The UAE began actively promoting the development of solar power generation in April of 2008. Both emirates have ambitious initial targets: Abu Dhabi wants solar to account for 7% of its output by 2020, while Dubai is aiming for 5% by 2030. Abu Dhabi has launched projects using both photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, while Dubai is currently focusing on PV systems.
While still producing less than 1% of total electricity in the UAE, solar initiatives have advanced considerably since the year 2000. Facilities in the Emirates currently account for more than half of the solar power capacity in the GCC and the Levant.
Formed in January, 1992, DEWA provides electricity for more than 600,000 customers in Dubai. In an effort to meet ever-growing demand, DEWA seeks to establish a diversified energy mix by 2030, generating 71% of its power from natural gas, 12% nuclear, 12% clean coal, and 5% solar energy.
The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) was formed in August 2009 to ensure that the Emirate’s growing economy will have sustainable energy while preserving the environment. The Authority is developing alternative and renewable energy sources for the Emirate, while increasing energy efficiency to reduce demand.
The Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority researches and develops ways to more efficiently produce, distribute and consume water and electricity. ADWEA is owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, but is financially and administratively independent. In 1998, ADWEA changed the nature of its organization by establishing our first private public partnership. The organizations’ programs and initiatives focus on sustainability, and plan for growth while ensuring economic and environmental balance.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. With a mandate from countries around the world, IRENA encourages governments to adopt enabling policies for renewable energy investments, provides practical tools and policy advice to accelerate renewable energy deployment, and facilitates knowledge sharing and technology transfer to provide clean, sustainable energy for the world’s growing population.
Launched by the Abu Dhabi leadership in 2006 with a mandate to advance renewable energy through education, R&D, investment and commercialization, Masdar plays a key role in securing the emirate’s continued leadership in the evolving global energy market. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Government-owned Mubadala Development Company, Masdar comprises three business units—including Masdar Capital, Masdar Clean Energy and Masdar City—and is complemented by Masdar Institute, an independent, research-driven graduate university.
The Solar GCC Alliance is in the process of forming a UAE affiliate, to be known as the Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA). This organization will seek to create new solar energy business and employment opportunities in the Emirates, and enable collaboration opportunities throughout the GCC region.
To get involved, email email@example.com for membership details.
Major Solar Projects
- Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park
- Masdar Shams 1
- Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) 1A rooftop solar project
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