Clean energy future for Al Gharbia

Investing in clean energy can lead to economic growth in Abu Dhabi’s western region, a senior official said yesterday.

Investing in clean energy can power economic growth in the Western Region, a senior official said yesterday.

Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, also known as Al Gharbia, hosts the Shams 1 solar plant developed by Masdar.

“Shams 1 has been a big success, since it began producing electricity in 2013,” said Yousif Al Ali, the general manager of Shams Power Company. “The plant has consistently performed to its design parameters, delivering electricity to 20,000 UAE homes, displacing 175,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.”

The US$600 million Shams 1 is the largest renewable energy project in the Middle East. The plant is a partnership between Masdar, Total of France and Spain’s Abengoa.

Speaking ahead of the second annual Al Gharbia Development Forum, which will be held tomorrow, Mr Al Ali said: “With 365 days of sunshine, and large tracts of land available, Al Gharbia is a natural location for large-scale solar energy projects.”

Al Gharbia is home to a significant chunk of Abu Dhabi’s energy reserves, which generated 44 per cent of its GDP in 2011. The region, which makes up 83 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s land, is occupied by only 10 per cent of the emirate’s population.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Published: May 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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