Dubai Electricity and Water Authority – a continuous success story
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) was formed on 1 January, 1992, by a decree issued by the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum to merge Dubai Electricity Company and Dubai Water Department, which had been operating independently before then. Both organisations were established by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1959. Dubai Government fully supported the Electricity Company and the Water Department to provide Dubai’s citizens and residents with a continuous and reliable supply of electricity and water. Since then, DEWA has made considerable achievements, to be ranked as one of the best utilities in the world. DEWA provides services today to more than 780,000 customers with a happiness rate that reached 95% in 2016.
DEWA has achieved competitive results, surpassing leading European and American companies by reducing losses in power transmission and distribution networks to 3.3%, compared to 6-7% in Europe and the USA. Water network losses decreased to 8.0 %, compared to 15% in North America, achieving global results in reducing water losses. DEWA’s results are among the best internationally for customer minutes lost per year. DEWA’s figures reached 3.28 minutes, compared to 15 minutes recorded by leading utilities in the European Union. The UAE, represented by DEWA, has been ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa and fourth globally for the fourth consecutive year for getting electricity as per the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report.
DEWA is working to expand the M-Station, the largest power production and desalination plant in the UAE. The new combined-cycle power plant will add a further 700 megawatts (MW) to the installed generating capacity of the station, boosting its capacity to 2,760MW when the project is completed in 2018. This will boost DEWA’s current installed capacity of 10,000 MW of electricity and 470 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of desalinated water to meet Dubai’s demand. The Hassyan Clean Coal Power Plant is another pioneering project implemented by DEWA based on the IPP model. Hassyan clean coal power project will have a total coal-fired capacity of 2,400 MW. The power station will be fully-operational by 2023.
DEWA is managing and operating the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar project in the world. It will produce 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030, with total investment of AED 50 billion.
The Solar Park was launched in 2012 and the 13MW first phase became operational on 22 October 2013. The IPP-based 200MW second phase will be operational in April 2017. The solar park has an innovation centre that includes a number of research and development laboratories in clean energy and will oversee research and development projects, with a total investment of AED 500 million until 2020.
In November 2015, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and green economy. The strategy aims to provide 7% of Dubai’s energy from clean sources by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050. It consists of five main pillars: infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, and an environmentally-friendly energy mix.
DEWA has also launched three smart initiatives to support the Smart Dubai initiative to make Dubai the smartest city in the world. These are Shams Dubai, to encourage building owners to install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to generate electricity. The electricity generated is used inside the premises and the surplus is exported to DEWA’s grid. This encourages the use of renewable energy, increases its share in the energy mix, and diversifies energy sources. The Smart Applications and Meters initiative contributes to fast-service connection, fast response, and rationalising energy use. The Green Charger initiative establishes the infrastructure and electric vehicle charging stations. DEWA has established so far 100 charging stations, and working on additional stations.
To emphasise its commitment to sustainability, which is one of the main pillars of World Expo 2020 in Dubai, DEWA is working in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to host the best World Expo that the world has ever seen in Dubai. DEWA will contribute to achieving this by building world-class energy infrastructure that meets Dubai’s development demands. DEWA has launched a wide variety of initiatives in this regard, allocating AED 3 billion to boost water, electricity and renewable energy projects according to the highest international standards. This supports Dubai Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and its three sub themes of sustainability, mobility and opportunity.