The UAE’s renewable energy development aid offered across the globe has reached more than $900 million (Dh3.3 billion), a senior official said on Saturday.
“In 2016, the UAE initiated 11 renewable energy projects with a capacity of 6.5 megawatt (MW) in the Pacific and a 30MW project in Egypt,” Dr Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said at the seventh assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
He said the UAE also made two world records in 2016 as Dubai and Abu Dhabi authorities received the cheapest bids to build solar photovoltaic (PV) plants.
The minister was referring to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s revelation in May last year that it had received a bid of 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour from developers seeking to be part of the third phase of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It was a world record then, which was subsequently broken by a bid of 2.42 cents per kilowatt-hour, received by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority in September last year.
Ali Al Shafar, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to Irena, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the assembly that the construction of Abu Dhabi’s solar PV project with cheapest cost at Sweihan would start in the near future. “It will generate 350MW of electricity that will be supplied to the grid,” he said.
Al Zeyoudi told the assembly that these positive developments encouraged the UAE to raise its 2021 clean energy target from 24 per cent to 27 per cent as part of its commitment to global efforts to fight climate change.
He said 150 nations have become members of Irena and 27 countries are in the process of getting membership. Al Zeyoudi said it was a major achievement for the agency.
The agency’s efforts have helped the renewable energy industry tremendously. The total investments in renewable energy sector reached $300 billion in 2015, the minister said.
Government officials from more than 150 countries and leaders from international organisations, the private sector and civil society are participating in the Irena’s seventh Assembly, the highest decision-making body of the agency. They discuss charting a pathway to a sustainable energy future. The meeting brings together the international community to advance the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition and a decarbonisation of the global energy mix.
Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, following a day of preliminary meetings and discussions on Friday, including the second Irena Legislator’s Forum, the Seventh Assembly is focusing on the Irena’s strategic and programmatic direction to support countries in accelerating deployment of renewable energy, which will in turn meet climate goals, boost the economy, and increase energy access and security.
The assembly also marks the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and precedes the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), a global gathering of energy leaders and decision makers. Throughout the week, Irena will host and will participate in a series of events, covering topics ranging from the decarbonisation of energy systems to the scaling up of tapping various renewable power sources.