Dubai triples renewable energy target to increase its share in energy mix

solarplant-inhabitatblog-flickrThe cost of solar panels have reduced by 60 per cent since 2011, further encouraging Dubai to increase its renewable energy targets. (Image source: InhaitatBlog/Flickr) Dubai has tripled its target to 15 per cent in a bid to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix by 2030 and has also increased its 2020 target by seven times to seven per cent

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director of DEWA said that falling costs of solar energy was the key reason for the emirate increasing its targets. Following speculation over falling oil prices, the announcement has gained relevance as it would directly affect the growth of the renewable energy sector, stated Reuters.

Investments in Dubai’s energy sector are expected to cross US$15bn in the next five years, boosting the green economy, energy efficiency and opportunities for clean energy technology. Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 had earlier set targets for renewable energy (mainly solar) to supply one per cent of the emirate’s energy mix and five per cent by 2030.

Specifically, DEWA has plans to release a bid for a 500MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model by 2016, stated Al Tayer. DEWA’s higher targets followed its announcement to double the capacity of Phase 2 of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park from 100MW to 200MW. The decision to increase the solar park’s capacity reflected trust and interest of international investors in Dubai and DEWA, said officials.

The fall in costs have significantly increased the scope to improve renewable energy targets, noted Al Tayer. DEWA is working to achieve the strategy of the Supreme Council of Energy in Dubai to diversify the energy mix and reduce consumption by 30 per cent by 2030 and the organisation is on track to surpass former targets.

The UAE, represented by DEWA, has been ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa and fourth globally, for the second consecutive year, in getting electricity as per the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. In addition, the prices of PV panels have dropped by 60 per cent since 2011, encouraging the emirate’s decision to increase its renewable targets. 

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