Dubai Switches on First Solar Plant in Bid for Energy Diversity

Dubai a role model to the world in energy security and efficiency.

Dubai a role model to the world in energy security and efficiency.

Dubai began operating the first in a series of solar power stations it plans as part of a push to diversify energy supplies in the United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member nation holding about 6 percent of global oil reserves.

The 13-megawatt photovoltaic plant is the biggest of its type in the Middle East and North Africa,Saeed Al Tayer, the head of Dubai’s state utility, said today at an inauguration ceremony in a desert inland from the Persian GulfFirst Solar Inc., the biggest U.S. solar-panel manufacturer, built the facility.

“This is the first part of Dubai’s plan to develop a solar park with 1000 megawatts of power by 2030,” said Al Tayer, chief executive officer of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

DEWA is seeking to reduce its use of natural gas as a fuel for power stations while boosting generating capacity to meet a 5 percent annual growth in electricity demand in Dubai, the U.A.E.’s second-largest sheikhdom. The government-owned utility plans to hire private companies to develop and run a 100-megawatt solar power plant as it expands further into renewable energy, Al Tayer said.

Sheikh Mohammed reviews a model of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy.

Sheikh Mohammed reviews a model of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy.

Dubai is targeting by 2030 to generate 5 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and 12 percent from coal, while buying an additional 12 percent of its power from nuclear reactors planned in neighboring Abu Dhabi. The remaining 71 percent will come from gas, according to a 2011 plan.

A scale model of Dubai's flagship solar park

A scale model of Dubai’s flagship solar park

The U.A.E. is the fourth-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, with Abu Dhabi holding most of its crude reserves.

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About Georges Abi-Aad

CEO, electronic engineer with MBA in marketing. Multicultural; French citizen born in Lebanon working in the Middle East and fluent in French, English and Arabic. I have more than 30 years of proven experience in the Middle East with European know how. I am good in reorganization and in Global strategic management business. I am a dependable leader with an open approach in working with people, forging a strong team of professionals dedicated to the Company and its clientele. Perseverance is my key word. Married to Carole and having 2 children: Joy-Joelle and Antoine (Joyante!).
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