2nd France-DEWA Business Forum held in Dubai in collaboration with French Business Council and Business France

2nd France-DEWA Business Forum held in Dubai in collaboration with French Business Council and Business France
Published: 3 July 2019 - 11:45 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Press Release: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has organised the second France-DEWA Business Forum, in collaboration with the French Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and Business France. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, welcomed French participants, headed by HE Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of the France to the UAE; Raja Rabia, Consul General of France to Dubai, Geoffroy Bunetel, President of the French Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates; representatives of French companies in the UAE, and senior DEWA officials.

In his welcome speech, Al Tayer emphasised the importance of strengthening cooperation and French companies contributing to electricity and water projects in Dubai and the UAE as well as their forming strategic partnerships with DEWA, especially in generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy, energy efficiency, digital transformation, and automation.

Al Tayer talked about DEWA’s key projects, initiatives, and programmes to achieve the vision of the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. DEWA’s strategy is aligned with the UAE Centennial 2071, the UAE Vision 2021, and the Dubai Plan 2021 to ensure a sustainable, happy future and support the UAE to be number one in all areas. He also explained DEWA’s efforts to achieve its vision to become a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation.

Al Tayer confirmed that DEWA has an installed capacity of 11,100 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 470 Million Imperial Gallons (MIG) of water per day, adding that DEWA’s expertise and experience in anticipating and creating the future of energy by innovating a future model for utilities in the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity and water. HE noted that DEWA provides services to over 900,000 customers and has investments valued at more than AED86 billion over the next five years to meet the increasing demand for electricity and water in Dubai.

Al Tayer also spoke about benchmarking, where DEWA succeeded in establishing a culture of innovation among all its departments and sectors, contributing to its winning more than 190 prestigious local and international awards over the past four years, including the International Award for Excellence from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), becoming the first organisation outside Europe to receive this prestigious award, and the first organisation in the history of the award to obtain it from its first nomination. The UAE, represented by DEWA, maintained its first global ranking, for the second consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all Getting Electricity indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report that measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies around the world.

DEWA also achieved competitive results in its global benchmarking, surpassing major European and American utilities in efficiency and reliability. DEWA reduced its losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.3% compared to 6–7% in the US and Europe. Additionally, DEWA achieved the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world of 2.39 CML, compared to 15 minutes in Europe.

Al Tayer also added that DEWA managed to decrease water network losses from 42% in 1988 to 6.5% in 2018, compared to 15% in North America, which is one of the best results in the world. DEWA continues its efforts to upgrade Dubai’s entire water network by replacing old connections and meters with new ones, and developing the transmission and distribution networks as per the highest international standards. The smart adoption rate of DEWA’s services reached 93% by the end of Q1 2019, and in 2018, the customer happiness rate reached 95% in 2018.

DEWA is working to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide 75% of Dubai's total power output from clean energy by 2050. To achieve this, DEWA launched several renewable programmes and initiatives, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world. Based the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, it will have a production capacity of 5,000MW by 2030 with investments totalling AED 50 billion. Upon completion, the solar park will reduce over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and provide thousands of jobs in clean energy and green economy.

Al Tayer said that DEWA adopted IPP in the solar park’s projects to promote public-private partnerships, which has achieved, four times, the lowest international prices for electricity.

The Research and Development (R&D) Centre of the solar park is centred on four major operational areas: electricity generation from clean energy and solar power, integration of smart grids, energy efficiency, and water. The R&D Centre’s projects and programmes consisting of internal labs to study and test system reliability, and external field testing of new technologies and equipment, including performance and reliability of solar photovoltaic panels and removing dust. DEWA’s lab was built using 3D printing technology and is the first building in the UAE to be fully-printed on-site and the first such 3D-printed laboratory building in the world.

DEWA is building a pumped-storage hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 250MW that will make use of the existing water stored in the Hatta Dam. DEWA has also launched the Shams Dubai initiative to encourage building owners to use solar panels installed on rooftops and connect them to DEWA’s grid. The initiative achieved great success, resulting in over 1,300 solar systems installed and connected to date, with a total capacity of about 100MW.

Al Tayer added that DEWA’s Digital DEWA is redefining the concept of a utility to create a new digital future for Dubai. DEWA will disrupt the entire business of public utilities by becoming the world’s first digital utility to use autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage while expanding the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital services.

The initiative has four pillars to deliver a new utility experience for Dubai and the world. The first pillar is launching advanced solar power technologies in Dubai. The second is deploying a renewable energy grid with innovative energy storage technologies. The third pillar is expanding its use of integrated AI solutions to make Dubai the first city to provide AI-based electricity and water services. The fourth pillar is using connected technologies to provide around-the-clock world-class services through the MORO data hub that provides advanced and innovative digital solutions and promotes smart-city applications.

“Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, together with the French Business Council in Dubai & Northern Emirates and in collaboration with Business France have demonstrated the strength of the French Emirati cooperation and partnership by organising this France-DEWA Business Forum 2019 for future of energy, water and innovation. In the energy and water sector, Dubai remains a privileged destination for our companies wishing to reach a wide range of international markets, due to a common vision and openness to sustainable development and innovation. French expertise in these fields is undeniable; not to mention their innovative technologies, which allows several companies to be involved in different projects. Environment and climate change are one of the many topics on which UAE and France are perfectly aligned, with a shared vision and a strong commitment towards renewable and clean energy; both countries are implementing exemplary strategies to become leaders. I would like to thank HE Saeed Al Tayer, firstly for welcoming us once again and organising this forum and secondly for placing his trust in French technologies,” said Pouille.

“French companies are at the forefront of the energy transition currently taking place in the UAE and many of them are already key partners of local authorities and companies to support them achieve their ambitious plans. In this context, the French Business Council Dubai & Northern Emirates is also proud to make our own contribution to these partnerships by organising the 2nd forum on Future of Energy and innovation hosted by DEWA and in partnership with Business France. This is an opportunity for both sides to talk about solar power, energy efficiency and water efficiency and for partnering to bring the French know –how to showcase during the Water Energy Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) organised by DEWA. We would to extend our sincere gratitude to HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA for his great support for this event,” said Bunetel.

“In line with the UAE’s government-led agendas, utilities are constantly looking for reliable and secure solutions to manage assets efficiently and optimize their operations. Plans to decentralise energy has triggered a need to restructure the grid architecture in the energy landscape,” said Ahmed Khashan, President of Gulf Countries at Schneider Electric.

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