UAE Hydro recently announced that it has completed the bidding for the world’s largest single solar power station AlDhafra photovoltaic power generation project in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Abu Dhabi National Energy Corporation, EDF, China Jinko Technology and another UAE local company won the bid , And signed a 30-year long-term power purchase agreement.
Jasim Husain ThTabet, CEO of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, said: “The large installed capacity and low electricity price prove the feasibility of promoting the development of the renewable energy industry at the national level. The AlDhafra project will become a benchmark project in our energy sector.”
Power generation will meet the electricity demand of about 160,000 households
After the AlDhafra project is completed, it will become the world’s largest single solar power station. According to the official estimate of Abu Dhabi Energy Company, after the project is completed and put into operation, the power generation will be able to meet the electricity demand of about 160,000 UAE households and increase the total installed photovoltaic capacity of Abu Dhabi to about 3.2 GW, which can be reduced every year. More than 3.6 million tons of carbon emissions are equivalent to reducing the emissions of 720,000 vehicles on the road.
Not only that, the power generation cost of the project also hit a record low global renewable energy power generation cost. The power generation cost of the project is only US$13.5/MWh, which is lower than the record of US$16.44/MWh set by a photovoltaic power generation project in Portugal in 2019.
As one of the winning bidders for the AlDhafra project in Abu Dhabi, China Jinko Technology and UAE Hydropower Corporation formally signed a 30-year power purchase agreement. Previously, Jinko Technology and EDF formed a consortium to participate in the bidding for the project, and ranked first in the public announcement results of UAE Hydropower in April 2020 with a historic price of 1.35 cents/kWh.
After the completion of the AlDhafra project, it will help promote Abu Dhabi’s energy transition and sustainable development; it will also be a milestone photovoltaic project in the green energy field under China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which can further enhance Chinese brands’ presence in the international photovoltaic power generation market. Influence and competitive position play a role as a technology demonstration and benchmark for the entire photovoltaic industry.
The ambitious “2050 Energy Strategic Plan”
In recent years, Gulf countries have embarked on the road of energy transformation. Governments of various countries have strongly supported the development of the renewable energy industry. Photovoltaic power generation has become the first choice of most countries.
Three years ago, the UAE was ready to bid farewell to the last drop of oil, and began to invest heavily in new energy projects such as solar energy, playing a pioneering role in the rapid decline in the cost of new energy sources such as global scenery.
The UAE’s oil and natural gas reserves rank among the top in the world. In addition, the government heavily subsidized natural gas power generation before making the power structure relatively simple. Natural gas power generation once occupied 97% of the total power source. In order to get rid of a single energy structure, in 2017, the UAE announced the ambitious “2050 Energy Strategic Plan”. By 2050, the energy composition will include 44% renewable energy, 38% natural gas, 12% clean fuel and 6%. Nuclear power, and plans to invest 163 billion US dollars in renewable energy projects.
Driven by the aforementioned energy strategy, the two major emirates of the UAE-Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have begun to actively construct large-scale photovoltaic projects, and the installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation has continued to grow.
Abu Dhabi launched the first photovoltaic power generation project Abu Dhabi Noor organized and constructed by public utilities in 2017. The installed capacity of the project is 1.2 GW. It is the first large-scale centralized photovoltaic power generation project implemented in the UAE. In 2019, the project was successfully connected to the grid, contributing 92% of the total installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation in the UAE that year. This year, UAE Hydro has completed the tender for the aforementioned AlDhafra project.
However, data from British climate and energy think tank Ember shows that the scale of photovoltaic power generation in the UAE is still far behind many countries and regions in the world. As of the end of 2019, the UAE’s renewable energy power generation accounted for only 3%.
However, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association believes that the UAE’s photovoltaic market has great potential for development in the next five years. According to its estimates, from 2020 to 2024, the newly installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation in the UAE is expected to reach 10 GW.
UAE will also build its first waste + solar power project
The UAE is composed of multiple emirates, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi as the core. The development of photovoltaics is also centered on these two emirates. The future trends of these two emirates and the new photovoltaic policy are worthy of attention.
However, Sharjah, the third largest emirate of the UAE, is not to be outdone. It has recently announced plans to build the UAE’s first power station combining waste-to-energy and solar power.
Beeah, a waste management and renewable energy company in Sharjah, said in a statement that the company plans to transform a 47-hectare landfill, capping the landfilled waste, and then install solar photovoltaic panels on it. , Making the garbage dump a comprehensive power station with both garbage and solar power.
It is estimated that after the completion of the project, it will not only be able to process 300,000 tons of non-recyclable waste, but also generate more than 42 megawatts of electricity through landfill waste and solar energy.
It is reported that the project will be implemented by a joint venture between Beeah and Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar, and will be launched in two phases in 2021. In the first phase, a 27-hectare landfill will be transformed into a solar power plant with an installed capacity of 24 megawatts. In the second phase, a 20-hectare waste landfill will be transformed and 16 megawatts of solar power generation facilities will be installed.