09 July 2019

The United Arab Emirates has launched the world’s
single largest single-site solar project which is part of the country’s
initiative towards better energy security.

‘The Noor Abu Dhabi solar power plant’, which in
Arabic means light, is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Government and a
consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s Jinko Solar Holding.

Speaking during the launch ceremony, Yoshiaki
Yokota, Marubeni Corp COO of the Power
Business Division
that the solar power plant has officially started its commercial operation.

“The completion of the project marks a significant
milestone in the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050, launched in 2017, to increase the
contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050 while
reducing the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%,” said Yoshiaki

The power plant, which was constructed at a cost of
US $870m, will produce approximately 1.2 gigawatts of electricity that can
cover the demand of 90,000 people. Emirate Water and Electricity Company(EWEC)
which founded the power plant announced that the project broke the record for
the world’s most competitive tariff at 8.888 fils/kWh, the fils being a
subdivision of the dirham currency (like cent is to dollar) which at present
equates to about 0.024 usd/kWh or 2.4 cents/kWh.

Although the country is still mostly oil dependent, important developments like this would ultimately have a positive impact on global emissions and shows the intent of transitioning towards a sustainable future through renewable energy. The capital’s reliance on the use of natural gas for electricity generation will be considerably reduced resulting in a carbon footprint reduction of 1 million metric tons per year, which is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.

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