The Mena region’s first ‘green hydrogen’ energy facility has been unveiled within Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park).
Driven by a collaboration between Expo 2020 Dubai, Siemens, and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), the solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facility will showcase “the huge potential” of hydrogen as “a carbon-free energy source”, according to the world expo’s organisers.This innovative project represents an important milestone in bringing to life Expo [2020’s] key sub-theme of sustainability.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at MBR Solar Park to unveil the facility, which will be built at Dewa’s outdoor testing facilities within the solar park’s Research and Development Centre.
According to a report by UAE state news agency, Wam, ground was broken on the project by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and chairman of Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.
Upon completion, the facility will generate hydrogen energy to power fuel-cell vehicles along the 50km distance between MBR Solar Park and Expo 2020 Dubai’s site. Moreover, real-time data from the green hydrogen electrolysis project will be showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Commenting on the project, HH Sheikh Ahmed said the groundbreaking of “this innovative project represents an important milestone in bringing to life Expo [2020’s] key sub-theme of sustainability”.
He added: “Dewa, Expo 2020 Dubai, and Siemens are working together to help realise HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to identify new energy resources and provide sustainable power as part of a balanced approach that prioritises the environment. Our aim is to make Dubai a model of energy efficiency and safety.”
Expo 2020 Dubai said in a statement that the vehicular application will be “one of the clean energy source’s many possible uses”, adding that in the long term, the green hydrogen project would contribute to the expo’s aims of creating a “meaningful and lasting environmental legacy for the UAE, the region, and the world”.
Additionally, the green hydrogen facility will also contribute to the Dubai Clean Energy 2050 strategy, which aims to serve 75% of the UAE emirate’s total power output from clean energy sources in the next three decades.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation; and Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of Dewa.
Also in attendance were the UAE’s Minister of Energy and Industry, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei; and the country’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. They were accompanied by the chief executive officers of Enoc and Empower, Saif Al Falasi and Ahmad bin Shafaar; secretary general of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Ahmed Al Mehairbi; chairman of Acwa Power, Mohammad Abu Nayyan; and executive director of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali.
Siemens’ president and chief executive officer, Joe Kaeser, as well as Siemens’ chief in the Middle East, Dietmar Siersdorfer, joined other officials from the government and private sectors at the event, according to Wam.