UAE on track for its biggest solar park with next 800 MW phase

By Clare Saxon Ghauri
Dubai has confirmed the next big phase of its famous solar park, which once complete will be the biggest of its kind in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has moved ahead with the third planned phase of Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, with an additional capacity of 800 megawatts.
As pointed out in a report launched last week by The Climate Group, RE100: The UAE – Hub of the next energy revolution?, solar power offers an extremely strong economic opportunity in the region, due to falling technology costs and vast resources, with solar now seen as a competitive alternative to oil.
The report calls for the UAE to “be recognized for its low carbon leadership. Its green growth plan to create 160,000 new jobs by 2030 and boost GDP up to 5% clearly shows how clean energy benefits people”.
Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, says there is clear potential for the UAE to become a ‘global green energy power” ahead of the global climate talks this December, stating: “There’s an extraordinarily ambitious strategy of investment and innovation that is paying dividends now, and positions the UAE to maximize the economic and business benefits of the expected boom in the green economy following the climate treaty summit.”
He added: “The Climate Group currently works with some of the world’s leading brands and also government agencies responsible for energy and authorities. We have recently started to work on a new initiative called RE100, which helps companies to adopt and benefit from using renewable energy in its operations. There are many UAE businesses that belong in this global vanguard.”
Sixteen companies have now joined our  RE100 program in partnership with CDP, which encourages leading businesses to make a public commitment to going 100% renewable, and is now expanding into the region.

Famous solar park

The Dubai solar park first made headlines last year when auctions for its second phase tender to Saudi Arabian company ACWA Power were provided at 5.85 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is the lowest solar electricity price in history. Last month, Dubai also announced it would further double the Park’s capacity for this second phase from 100 to 200 megawatts.
Once complete in 2017, the Solar Park is hoped to have an installed capacity of 3 gigawatts – making it the UAE’s biggest utility-scale solar park – as well as be home to a renewable technology research and development center, which will further boost the city government’s plans to make Dubai a leading renewables hub. Dubai has already begun to show signs of its increased ambition with January’s announcement to double its renewable energy targets to 15% by 2030.

The tender process for the latest third 800 megawatt phase of the Solar Park is earmarked for later in the year.

Clare Saxon Ghauri is Head of Content at the Climate Group.

First published at the Climate Group
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