Monday 8, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Leading a panel discussion on the future of clean energy in the region at the fourth World Government Summit (WGS 2016), His Excellency Saed Mohammed Al-Tayer, Managing Director & CEO of DEWA, and Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens, discussed the region’s commitment to reducing costs and improving the efficiency of renewable energies.
During the discussion, His Excellency Al-Tayer reaffirmed Dubai’s commitment to producing 75% of its energy from clean sources. Under the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy, the emirate aims to increase the renewable energy mix in Dubai and increase production of clean and renewable energies to 7% by 2020 and 25% by 2030.
Towards reaching these targets, His Excellency Al-Tayer highlighted DEWA’s plans to implement an AED-7 billion five-year Smart Networks and Meters Project strategy, which aims to replace all mechanical and electromechanical water and electricity meters in Dubai with state-of-the-art smart meters benchmarked against the latest global technological specifications. He also mentioned DEWA’s objective to bring Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies within the next three years.
Commenting on DEWA’s future plans, His Excellency Al-Tayer said: “We will continue to adopt the best technologies and real time solutions to enhance operational efficiency and enhance the quality of services we offer to our customers.”
For his part, Kaeser commended the UAE and the region’s efforts for their forward thinking strategies and their commitment to implementing smart solutions for the future. When asked about the decrease in oil prices and its impact on renewable energies, he said that oil price volatility did not affect the region’s commitment to clean energy sources.
“To continue the progress of the renewable energy sector, we must look at what we can do to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and present clean energies as a feasible business,” said Kaeser.
The President of Siemens went on to discuss Germany’s failed approach to clean energies and the lessons learned from this experience.
“The German government rightfully decided to remove itself from the nuclear business and diverted its attention to renewable energy, a plan that was executed poorly. Germany spent an unnecessarily large sum of money on subsidies for renewable energy alone instead of allocating some of these funds to innovative ideas and solutions that reduced costs of these technologies and improved their efficiency. From this experience, we have learned that it is critical to have a clear vision and understanding of the challenges and the foresight to ask the right questions that will bring about meaningful and feasible solutions. We cannot solely focus on one energy source or strategy, but instead must look into investing in the right mix of energy sources.”
Agreeing with Kaeser, His Excellency Al-Tayer reiterated Dubai’s commitment to implementing a holistic approach with regards to optimizing the emirate’s energy sector.
He said: “Dubai will continue to support a fuel mix, where we will continue to develop and produce coal, nuclear and solar energies. We will not depend on one source.”
With a total investment of AED 50 billion, DEWA’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar project in the world, will produce 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030. Once complete, the solar park will reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Adding to DEWA’s future projects, Kaeser discussed Siemen’s US$8billion power-plant deal to build gas and wind power plants aimed boosting Egypt’s power production. Siemens will deliver three ready-to-use gas-steam power plants with a capacity of 4.8 gigawatts each. The plants, which will go into operation in stages starting in the summer of 2017, which will have a total capacity of 14.4 gigawatts.
“In addition to building these plants, we have also conducted an energy efficiency smart grid mapping of the entire country, bringing energy efficiency up and cutting losses in half.”
With regards to the future of electric cars in the UAE, His Excellency Al-Tayer says that Dubai sees great value in alternative car models due to their ability to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions. He said that DEWA had built more than 100 charging stations in Dubai and would continue to implement strategies that promote electrical car usage. Still not ready for private use, he said more time was needed to promote the product and change the mind-set of consumers.
In his concluding remarks, His Excellency Al-Tayer shared details about the SHAMS project, DEWA’s first smart initiative to connect solar energy to buildings, thereby decentralizing the DEWA grid. Diversifying the energy mix by promoting the use of clean and renewable energy sources, the electricity generated and used on site and the surplus of power will be exported and connected to DEWA’s network.
The World Government Summit has attracted more than 3,000 personalities from over 125 countries, and 125 speakers in over 70 sessions. The attendees include VIPs and senior experts from the public and private sectors globally, ministers, decision makers, CEOs, innovators, officials, experts, entrepreneurs, academics, and university students. A number of initiatives, reports and studies are set to be launched during the summit and throughout the year. The summit runs from February 8 – 10, 2016 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.