Adipec: Taqa to inaugurate mega solar plant in Abu Dhabi soon, CEO says

The two-gigawatt power station is located in the emirate's Al Dhafra region

Al Dhafra Solar Plant. WAM
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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, will inaugurate one of the world’s largest solar plants in Abu Dhabi “very soon”, its group chief executive has said.

The plant, with a capacity of two gigawatts is located in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra region and is being built by Taqa in partnership with Masdar, France’s EDF Renewables and China's JinkoPower.

“On the renewable front, in a couple of weeks, we will be inaugurating one of the world’s largest PV [photo voltaic] projects in the world … when that is fully operational, it is going to help contribute [a] reduction or avoidance of 2.4 million tonnes of [carbon dioxide],” Jasim Thabet, Taqa’s group chief executive and managing director, said at Adipec on Tuesday.

The plant is “one of the world’s most cost-efficient with a tariff rate of 1.32 cents per kilowatt hour”, he said.

The project was first announced in 2020 and it reached financial close in the fourth quarter of the same year. It was being financed by seven international banks, Taqa said at the time.

The UAE is investing in building renewable energy plants as it aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Under the updated version of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the development of the National Hydrogen Strategy, the Arab world’s second-largest economy aims to invest between Dh150 billion ($40.8 billion) and Dh200 billion ($54 billion) by 2030 to ensure energy demand is met, while sustaining economic growth in the country.

It is also building the five-gigawatt Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai.

The project will cut 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually when it is fully completed in 2030. The solar park is one element of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050, aiming to provide 100 per cent of energy production from clean sources by the middle of the century.

The UAE has emerged as a major player in the global solar energy market with the country second in the world in terms of solar energy consumption, as it continues to push towards green energy transition, according to an analysis of data from the Statistical Review of World Energy.

The country ranked second globally last year, behind Australia, in terms of per capita solar energy consumption. The Emirates consumed 1,921 kilowatt hours of solar energy per capita, compared to 3,868 kilowatt hours consumed by Australia last year.

Taqa, one of the largest integrated utilities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, has significant investments in power and water generation, as well as in the oil and gas sector.

It is also a shareholder in Masdar, along with Mubadala and Adnoc.

The company plans to invest Dh40 billion in infrastructure development as it focuses on its push into renewable energy under its 2030 strategy.

Updated: October 03, 2023, 10:23 AM