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UAE up to third in global CSP solar rankings

Shams 1 plant in Abu Dhabi puts nation in top three for capacity.

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Shams 1
Shams 1

Masdar’s Shams 1 concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Abu Dhabi has propelled the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to third in the global rankings in both 2013 CSP technology investment and total CSP capacity.

The UAE is behind only Spain and the United States in total CSP generation with India and China completing the world’s top five.

“We’re pleased to see how high the UAE ranks worldwide in renewable energy generation, given the country’s commitment to sourcing more sources of secure and safe energy,” said Yousif Al Ali, general manager of Shams 1 Power Company.

“And the numbers bear fruit: since its launch, Shams 1 has been generating enough power to electrify 20,000 homes in the UAE and displaces 175,000 tons of carbon annually.”

According to REN21, an international multi-policy stakeholder network that promotes a rapid global transition to renewable energy, the 100 MW plant is one reason why CSP’s growth in emerging markets almost tripled during 2013.

The $600 mn project, the largest renewable energy project in the Middle East, opened in March 2013 and is a partnership between Masdar, Total and Abengoa.

Global CSP installed capacity has increased 10-fold since 2004 and last year surged 36% to a total of 3.4 GW of energy generated, REN21 says.

Overall trends in the industry are favouring larger plants to take advantage of economies of scale, as in the case of the Shams 1 plant, one of the largest CSP plants worldwide.

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