HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), welcomed a high-level Brazilian delegation headed by HE Ricardo Salles, Brazilian Minister of Environment. The delegation included HE Fernando Luis Lemos Igreja, Brazilian Ambassador to the UAE.
DEWA’s officials who attended included Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development & Excellence; Dr Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Human Resources; Marwan Bin Haidar, Executive Vice President of Innovation and the Future; and Khawla Al Mehairi, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Government Communications. The meeting was also attended by Abdul Rahim Sultan, Director of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO).
After welcoming the visiting delegation, Al Tayer affirmed the importance of strengthening cooperation and Brazilian companies actively working on electricity and water projects in Dubai and the UAE, as well as strategic cooperation especially in production, transmission, and distribution, and renewable energy, energy efficiency projects, digital transformation, and automation.
Al Tayer discussed the projects, initiatives, and plans launched by DEWA to achieve the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, highlighting that DEWA’s strategy supports the UAE Centennial 2071, the UAE Vision 2021, and the Dubai Plan 2021 to ensure a sustainable, happy future and support the UAE’s aim to become first in everything. DEWA also seeks to achieve the Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by 2021.
Al Tayer also highlighted DEWA’s experiences and best practices in anticipating and shaping the future of energy by pioneering a futuristic model for utilities in the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity and water. He said that DEWA has investments worth over AED 86 billion in the next five years to meet the growing demand for electricity and water in the Emirate.
Al Tayer noted that DEWA currently has an installed capacity of 11,100 megawatts (MW) of electricity and 470 million gallons of water per day. This supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide 75% of Dubai's total power output from clean energy by 2050. To achieve this, DEWA launched several renewable programmes and initiatives, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world. Using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, it will have a production capacity of 5,000MW by 2030 with investments totalling AED 50 billion. Upon completion, the solar park will reduce over 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and provide thousands of jobs in clean energy and green economy.
Al Tayer explained that the solar power projects currently operational in the solar park have a capacity of 413MW, and that the total capacity of the solar park’s five phases announced so far is 2,863MW.
The fourth phase of the solar park is the largest single-site solar IPP project in the world that combines CSP and photovoltaic technology. The phase will use three technologies to produce 950 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. It will use 700MW of CSP; 600MW from a parabolic basin complex and 100MW from a solar tower; and 250MW from photovoltaic solar panels. The project will use 70,000 heliostats, and the largest global thermal storage capacity of 15 hours; allowing for energy availability round the clock.
Al Tayer said that DEWA has adopted the IPP model in the solar park’s projects to promote public-private partnerships. Through this model, DEWA achieved the lowest international prices for electricity on four occasions. DEWA also launched the Shams Dubai initiative to encourage building owners to install solar panels on rooftops and connect them to its grid. The initiative achieved great success, with over 1,300 solar panels installed and connected so far, with a total capacity of about 100MW.
Al Tayer explained that through Digital DEWA, its digital arm, DEWA is redefining the concept of a utility to create a new digital future for Dubai. 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 and digital services. The initiative 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. The third pillar is expanding its 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 services through the MORO data hub that provides advanced and innovative digital solutions and promotes smart-city applications.
Al Tayer also discussed its benchmarking, where DEWA succeeded in establishing a culture of innovation across all its departments and divisions, contributing to it receiving over 190 prestigious local and international awards over the past four years, including the highest award in the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model, becoming the first non-European organisation to receive this prominent award and the first in the Award’s history to achieve it in its primary application. The UAE, represented by DEWA, maintained its global first ranking, for the second consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report. This measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies around the world. DEWA achieved competitive results in its global benchmarking, surpassing major European and American utilities in efficiency and reliability. It reduced losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.3% compared to 6–7% in the US and Europe. DEWA also achieved the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world of 2.39 CML, compared to 15 minutes in Europe.
Al Tayer also added that DEWA managed to decrease water network losses from 42% in 1988 to 6.5% in 2018, compared to 15% in North America, which is one of the best results in the world. DEWA continues its efforts to replace Dubai’s entire water network by replacing old connections with new ones, replacing water meters, and developing new transmission and distribution networks that conform to the highest international standards.
The parties also discussed enhancing the participation of Brazilian companies in the 21st Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2019) held under the umbrella of the sixth Green Week.
The Brazilian delegation expressed interest in participating in DEWA’s leading clean and renewable energy projects. The Brazilian Environment Minister commended the bilateral relations between the two countries and DEWA for its efforts in achieving sustainable development in Dubai, stressing the importance of sharing best global experiences and practices in renewable energy and energy efficiency.