DEWA’s robust infrastructure is a key element of Dubai’s development

Published: 2 February 2020 - 4:53 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

An advanced infrastructure plays a key role in the overall and sustainable development process, encourages foreign investment, and makes citizens, residents, and visitors happier. The UAE’s advanced infrastructure has helped consolidate its position as a leading global destination for foreign direct investment, and the preferred destination for living, working, entrepreneurship, and a global economic hub.

UAE is first globally in getting electricity

The UAE, represented by DEWA, ranked first for the third consecutive year in Getting Electricity, as per the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. The report measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies around the world.

DEWA achieved 100% in all of the Getting Electricity indicators, including procedures required to obtain an electricity connection; the time needed to complete each procedure; costs associated with each criterion; and reliability and transparency of tariffs.

“At DEWA, our strategies and business plans are inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, to provide a robust electricity and water infrastructure. We aim to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021, for Dubai to be the preferred place to live, work, and visit. We are proud that DEWA is part of the UAE’s global achievements, with the help of our citizens, who are doing their best to make DEWA a global role model for energy efficiency and reliability as well as providing an advanced infrastructure that contributes to transforming Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

One step and five days to obtain electricity

In line with its efforts to boost Dubai's economy, DEWA recently reduced the time to complete the one-step process for new connections of up to 150kW for commercial and industrial customers to five days only. DEWA also continues to waive security deposits and new connection charges for connections of up to 150kW.

The UAE, represented by DEWA, has the shortest time in the world to get electricity according to the World Bank’s report, which has set a measure of 18 days to get 100% in the time indicator for Getting Electricity.

Dubai is a leading city in energy and environmental design

In April 2019, DEWA achieved a global milestone with Dubai getting the Platinum Rating in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Cities certification awarded by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Dubai is the first city in the Arab World and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to receive the Platinum Rating, which is the highest rating for a city's sustainability performance benchmark. Qualifying cities are measured, within a comprehensive framework, according to 14 metrics relating to the energy and water sector, waste treatment, transportation, human experience, education, prosperity, equality, health, and safety.

Dubai reduces carbon emissions by 19%

In June 2019, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy announced that Dubai’s carbon emissions decreased significantly despite the Emirate’s continuous growth and development. The net CO2 emissions of the Emirate reduced by 19% compared to the business as usual (BAU) scenario, surpassing the Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021 target to reduce the carbon emissions by 16% by 2021. Per capita annual consumption of electricity has fallen from 13,626 kWh in 2015, to 11,731 kWh in 2018 and is expected to reach 10,538 kWh by 2025. Annual per capita consumption of water has decreased from 38,554 IG to 33,565 IG in 2018, and is expected to reach 28,455 IG in 2025.

AED 86 billion investments over 5 years

DEWA owns a world-class infrastructure with an installed capacity of 11,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 470 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of desalinated water. DEWA is continuously developing its assets that are worth over AED144 billion with investments of AED 86 billion over the next five years to meet the growing demand for electricity and water in Dubai. DEWA supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy by diversifying the energy mix to include 75% of Dubai's total power output from clean resources by 2050.

M-station, the largest power production and desalination plant in the UAE

In April 2019, DEWA inaugurated the extension project of M-Station in Jebel Ali, the largest power and water desalination plant in the UAE. With the construction of the extension, the total cost of M-Station reached AED 11.669 billion while its production capacity reached 2,885MW and 140 million gallons of desalinated water per day, according to the highest standards of availability, reliability, efficiency and quality.

Leading solar power projects

Dubai has become an international pioneer in the clean and renewable energy sector. It has developed a number of techniques and practices to enhance the efficiency of the energy sector while rationalising the use of natural resources and finding alternative solutions to conventional energy. This supports the sustainable development of the Emirate. The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean resources by 2050. Dubai is the only city in the region to have launched such a promising strategy with set goals and timelines that map the future of energy until 2050. The strategy consists of five main pillars: infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, and having an environment-friendly energy mix.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It will generate 5,000MW by 2030 with investments up to AED 50 billion. The 13MW first phase became operational in 2013 using photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The 200MW PV second phase of the solar park was operational in March 2017. The 800MW PV third phase is being implemented in three stages. It is the first of its kind in the MENA region, with an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency by 20-30% when compared to fixed installations. The 3rd phase will be fully operational in April 2020.

The 950MW fourth phase of the solar park is the largest single-site Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the world based on IPP. It will use 700MW CSP: 600MW from a parabolic trough complex, 100MW from a solar tower, and 250MW from PV panels. The project will feature the tallest solar tower in the world at 260 metres, and the largest thermal storage capacity of 15 hours; capable to generate power around the clock. For the 900MW Solar PV IPP Project DEWA selected the consortium led by ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation as the preferred bidder. The fifth phase will be operational over several stages starting from Q2 2021.

Research & Development Centre

The Research and Development Centre at the solar park focuses on four key operations. These include producing electricity from solar power and clean energy; the integration of smart grids; energy efficiency, and water. The R&D Centre is spread over 4,400 square metres. It includes labs and workshops to simulate sun rays, a lab for unmanned aerial vehicles, which is the first building in the UAE to be fully printed onsite, and the first such 3D-printed laboratory building in the world.

Innovation Centre

DEWA is building the Innovation Centre at the solar park using the highest standards of sustainable buildings. The centre will serve as a museum and exhibition for solar and renewable energy. It will attract individuals, tourists, students, and companies. The centre aims to strengthen national awareness and capabilities in clean energy, enhance business competitiveness in Dubai, develop new technologies in renewable energy, support the development of this sector regionally, and raise awareness on climate change and sustainability. The four-storey building is 90 metres tall and spreads over 4,000 square metres

UAE contributes to reducing solar energy cost globally

The UAE’s interest in producing renewable energy has contributed to a reduction in its global cost. DEWA’s major projects in cooperation with the private sector, based on the IPP model, contribute to the economic growth of the Emirate. Through this model, DEWA received the lowest global solar energy prices five consecutive times, making Dubai a global benchmark for solar energy prices. DEWA has achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of USD 1.6953 cents per kWh for the 900MW fifth phase of the solar park using PV solar panels, based on the IPP model. DEWA has attracted around AED 40 billion in investments through the IPP model, which strengthens public-private partnerships.

Shams Dubai

DEWA’s Shams Dubai initiative supports the Smart Dubai initiative to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. The initiative encourages building owners in Dubai to produce their energy needs using solar photovoltaic panels installed on rooftops and connecting them to DEWA’s grid. Shams Dubai has been very successful. By the end of 2019, a total of 5,620 sites were connected to DEWA’s grid, with a total capacity of 171.7MW. DEWA received applications for a total of 526MW.

Smart Grid

The Smart Grid is a key component of DEWA’s strategy to develop an advanced infrastructure that supports the Smart Dubai initiative. The Smart Grid includes programmes with investments of up to AED 7 billion that will be completed in the short, medium, and long-term until 2035.

Free electric vehicle charging until end of 2021

The Green Charger initiative for electric vehicles, launched by DEWA, supports the Smart Dubai initiative and Green Mobility initiative in the Emirate. DEWA has installed 240 Green Chargers across Dubai with plans to increase the total number of charging stations to 300 stations by the end of 2020. To promote the use of environmentally-friendly electric vehicles, DEWA has extended free charging for electric vehicles until 31 December 2021 for non-commercial users registered in the EV Green Charger Initiative at DEWA’s public charging stations.

Hatta Hydroelectric power plant

To support the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DEWA launched a number of development projects, including a 250-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric power station in Hatta that will make use of the existing water stored in the Hatta Dam, and an upper reservoir that will be built in the mountain. The station, which is the first of its kind in the GCC, has a lifespan of 60-80 years. During off-peak hours, turbines that use clean solar energy will pump water from the dam to the upper reservoir. During peak-load hours, when production cost is high, turbines driven by the flow of the water from the upper reservoir will generate electricity that will be connected to DEWA’s grid. The efficiency of power production will reach 79% with the response time to the demand for energy taking place within 90 seconds.

Sustainability of water production

Dubai adopts three pillars to ensure the sustainability of water production. These are based on using clean solar energy to desalinate seawater using the latest Reverse Osmosis (RO) technologies. Excess water is stored in aquifers and pumped back into the water network when needed. This integrated innovative model protects the environment and is a sustainable economic solution. Currently, water is desalinated through Combined Cycle Co-Generation, which is efficient and depends on using waste heat created by the production of electricity for water desalination. DEWA conducted a study to improve water production, and analysed the economic and technical feasibility of replacing Multi-Stage Flash (MSF) desalination technology with solar-powered Reverse Osmosis (RO) to produce water using cheap and clean energy. By 2030, Reverse Osmosis will help expand production capacity to 305 MIGD, increasing desalinated water production capacity to 750 MIGD per day by 2030. Currently, DEWA is building a subterranean water basin to store 6,000 million gallons of water that can be retrieved when needed. This will provide the Emirate with a strategic reserve of over 50 MIGD in emergencies, while ensuring the quality of the stored water remains unaffected by external factors.

Digital DEWA

Through Digital DEWA, its digital arm, 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. DEWA’s initiative within Dubai 10X 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 that use advanced machine learning; the third includes expanding the 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 round-the-clock world-class service-delivery for Dubai. DEWA launched a data hub named MORO to improve the UAE’s digital capabilities in developing smart city application and providing state-of-the-art innovative solutions.

DEWA has started Dubai 10X 2.0 to provide new services that inspire the world and enhance Dubai's position as a global capital for the green economy. It includes Green Airport as a Service, which will make Dubai the first city in the world to redefine the concept of sustainable airports by harnessing disruptive technologies and using solar and wasted energy such as kinetic energy, energy resulting from sound, and wind from the movement of aircraft among other activities. Through the Green Road as a Service, DEWA is working with Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to implement this initiative to showcase the first integration between green energy and the innovative future transport system by harnessing disruptive technologies and using solar and wasted energy, among other activities. The initiative provides a new model for advanced methods that will be applied globally.

DEWA develops the first Gas Turbine Smart Controller with Siemens

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and President of Dubai DEWA, unveiled the first Intelligent Gas Turbine Smart Controller during his inauguration of the 21st WETEX. DEWA and SIEMENS co-developed the world’s first thermodynamic Digital Twin Gas Turbine (GT) Intelligent Controller, which uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. The turbine is located at M-Station in Jebel Ali, which is the largest power generation and water desalination plant in the UAE. The smart controller increased Gas Turbine efficiency and increased its capacity of by 3.5 Mega Watts for each unit in addition to reducing fuel consumption and reducing CO2 emissions by 10,000 Tons per year for each unit and reduced NOx emissions by 10%. Once deployed across all gas turbines in M-Station, the system will realize financial savings of AED 17 million a year.

WETEX and Dubai Solar Show, the largest in the region

DEWA announced that it will organise the 22nd Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and the 5th Dubai Solar Show from 26-28 October 2020 at the site of Expo 2020 Dubai. DEWA is the Official Sustainability Energy Partner of EXPO 2020 Dubai, which will be organised for the first time in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. WETEX has consolidated its position as one of the largest specialised exhibition and the largest of its kind in the region, in water, traditional and renewable energy, sustainability, green technologies, and relevant fields. It has become an important platform that brings together exhibitors, visitors, specialists, experts, decision-makers, and investors in these vital fields to benefit from investment opportunities.

WETEX and the Dubai Solar Show 2019 were held from 21-23 October 2019, in conjunction with the sixth World Green Economy Summit and under the umbrella of Green Week in Dubai. They witnessed a big turnout from exhibitors, visitors, and participants. The exhibitions attracted 2,350 exhibitors and 38,718 visitors from 89 countries. The two exhibitions spread over 85,000 square metres.

WETEX and the Dubai Solar Show present an opportunity for visitors to benefit from the busy agenda which includes seminars, panel discussions, workshops, and events that host international experts and specialists to discuss developing and expanding the use of solar energy in the region. The two exhibitions act as a unique platform for companies and organisations working in these key sectors to promote their products, services and innovative technologies, and meet decision-makers, investors, buyers and interested parties from around the world to make deals, build partnerships, review the latest technologies in these sectors, learn about current and future projects and market needs, as well as current and future projects in the region; especially with the expansion in clean and renewable energy in the UAE and the region.

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