Dubai studying Covid-related emissions decline for future case scenarios

The emirate derives 9% of its energy needs from clean sources, according to Dewa

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - October 09, 2019: Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). World Green Economy Summit press conference. Wednesday the 9th of October 2019. Madinat Jumeirah Conference & Events Centre, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Dubai is studying the reduction in emissions seen during the Covid-19 movement restrictions, in order to create a baseline for future curbs on greenhouse gases.

The emirate, which reduced carbon emissions by 22 per cent in 2019, is already performing above the targeted level of reduction, according to senior officials from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

“Because of Covid definitely, the number of cars was very limited on the roads and other operations were a little limited and that caused a lot of reduction in CO2, and this is normal, not only in the region but globally,” Waleed Salman, executive vice president of business development and excellence at Dewa told reporters.

The utility is studying the reduction in emissions internally as well as in collaboration with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

“We have elected to look at this as a special case and do the reset and look at the possible knowledge that we can take as a lesson learnt from the situation and how we can build it up and make it as a business-as-usual in the future,” Mr Salman said.

He was speaking at the launch of annual trade events, Wetex and the Dubai Solar Show, which are being held online from October 26 to 28.

Dewa managing director and chief executive Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said the utility’s efforts towards conserving energy, particularly through retrofitting high-rise buildings and the push towards installing photovoltaic panels through the Shams Dubai initiative also paid off.

Dubai derives 9 per cent of its energy needs from clean sources, Dewa said.

The emirate slashed more than 14 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2019, a 22 per cent reduction, according to the Supreme Council of Energy.

Dubai plans to derive three-quarters of its total power capacity from clean sources by 2050, with the massive Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park expected to reach 5GW capacity by 2030.

The utility, which is currently overseeing development work on the fourth and fifth phases of the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park has around 1,850 megawatts worth of solar capacity under construction onsite. Dewa has a total installed capacity of 11,700MW of electricity, including those from conventional sources.

Dewa is diversifying its renewable energy sources and is currently undertaking development of a 250MW hydroelectric power plant – the GCC's first – at Hatta. The utility awarded construction contracts to a consortium comprising Strabag and its Dubai affiliate as well as  Andritz Hydro and Ozkar. The project, which is expected to attract Dh1.421bn in investments, is set for commissioning by February 2024.