emirate’s future energy strategies.

Al Tayer said: “[AI and digital] will improve electricity and the operation costs for authorities. We will use AI and big data to help maximise and optimise different sources of energy. We need machines where they can calculate and predict the trading, we need to reinforce our networks with Africa and Europe, we need to make the system robust so that we can go forward for trading.”

Dubai’s Ruler HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Sunday approved Dh26.4 billion worth of power and sustainable energy projects to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global model for green economy.

Shaikh Mohammad issued instructions to increase interest in clean and renewable energy research, encourage innovative ideas and motivate young talelnt to participate in building the future and expansion in the application of smart solutions to keep up with development goals.

The projects, which will be implemented by DEWA this year, are part of the emirate’s drive to invest in traditional and non-traditional energy sources, advanced technology and innovative projects, to make Dubai a smart and sustainable city.

Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world, based on the IPP model. It will generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030. The 13MW photovoltaic first phase became operational in 2013.

The 200MW photovoltaic second phase of the solar park was launched in March 2017. The 800MW photovoltaic third phase will be operational by 2020, and the first stage of the 700MW CSP fourth phase will be commissioned in Q4 of 2020.

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