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Dubai urged to double solar power target

Mesia president: Solar should provide 10% of Dubai's power by 2030.

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A view of Dubai's 13MW Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park.
A view of Dubai's 13MW Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park.

Dubai should double its existing target for the proportion of solar power in its energy mix, according to industry association Mesia.

The Emirate is currently aiming to meet 1% of its power demand with solar energy by 2020 and 5% by 2030.

But Vahid Fotuhi, president of the Middle East Solar Industry Association (Mesia), says Dubai should be far more ambitious and aim to hit 10% within 16 years.

He told the Menasol 2014 conference in Dubai on Tuesday: "I think we as an industry should show the leadership of Dubai that they could do better than 5%, that they could definitely do 10%.

"Clearly the potential is huge and the comparison of solar to coal, nuclear or particularly gas is becoming ever more apparent and we as an industry should work together to show the policy makers that the current understanding is flawed and that solar is a lot more attractive than they think."

Speaker and panellist Taher Diab, director of strategy and planning for Dubai's Supreme Council for Energy, jokingly asked the audience of solar industry executives if they would sell their energy at half price.

In October, DEWA commissioned its maiden solar power plant at the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park with an installed capacity of 13 MW.

The tender for an Independent Power Project (IPP) of 100 MW is expected to be announced by the end of the first half of this year with a view to commissioning in 2017. 

Under Dubai's Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, 71% of power needs will be met by natural gas, 12% by nuclear and 12% by clean coal, in addition to the 5% allocated to solar.

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