IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, and the Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, Saeed Al Tayer, signed the MoU, which provides a regulatory framework for project development and broad cooperation on accelerated renewable energy deployment.
“This is an important step towards energy resource diversification in the Emirate of Dubai, part of a remarkable trend that calls for developing an appropriate, conducive framework for policy, regulations and incentives,” Mr Amin said at the MoU signing in Dubai on Wednesday.
“The strategic move to renewable energy in a region endowed with oil and gas is a strong and clear signal of the political commitment to a sustainable future, where renewable energy is an economically as well as environmentally sound option,” he added.
IRENA and DEWA undertook to exchange knowledge on best practices, policy advice and capacity-building in order to boost renewable energy deployment in Dubai, the largest urban centre of the United Arab Emirates. IRENA will provide case studies and cost competitive energy solutions that can accelerate renewable energy scale-up and market development in Dubai and potentially be replicated in the Gulf region.
The memorandum is to be supplemented by joint IRENA-DEWA work plans for specific projects.
“This MoU aims to promote renewable energy deployment, and support the development and implementation of the required policies and regulatory frameworks,” said Mr. Al Tayer. “It also aims to support our efforts to develop and implement suitable policies and energy strategies for accelerating renewable energy deployment and share best practices and expertise.” “Achieving a green and sustainable future is a responsibility for us all. That’s why DEWA is working relentlessly to share best practices and expertise in the field of renewable energy,” he added. “IRENA is one of the key strategic partners of DEWA in this field.” Electricity demand in the UAE is projected to rise by over 50% by the end of 2020 due to increasing population, growing markets and rapid industrialisation, prompting intensified efforts to develop solar and wind potential.
Dubai’s energy plans call for 1 per cent solar in its energy portfolio by 2020 and 5 per cent by 2030. DEWA has actively supported the Emirate’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, developing the USD 3.27 Billion (AED 12 Billion) Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, launched at the beginning of this year with 1000 megawatt capacity, and hosting the World Energy Forum in October.
IRENA, headquartered in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, and mandated to promote the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy worldwide, is leading efforts to explore the vast opportunities offered by renewable energy in the region.
“We are striving to strengthen our engagement with the governments of the region, and this strategic partnership between DEWA and IRENA provides an example of what can be achieved,” Mr Amin said.
By investing seriously in renewables, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries could save up to USD 200 billion from now until 2030 by saving 3 billion barrels of oil, thus freeing the oil for sale at market prices instead of burning it for electricity generation, according to IRENA research.