Steering Progress: DEWA rising up to the challenge of securing electricity and water for future generations

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has been leading the way over the last decade by channelling additional resources geared towards a robust power and water network in Dubai, while at the same time coming up with ingenious ways to boost overall customer experience. DEWA is organising the 21st Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX), which will be held from 21-23 October 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO, DEWA
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO, DEWA

An advanced infrastructure plays a key role in the overall and sustainable development process, encourages foreign investment, and makes citizens, residents, and visitors happier. The UAE’s advanced infrastructure has helped consolidate its position as a leading global destination for foreign direct investment, and the preferred destination for living, working, entrepreneurship, and a global economic hub.

UAE is first globally in getting electricity

The UAE, represented by DEWA, ranked first for the second consecutive year in Getting Electricity, as per the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report.

“At DEWA, our strategies and business plans are inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, to provide a robust electricity and water infrastructure. We also aim to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021 to make the Emirate the preferred place to live, work, and visit,” says HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“We are proud that DEWA is part of the UAE’s global achievements, with the help of Emirati men and women who are doing their best to make DEWA a global role model for energy efficiency and reliability as well as providing an advanced infrastructure that contribute to transforming Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world.”

Lowest customer minutes lost per year in the world

DEWA has recorded multiple successes and achievements, ranking it amongst the most prestigious organisations in the world, and surpassing major European and American utilities. DEWA achieved the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world with 2.39 CML, compared to 15 minutes in Europe, and reduced losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.3% compared to 6-7% in the USA and Europe. Water network losses were also reduced to 6.5% compared to 15% in North America.

Dubai is a leading city in energy and environmental design

In April 2019, DEWA achieved a global milestone with Dubai getting the Platinum Rating in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Cities certification awarded by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Dubai is the first city in the Arab world and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to receive the Platinum Rating, which is the highest rating for a city’s sustainability performance benchmark.

Qualifying cities are measured, within a comprehensive framework, according to 14 metrics relating to the energy and water sector, waste treatment, transportation, human experience, education, prosperity, equality, health, and safety.

Dubai reduces carbon emissions by 19%

In June 2019, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy announced that Dubai carbon emissions decreased significantly despite the emirate’s continuous growth and development. The net CO2 emissions of the Emirate achieved 19% reduction compared to the business as usual (BAU) scenario and 10% below the Carbon abatement strategy 2021 target to reduce the carbon emissions by 16% by 2021.

“Data for the past few years has recorded a decline in the per capita annual consumption of electricity and water in Dubai, where per capita annual consumption of electricity has fallen from 13626 kwh in 2015 to 11731 kwh in 2018 and is expected to reach 10538 kwh by 2025. Annual per capita consumption of water has decreased from 38554 IG to 33565 IG in 2018 and is expected to reach 28455 IG in 2025,” says Al Tayer.

Dh86bn investments over 5 years

DEWA owns a world-class infrastructure with an installed capacity of 11,100 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 470 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of desalinated water.

“DEWA is continuously developing its assets that are worth over AED144 billion with investments of AED 86 billion over the next five years to meet the growing demand for electricity and water in Dubai,” says Al Tayer.

DEWA supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy by diversifying the energy mix to include 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean resources by 2050.

M-station, the largest power production and desalination plant in the UAE

In April 2019, DEWA inaugurated the extension project of M-Station in Jebel Ali, the largest power and water desalination plant in the UAE. With the construction of the extension, the total cost of M-Station reached AED 11.669 billion while its production capacity reached 2,885MW and 140 million gallons of desalinated water per day, according to the highest standards of availability, reliability, efficiency and quality.

Leading solar power projects

Dubai has become an international pioneer in developing the clean and renewable energy sector. It has developed a number of techniques and practices to enhance the efficiency of the energy sector while rationalising consumption and finding alternative solutions to conventional energy. This supports the sustainable development of the Emirate.

The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050. Dubai is the only city in the region to have launched such a promising strategy, with set goals and timelines that map the future of energy until 2050. The strategy consists of five main pillars: infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, and having an environment-friendly energy mix.

“The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which DEWA is building, is the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the independent power producer (IPP) model. It will generate 5,000MW by 2030. Since its launch, the solar park’s projects have attracted the interest of international developers. This underlines the trust and interest from investors in large projects adopted by the Dubai Government,” says Al Tayer.

UAE contributes to reducing solar energy cost globally

The UAE’s interest in producing renewable energy has contributed to a reduction in its global cost, according to a Japanese study published by the Nikkei Asian Review. DEWA’s major projects in cooperation with the private sector, based on the IPP model, contribute to the economic growth of the Emirate.

“Meeting the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 targets requires a capacity of 42,000MW of clean and renewable energy by 2050. DEWA has attracted huge investments to the UAE from the private sector and foreign banks, resulting in increased cash flows to the economy of Dubai and the UAE. DEWA currently has more than 4,000MW of IPP projects completed and under implementation in partnership with the private sector, with investments of more than AED 30 billion,” says Al Tayer.

Shams Dubai

DEWA’s Shams Dubai initiative supports the Smart Dubai initiative to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. The initiative encourages building owners in Dubai to produce their energy needs using solar photovoltaic panels installed on rooftops and connecting them to DEWA’s grid. The initiative has been very successful with more than 1,348 solar sites connected to DEWA’s grid, with a total capacity of over 117MW.

Smart Grid

The Smart Grid is a key component of DEWA’s strategy to develop an advanced infrastructure that supports the Smart Dubai initiative. The Smart Grid includes programmes with investments of up to AED 7 billion that will be completed in the short, medium, and long-term until 2035.

Green Charger

The Green Charger initiative for electric vehicles supports the Smart Dubai initiative and green mobility in the Emirate. DEWA has installed over 200 Green Chargers across Dubai to promote the use of environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. DEWA offers free charging for electric vehicles until the end of 2019.

DEWA’s conservation programmes and initiatives over the past 10 years have achieved significant savings in electricity and water use within all stakeholder groups. Cumulative savings between 2009 and 2018 reached two terrawatthours (TWh) of electricity and 7.4 billion gallons of water, equivalent to a total saving of AED 1.2 billion. These savings have contributed to reducing one million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Hatta Hydroelectric plant

“To support the Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DEWA launched a number of development projects, including a 250-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric power station in Hatta that will make use of the existing water stored in the Hatta Dam, and an upper reservoir that will be built in the mountain,” says Al Tayer.

The station, which is the first of its kind in the GCC, has a lifespan of 60-80 years. During off-peak hours, turbines that use clean solar energy will pump water from the dam to the upper reservoir, and during peak-load hours, when production cost is high, turbines operated by the speed of the waterfall from the upper reservoir will generate electricity that will be connected to DEWA’s grid. The efficiency of power production will reach 90% with the response to the demand for energy taking place within 90 seconds.

Digital DEWA

Through Digital DEWA, its digital arm, DEWA will disrupt the entire business of public utilities by becoming the world’s first digital utility to use autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage while expanding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital services. DEWA’s initiative within Dubai 10X has four pillars to deliver a new utility experience for Dubai and the world.

The first pillar is launching advanced solar power technologies in Dubai; the second is deploying a renewable energy grid with innovative energy storage technologies that use advanced machine learning; the third includes expanding the use of integrated AI solutions to make Dubai the first city to provide AI-based electricity and water services.

The fourth pillar is using connected technologies to provide round-the-clock world-class service-delivery for Dubai. DEWA launched a data hub named MORO to improve the UAE’s digital capabilities in developing smart city application and providing state-of-the-art innovative solutions.

WETEX and Dubai Solar Show largest in the region

The 21st Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) will be held from 21-23 October 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. For the 6th consecutive year, DEWA is organising WETEX under the umbrella of Green Week, which includes various environmental activities and events to raise awareness about the importance of using energy and water sensibly, and the key components of sustainable development and green economy.

The 21st WETEX and the 4th Dubai Solar Show will provide an opportunity to review the latest innovative solutions in energy, water, and the environment. Many of these technologies will be unveiled for the first time, especially in renewable energy, water, sustainability and rationalisation.

The two exhibitions will act as an integrated platform for companies and organisations working in these key sectors to promote their products, services and innovative technologies, and meet decision-makers, investors, buyers and interested parties from around the world to make deals, build partnerships, review the latest technologies in these sectors, learn about current and future projects and market needs, and explore opportunities to take part in solar-energy projects and programmes in the region.

The 20th WETEX and the 3rd Dubai Solar Show in October 2018 were very successful with large participation from exhibitors, visitors, participants, and government organisations. The two exhibitions covered 78,413 square metres, attracted 2,100 exhibitors from 53 countries, and attracted over 35,000 visitors from all over the world.


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