Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has attended the opening of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), which is organised under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. DEWA is the Efficiency Sponsor of the summit, which is held from 18-21 January 2016.
DEWA showcases its initiatives and projects in its stand in Hall 6, number 5120 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). DEWA’s stand features the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and a number of organisations and companies under DEWA and the council, including Etihad ESCO, Mai Dubai, Empower, the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, and the UAE Water Aid Foundation. The stand also features a number of DEWA’s smart initiatives including Shams Dubai, and Green Charger.
By its participation, DEWA confirms its commitment towards increasing the percentage of renewable energy sources in Dubai’s energy mix. Al Tayer noted that DEWA has surpassed the targets it announced last year to increase the percentage of renewable energy in Dubai’s energy mix. In November 2015, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to provide 7% of Dubai’s energy from clean sources by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. Dubai is the only city in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to launch such a strategy, with specific targets and deadlines that outlines the future of energy in Dubai until 2050.
“2015 witnessed significant developments in increasing dependence on renewable energy in Dubai and the UAE as a whole thanks to the wise vision of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who have realised the important role of renewable energy in achieving a balance between development and the environment to ensure the right of future generations to live in a clean, healthy, and safe environment. The wise leadership realises that investment in clean energy sources has positive effects on the long run. Today we have many projects in the UAE. Shams in Abu Dhabi and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai are both contributing to the UAE’s clean energy strategy,” said Al Tayer.
Al Tayer pointed that energy is an integral part of the social and economic development of all countries and that the transformation towards clean energy has positive environmental, social, and economic effects. He highlighted the importance of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar project in the world. It will produce 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030, with total investment of AED 50 billion. It will reduce over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. DEWA set a world record by obtaining the lowest price globally, at USD 5.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the second phase, which will be operational in April 2017 using the Independent Power Produce (IPP) model. DEWA recently announced the 800MW third phase, which will be completed in 3 phases by 2020. Over 20 bidders were pre-qualified for this project, which shows the huge interest by the private sector to take part in these projects, which benefit all parties.
Al Tayer noted that the oil industry has been greatly influenced by the fluctuation in oil prices, and that billions of dollars are not being spent on energy because of lower margins and return on investments, making conventional energy less competitive and attractive for further investments, compared to clean energy which is a great opportunity for the future as demand keeps rising around the world. Oil prices and improved technology have helped increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix. This make technology a key success factor to the transformation towards clean energy.
“In DEWA, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we have been empowered to pursue energy diversification and increase the share of renewable and clean energy within the mix. This stems from a vision that realises the importance of renewable and sustainable energy in protecting the environment, sustainability of natural resources, and creating a better future for everyone. DEWA invests heavily in innovation in renewable and clean energy. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said, “Every investment in the development of clean energy sources is at the same time an investment to protect the environment for future generations.””
DEWA Innovation Centre features a group of research and development centres that specialise in clean energy technologies, drones research, 3D-printing technology, and solar energy based desalination, with a total investment of AED 500 million. The Dubai Green Fund is worth AED 100 billion, and will contribute through its financial resources easy loans for investors in the clean energy sector. DEWA will ensure the demand management and economic value of the projects. The Dubai Green Zone will attract research and development centres and emerging companies in clean energy. DEWA also invests in 9 programmes as part of the Demand Side Management strategy. These include green building regulations, retrofitting existing buildings, district cooling, wastewater reuse, laws and standards to raise efficiency, energy-efficient street-lighting, and the Shams Dubai initiative to regulate the generation of solar energy in buildings. This provides new job opportunities for different energy service companies, and other businesses interested in sustainability and efficiency.
The carbon abatement strategy aims to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by 2021. DEWA contributes over 50% of this target. These targets will be reviewed in the light of the newly-declared Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.
Al Tayer noted that DEWA launces awareness programmes and innovative initiatives to encourage society to adopt positive behaviour in their daily lives that contribute to reducing electricity and water use. It managed to save 1,163 GWh of electricity and 5.4 billion imperial gallons of water. This is equivalent to AED752 million, and over 536,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
DEWA’s efforts in energy efficiency have contributed to achieving several milestones globally, surpassing major European and American companies in different areas. For example, losses in power transmission and distribution networks was reduced to 3.26%, compared to 6-7% in Europe and the USA. Water network losses decreased to 9.1%, compared to 15% in North America. DEWA’s results are among the best internationally for customer minutes lost per year. DEWA’s figures reached 4.9 minutes, compared to 15 minutes recorded by leading utilities in the European Union. The UAE, represented by DEWA, has been ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa and fourth globally for the third consecutive year for getting electricity as per the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report.
WFES 2016, hosted by Masdar as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, is a major annual global event where the most brilliant minds meet to exchange ideas and explore the latest updates and challenges related to the future of the energy sector. It focuses on exploring growing investment opportunities in clean energy in MENA, a region regarded as a promising market for renewable energy.