YFEL launches off-grid solar power project in UAE

solarpowerThe off-grid solar power project aims to implement a system that would provide a continuous, reliable and sustainable supply of energy to an entire hospital. (Nadine Barclay/Wikimedia Commons)Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) programme has proposed an innovative off-grid solar power project that will collect electricity at healthcare facilities in remote areas of the UAE and sub-Saharan Africa

The project was launched by a 10-strong group at the YFEL stand at World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi last week. 

Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, addressed the gathering on ‘Sustainability, renewable energy and climate change’ at the YFEL stand, and Connie Hedegaard, European commissioner for Climate Action, spoke on ‘Climate and energy policies: Key future challenges’.

The off-grid solar power project will aim to implement a system that would provide a continuous, reliable and sustainable supply of energy to an entire hospital. The proposal envisions three power-generating options, including a self-contained PV system, a hybrid system integrating PV with other renewable energy such as biomass and wind, or a hybrid system using PV combined with a fossil-fuel engine generator.

Some hospitals will be identified for the rooftop solar project and while the focus for this year is hospital facilities, in future, schools and households also may be considered, YFEL stated.

Muna Al Amoodi, project leader at Dubai Aluminum Company (DUBAL), said, “Through this project, team members will be able to implement the principles of advanced energy and sustainability that they have learned about, and put them into practice.”

Al Amoodi added that team members would also learn about business challenges, particularly concerning renewable-energy projects in developing countries as a result of their exposure and interaction with professionals.

The off-grid solar power project will consist of two phases. Phase 1 will include a feasibility study addressing technical and economic issues regarding the proposed sites and the possible system designs. Phase 2 will involve the purchase, installation, commissioning and handover of the project, as well as maintenance and operational training, performance observations and a final project presentation.

YFEL will also offer young professionals and students from the UAE and abroad an opportunity to become more engaged in finding solutions to some of the planet's biggest challenges in achieving energy efficiency and tackling climate change. It will also aim to bring them closer to government representatives, business leaders and other organisations active in the area of alternative energy and sustainability.

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