WETEX 2016 confirms UAE’s commitment towards green energy solutions across vital sectors

Saturday 08 October 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: Green energy has become a major focus and a constant concern for researchers, scientists and leaders around the world in light of the critical period facing the environment in land, sea and air. The world has already consumed huge amount of conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels, which resulted in a large amount of carbon emissions that is harmful to all forms of life on Earth. This harsh fact urged scientists and leaders to think of ways to combat this situation by shifting towards sustainable energy sources available from Sun, wind, water and earth.
Global climate change puts the world on alert and demands collaboration to collectively combat it as the industry development in the past 150 years has consumed billions of tons of fuel and caused the emission of large amount of carbon dioxide, eventually harmed the environment. The amounts of gases released have raised the temperature of the planet compared with pre-industrial revolution time. This has led to huge losses suffered by humankind and other beings on earth. It is believed that if we fail to act to slow down the speed of consequences of climate change, large number of people will be at risk. Also, financially, it is expected that the financial consequences of climate change will overcome the total GDP of the entire whole world by 2080.
The 18th Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) 2016, which was held by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), under the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and President of DEWA, between 4-6 October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, reflects the vision and wise leadership of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which confirms in all occasions that the UAE is determined to be an inspiring model for other countries in the world in green innovation. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has launched a long-term national initiative in 2012 to build a green economy in the UAE under the theme ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development’, for the UAE to become one of the world's leading countries in green economy, and a centre for the export and re-export of green products and technologies. This initiative maintains a sustainable environment that supports long-term economic growth as it covers a full range of programmes and policies in energy, agriculture, investment and sustainable transport. Relevantly, Dubai has launched last year, Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, aimed to increase the share of clean energy in the energy mix in Dubai to reach 75% by 2030.
Green energy solutions and technologies took centre stage during WETEX 2016 which reiterates Dubai's pioneering role in showcasing the significance of green energy to the world. The exhibition is organised at a time the number of jobs in the global renewable energy industry grew by 5 per cent in 2015.
According to data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), clean energy companies employed 8.1 million people worldwide last year, up from 7 million the previous year. 1.3 million people are working in the hydropower industry, which IRENA counts separately because numbers fluctuate so sharply from year to year. IRENA's figures reflect a global shift that has seen renewable power soar in big Asian markets contrary to EU markets, where green energy jobs decreased.
The report shows that China is the world’s biggest renewable energy market, where green power companies employed 3.5m people in 2015
The report says today’s 8.1 million renewable energy jobs should increase to more than 24 million by 2030, anticipating a doubling in the share of renewables in the global energy mix. The solar panel industry had the lion's share in renewables employment worldwide in 2015, with 2.8 million jobs. It was followed by liquid biofuels, with 1.7 million jobs and wind power, which employed 1.1 million people.
Japan is also encouraging more solar power. In European Union, Germany had the most renewables jobs, employing 355,000 people, which is nearly as many as the UK, Italy, and France combined.
WETEX 2016 attracted larger number of trade visitors from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, China, Japan, Turkey, Canada, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, United States and other countries who have come to share their experiences and offer latest technological developments in energy, environment and water. The exhibition also hosted a series of seminars on effective energy sources management, and dissemination of renewable energy solutions. These seminars have given views on the challenges, solutions and technological innovations to rationally use and sustain energy.
Seminars held on the last day of WETEX 2016 explored ways of energy storage and use. They also displayed the UAE’s experience in renewable energy and opened the floor for expertise and best practices exchange. Furthermore, WETEX 2016 attracted a large number of schools, delegations and universities that reviewed their projects related to rational consumption of environmental resources and sustainability throughout three days.
“We are delighted with the great success of the 18th WETEX, which has proven that it is an ideal demonstration of latest green and renewable energy solutions as it garners international participations,” added HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Founder and Chairman of WETEX.
“Themed as ‘At the Forefront of Sustainability’ confirms that the UAE and the Emirate of Dubai are supporting green initiatives, smart projects and green practices across various economic and vital sectors in order to achieve sustainable development. We have held a series of meetings and workshops that have brought decision makers, investors in energy, water and environment sectors and local and international experts under one roof to review efforts aiming at preserving the environmental resources and finding alternative sources of energy,” HE Al Tayer added. “DEWA seeks to enhance its leadership position to contribute in the global efforts of saving natural resources for us and generation to come.”
Solar Energy
Solar energy is one of the prominent ways in utilising clean energy sources in the UAE as the country is located within the Sunbelt. In Dubai, full solar radiation that can be used for photovoltaic (PV) technology reaches 2150 kWh / m2 per year, while the direct part of the radiation that can be used in concentrated solar power (CSP) technology is about 1850 kWh / m2 per year. Such features further promote the use of solar energy in the Emirate.
Shams Dubai
DEWA gives its customers the chance to produce clean energy following the resolution number 46 of 2014 issued by the Dubai Executive Council to regulate electricity produced from photovoltaic panels to the power distribution system in Dubai. The resolution formed a comprehensive legislative framework to connect electricity produced from solar power to the distribution system. The resolution supports the Smart Dubai initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world and encourages customers to produce clean energy, This engages the community in the production of electricity from solar energy, diversify energy sources by increasing renewable energy targets, preserve the environment and lower the country’s carbon footprint, while also encouraging the development of a green economy to achieve sustainable development.
‘Shams Dubai’ allows customers to install photovoltaic panels on their rooftops to generate electricity form solar power. The electricity is used onsite and the surplus is exported into DEWA’s grid. Also, DEWA has allocated more than AED 2.6 billion for supporting the infrastructure of electricity, water and renewable energy projects, according to the best international standards, to ensure world-class organisation of the Expo 2020 in Dubai. With a focus on renewable energy sources that goes along with Expo’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and the three sub-themes of ‘Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability’. In order to implement ‘Shams Dubai’, DEWA cooperates with various organisations and companies to create and install PV panels. The project is part of a broader environmental approach within the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer during the second day of WETEX announced the region’s largest project for the installation of photovoltaic solar panels. This project entails the installation of 88 thousand solar panels on the roofs of the DP World buildings in JAFZA and Mina Rashid.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
Among the major projects undertaken by DEWA is Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park under the infrastructure pillar; one of the five main pillars consisting Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. These five main pillars are: Infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, having an environment-friendly energy mix. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world with a capacity of up to 5,000 megawatts of electricity by 2030. Also it supports Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 which aims to provide 7% of Dubai's energy from clean energy sources by 2020, and 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.
This major project entails R&D centre, the Innovation Centre, the Renewable Academy and the solar-powered water pumping and desalination station that uses photovoltaic solar panels to desalinate water with Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology.
DEWA intends to build the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world, based on the IPP model. DEWA has released a tender for leading international CSP consultants to submit their proposals for advisory services for the 200MW first project of the CSP plant. It will be operational by April 2021. DEWA will generate 1,000MW using this technology by 2030.
Using knowledge to defy environmental threats
DEWA has signed several MoUs with international organisations such as RWA, First Solar, and the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), to train DEWA employees in Europe, and the USA, while exchanging skills and learning about international developments in energy, water, and environment. This reflects DEWA’s commitment to exchanging information with employees and partners in international organisations.
DEWA allocated AED55 million of its budget to scholarships in 2015. DEWA sent a large number of engineers to Essen in Germany, as a part of the first group in a month-long comprehensive programme. DEWA also sent students to the University of Arizona, to study renewable energy. DEWA cooperates with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the United Nations (UN) to research renewable and alternative energy, to reduce carbon footprint and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

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