UAE’s western region touted as potential clean energy hub

shams1 inhabitat flickrUN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said that the UAE was making low-carbon economic progress. (Image source: Inhabitat/Flickr)Masdar has projected that the western region of the UAE will become a big player in renewable energy generation after the Shams 1 power plant showed positive results

This observation comes right after Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, paid a visit to Shams 1 — the 100MW solar plant located at Al Gharbia in western UAE.

Ban Ki-moon said that with the US$600mn solar plant, the UAE is cutting greenhouse gas emissions, generating jobs and laying the foundation for low-carbon economic progress.

Officials stated that the plant has been a consistent performer since it began operations in 2013. It has been delivering power to 20,000 homes in the UAE and has displaced 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

Yousif Al Ali, general manager of the plant, said, “With 365 days of sunshine and large tracts of land available, Al Gharbia is a natural location for large scale solar energy projects."

Ali added that the sustained development of clean energy could play a ‘critical role’ in the economic development of the UAE’s remote western region. A report by International Renewable Energy Agency, based in Abu Dhabi, has said that the Shams 1 power plant has potential for job creation in areas like construction and fabrication of metal structures, mirrors and glass for the plants as well as related engineering tasks.

The report also added that the number of people working in the renewable energy sector globally has risen from 5.7mn in 2012 to 6.5mn in 2014.

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