Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) | MD and CEO of DEWA emphasises the importance of achieving a long-term sustainable plan in the water and electricity sectors in the region

23 September 2013

MD and CEO of DEWA emphasises the importance of achieving a long-term sustainable plan in the water and electricity sectors in the region

During his speech at the Arabian Water and Power Forum, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA emphasised that in line with the initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, entitled Green Economy for Sustainable Development, which aims to support sustainable economic growth in Dubai, the Emirate knows the importance of optimising the supply and efficiency of power and water. DEWA is the single vertically-integrated electricity and water utility in the Emirate of Dubai. We own and operate the power generation and associated desalinated water production facilities, and the electricity and water transmission and distribution networks. We are also responsible for the supply and sales electricity and water to consumers, said Al Tayer. For some time now, DEWA has been concentrating on developing sustainable electricity and water production transmission and distribution networks and supply systems, added Al Tayer. The speech which took place during the Arabian Water and Power Forum 2013, held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, with the participation of DEWA and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, takes place until 25 September, at The Address Dubai Marina. The Forum is organised by CWC Group to provide a platform for policy makers, businessmen, and investors to address energy and water-related issues. “This indicates the significance of the key theme of this forum, of optimising supply and managing demand in order to drive long-term sustainability in the power and water industry in the region. Obviously, policies and strategies made today will shape the power and water balance in the future, said Al Tayer. “On the supply side, we enhance resource efficiency and effectiveness as far as is practical. We succeeded in raising the efficiency of our existing generation plant by 26% between 2006 and 2012. We managed to increase our production capacity by 450MW by using proven technologies with little cost, compared to the costs of installing new power plants of the same capacity. We also reduced the percentage of our grid power losses to 3.5% from 2011 to 2012, from 7.03% in 1998, by following the best international technical standards and solid engineering practices in the power system planning, design, construction and operation. This figures is considered the lowest world-wide. Similarly, we succeeded in reducing our unaccounted-for water in our water supply system to 10.88% in 2012 from 42% in 1988. This figure is also considered one of the lowest in the world. The combined power generation and desalinated water production in Dubai is most-efficiently done using natural gas and liquefied natural gas as the primary fuel (99%) and supplemented by liquid fuel - diesel oil - as a secondary fuel (1%). To reduce our reliance on natural gas, and the impact on the environment, whilst improving the security of energy supply, we are diversifying the energy mix, based on the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. The proposed future power-generation mix will consist of gas, solar energy, clean coal and nuclear energy so that by 2030 gas will provide 71% of Dubai's total power output, solar energy will provide 5%, nuclear energy 12% and clean coal 12%. Over the last decade, renewable energy sources have started to make useful contributions to the global energy mix, and it seems very likely that this will continue this century. “Solar power is the most significant and strategic renewable resource in the UAE and the region. DEWA has ongoing plans to build the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with a 1,000MW capacity, which, on completion, will be one of the biggest solar parks in the region, and possibly beyond. This will make a substantial contribution to Dubai's future energy needs. The first phase of 13MW will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of this year. DEWA also adopts power and water demand side management initiatives in response to sustainable development requirements as a major strategic direction in DEWA's strategy, to rationalise and control consumption, preserve natural resources and protect the environment. The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 identified Demand Side Management as a fundamental drive to abate energy demand and mitigate related challenges such as energy security issues, financial burdens and environmental consequences. Our target, as per the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, is to reduce energy consumption by 30% through the implementation of enhanced energy-efficient initiatives. Implementation of this strategy will position Dubai as a role model in energy security and efficiency. It will also avoid and defer additional capacities, contribute to the development of a green economy and support the achievement of sustainable development goals as per the UAE's strategy. We plan and strive to make more achievements in our efforts to make the best possible use of our power and water resources by implementing Green Building principles and regulations in accordance with recognised international eco-friendly practices that suit the local conditions of Dubai. This is in addition to encouraging the use of more-efficient appliances and cooling systems at a larger scale. Unlike conventional buildings, the design, construction and operation of Green Buildings depend on the use of systems that considerably rationalise the consumption of resources throughout a building's lifecycle. This reduces the burden on the basic structures in cities and provides a healthy and comfortable environment for living and working, added Al Tayer. The water supply in Dubai consisted of 98.8% desalinated water, and the balance of 1.2% from ground water in 2012. Water is of no less importance than power in Dubai, and the region. The production of desalinated water is an energy-consuming process and, as such, future energy and water developments should take a holistic approach to attaining a sustainable water-energy balance. A culture of conservation needs to be developed within industry and society, which has to be applied in all processes: supporting sustainability as a long-term objective.