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Clean Power Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

Published on April 15th, 2015 | by Mridul Chadha


Dubai Will Invest $3 Billion To Boost Solar Power Project Capacity To 3 GW

April 15th, 2015 by  

Solar energy seems to be the new go-to investment segment in the small Middle East country of United Arab Emirates.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

The power and water utility servicing the iconic city of Dubai will invest $3 billion to boost the generation capacity of the country’s largest solar power plant from 1 GW to 3 GW. Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), recently announced that the installed capacity of the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park would be increased significantly.

The initial installed capacity target for the solar park was 1 GW by 2019, with an investment of $3.3 billion. DEWA now plans to increase the park’s installed capacity to 3 GW by 2030. This will be inline with the United Arab Emirates Vision 2021, which requires the country to source 24% of its energy requirement from ‘clean energy sources’ like renewable energy and nuclear energy.

The Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched in 2013 when a 13 MW block of solar photovoltaic power system was commissioned. The second phase of the project, however, was a blockbuster affair and grabbed the world’s attention. Through a tender, Saudi project developer ACWA Power secured the rights to develop 200 MW capacity at the park at a record-low levelised tariff of 5.84¢/kWh.

The expansion announcement of the solar park comes just days after the Federal Electricity and Water Authority announced that it will set up 100 MW of solar power capacity in the northern region of the country.

Image Credit: DEWA

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

  • Franklin Obilam

    Nigeria located very close to the equator has the greatest potentials for solar renewable energy. Why is solar energy resources very costly in Nigeria. I need technical partner to synergise a solution. Capital is not a difficulty.
    Franklin Obilam

    • Bob_Wallace

      A simple Google search will give you a substantial list of companies installing solar in Nigeria.

      When I see posts like yours I suspect someone is running a scam.

  • Donald Zenga

    Dubai’s oil reserves are depleted. Its good that they are moving fast into Renewable energy given the plenty of sunshine and high summer power demand.

  • jburt56

    Crank it up!!

  • Babam

    That’s $1/Watt installed! Well, with that much investment, you can buy yourself a solar PV manufacturing plant with technology for lowest cost of production. Why continue to be a buyer?

    • Offgridman

      Think that I read not to long ago that they are in the process of doing that in cooperation with First Solar maybe?
      However building an assembly plant much less a cell manufacturing facility can take several years. Which could be part of why some of these targets are further out, so that the panels and etc needed will be more from local production.

      • Will E

        bananas are from Costa Rica,
        tulips from the Netherlands,
        oil from Saudi Arabia
        samba from Brazil
        Solar PV comes from China.
        even Canadian Solar is Chinese.
        Thats why

        • Offgridman

          Yes for right now that is how it works, but nothing ever stays the same without changing, especially in the business world.
          With more of the Chinese population moving into the middle class they are not going to stay the leader in cheap production labor.
          And with the amount of solar that is going to be needed over the next couple decades to get us to a renewable powered economy it is going to make more sense to make the panels closer to where they need to be installed and not ship them all from China.
          Will they stay a leader in cell production? It is possible, but those Chinese companies might find the profits to be better in opening more cell production plants in various parts of the world as they are already starting to do in South America.
          We are going to need not just millions, but billions or trillions of solar panels in the future. It just won’t make economic sense to ship all of them around the world, when it is a relatively simple process to assemble them fairly close to where they will be needed. The Chinese have a head start at staying involved in this process, but it won’t mean making all of them in China.

          • Will E

            agree, but what capacity has EU, and the USA, Russia,
            Australia compared to China.
            if not for China we still had high prices. that time has gone.
            In November I go to Suriname, South America, for three months
            to see whats going.

        • Marion Meads

          Solar PV can be made anywhere, not only in China. IF Tesla can build a gigafactory in one year, surely, the middle east countries can build solar PV manufacturing plants in less than a year too. Money moves things quicker. So I agree, why be a buyer when you can buy the seller or manufacturer, soul and all?

          • Will E

            Marion, I agree, that was the intention of my remark.
            Solar can be made anywhere.
            I respect the Chinese a lot making Solar affordable.
            Other countries must follow, not by import duties making Solar expensive, but by startup
            incentives for Solar manufacturers to be able to meet low Chinese prices
            and high quality.
            next week I go to Spain two months find out about installing rooftop Solar.

          • Offgridman

            And you are right that all of the different countries need to get more government encouragement if not support of the solar manufacturing industries. If only we could get the politics out and make more of them aware that it involves the survival of our world.
            Looking forward to hearing from you about what you see on your trips, safe travels.

          • Aku Ankka

            Still, specialization is the reason why modern markets are efficient, and why you can get affordable bananas around the year pretty much anywhere on the globe.
            And not because every country is growing their own bananas, even if even that is technically feasible nowadays (greenhouses).

            So one could well ask why on earth would Dubai focus on competing in mass-produced commodity like PV, when they can rather buy it cheaply from someone with much more capacity, experience and resources.

            Even worse: although UAE and others could consider buying companies that build PV, those are still companies working on a low-margin, mass-production domain. Forgetting for a moment how necessary actual production is, it’s really not that different from many now-dead industries from steel foundries to textile mills.

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