The energy sector plays a critical role in enabling countries to develop and implement long-term strategies to protect the environment and preserve their natural resources. Energy production and consumption is one of the largest sources of global greenhouse gas emissions, and various governments are harnessing any viable power alternatives to curb the release of harmful energy by-products to the environment.
Among these alternatives, solar power is one of the most popular due to its minimal carbon footprint, cost-effectiveness and energy yield. Since the mainstream availability of solar technologies to global markets, various governments can set realistic and attainable long-term goals as part of their climate pledges.
Solar is also a versatile energy source that is highly compatible with other technologies, such as e-mobility and green hydrogen. In the UAE, the government has accelerated its plans to attain a robust energy mix through its Energy Strategy 2050, wherein the country will significantly lessen its dependence on oil and gas to fuel its economic growth.
One of the most prominent clean energy facilities in the UAE is Noor Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest stand-alone operational solar plant, located in Abu Dhabi’s Sweihan region.
With more than 3.3 million solar panels installed in a single site, the facility can gather up to 1.2 gigawatts of clean energy.
Abdulla Salem Al Kayoumi, CEO, Sweihan PV Power Company, said the UAE government is raising the contribution of renewable and clean energy to 50% of the total energy mix by 2050. Noor Abu Dhabi, he added, is one of the first initiatives to achieve this target.
Al Kayoumi said: “We are proud of our accomplishments as a major player in the UAE’s renewable energy sector in line with the country’s efforts to diversify its energy mix and ensure the sustainability of our power supply and the preservation of our resources. In the years to come, we expect further exponential growth of the renewable and clean energy industry, as part of the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050.”
Despite its rich oil resources, the UAE aims to become a global hub for renewable energy products and services, Sweihan said. Solar energy, the organisation added, is abundant in the country, which makes Noor Abu Dhabi one of the facilities that will enable the country to realise its sustainability goals.
Al Kayoumi said: “We have built the world’s largest stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) plant in a single phase within 20 months, and in November 2018, we produced our first kilowatt-hour of clean energy to the grid. Since then, we have been diligently putting in our efforts to maximize our energy yields through efficient and effective asset management.”