The stage is being set for the UAE’s second hydroelectric power project with talks already underway between the various concerned parties.
Talks between the UAE’s Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) and the government of Ras Al Khaimah are on course for the development of the hydroelectric power project, reported The National.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is building the GCC’s first hydroelectric power plant in Hatta. The 250 megawatt project at Hatta, 134km east of Dubai straddling the Hajar mountains bordering Oman, will use water resources from an existing 1,716 million-gallon capacity dam.
“We’re still in negotiations with the government of Ras Al Khaimah to develop a hydroelectric power plant as [we have identified a site] with similar topographical environment to the one at Hatta,” said FEWA director general Mohammed Saleh. “The pilot study will cover two locations which can be suitable for the project."
Saleh added that the proposed hydropower plant is part of the UAE's 'Energy Strategy 2050', the country's strategic approach of increasing the source of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050.
The strategy is also expected to reduce the country's carbon footprint by 70 percent and a saving of Dh700 billion by 2050.
The hydroelectric plant is also expected to address the growing energy demand and ensure a sustainable growth for the country's economy. "We hope to cope with the increasing energy demand, which is around 6 per cent annually in the northern emirates," Saleh explained.
Fewa has planned the development of 13 new power substations over the next two years at a cost of Dh1.5 billion to enhance the nationwide electrical grid infrastructure.
Saleh did not rule out privatisation initiatives across the distribution and transmission system of Fewa and noted that any decision would be on the basis of good economic sense, according to The National.
“If it is economically viable, then we will think about it, accordingly today there is no decision on privatisation of the transmission and distribution grid,” he said.
Fewa, which oversees utilities across the emirates, established Emirates Water and Electricity Company in November to replace the existing Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company, which is regulated by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.
EWEC will unify power production and generation in Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates, currently served by the federal authority.