Dubai achieves a non-Guinness world record

By Rajive Singh

Dewa achieves lowest customer minutes lost per year worldwide at 2.6 minutes

DUBAI 16 January 2018: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has achieved the lowest Customer Minutes Lost per year worldwide at 2.6 minutes, according to its MD & CEO, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.

Al Tayer was speaking during a panel discussion at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi.

Talking about the role of governments and corporations in addressing the world’s environmental challenges and ensuring economic prosperity through a clean energy approach, Al Tayer said, “The UAE has many federal and local strategies, including the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 that sets a target of 50% for clean energy within the total energy mix by 2050, and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to reach 75% from clean energy by 2050.

“Globally, the main challenges to implement clean energy strategies are funds and prices, the efficiency and regularity of renewable energy, regulatory and legislative frameworks; engagement with the private sector; and capacity building. In Dubai, we have dealt with these challenges through the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and its 5 main pillars: infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills and an environmentally-friendly energy mix.”

IPP Model

“With regards to funds and prices, we’ve adopted the Independent Power Producer (IPP) business model to enhance public-private partnerships. Through this model, we received the lowest prices for electricity in the world. Dubai has launched the AED100 billion Dubai Green Fund to finance investments in clean energy. As for the efficiency and intermittency of renewable energy, we target the highest levels of efficiency in solar projects. Dewa is working on the Hatta pumped-storage hydroelectric power station, and a project for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) with thermal storage,” added Al Tayer.

Al Tayer said that Dewa is working on decoupling power and water production, and said that, by 2030 Reverse Osmosis (RO) will help expand production capacity to 305 Million Imperial Gallons per Day (MIGD) of desalinated water. This means that RO will produce 41% compared to its current share of 5%. Dewa will be able to produce 750 MIGD of desalinated water by 2030, compared to its current capacity of 470 MIGD.

Dewa is currently piloting energy storage systems, including 7.2 MWh Sodium Sulfur (NAS) batteries in cooperation with NGK. The project will be completed by the first quarter of 2018. Dewa is also working on and evaluating its 6.12 MWh Lithium Batteries project, in cooperation with LG Chem and Tesla. The project will be completed in 6 to 8 months.

Regulatory Framework

“Dubai has a strong regulatory framework to encourage private sector investments. Dubai Government issued Law number 6 of 2011 to regulate the participation of the private sector in electricity and water production in Dubai, and issued resolution number 2 of 2010 to establish the Regulatory & Supervisory Bureau for electricity and water (RSB).

Currently, Dewa has over 4,000MW of IPP projects underway, in partnership with the private sector at a total investment of Dh30 billion. This model attracted external investments totalling AED 26 billion, enabling us to invest our own funds on other infrastructure projects. We expect that the IPP projects currently under development will generate an additional 12,000 jobs in Dubai during their life cycle,” said Al Tayer.

Al Tayer noted that Dewa is collaborating with multinational organisations on R&D including Enel, Enrel, Kepco, Cener, and others. Dubai also established green-economy platforms such as the World Green Economy Summit (WGES).

“We have a holistic approach for the energy sector and have translated that into workable strategies aligned with the strategies of the UAE and Dubai. We have a target of 75% for clean energy by 2050, through the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. Meeting the clean energy target requires a capacity of 42,000 MW of clean and renewable energy by 2050.

Solar Energy

“Dubai is building the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar park in the world, with an installed capacity of 5,000MW by 2030. We have 213MW of photovoltaic power in service and a further 800MW of photovoltaic panels are under construction. A 700MW CSP plant is also being developed,” noted Al Tayer.

Answering a question about the influence of utilities and governments in demand for energy and increasing the efficiency of energy consumption, Al Tayer said, “In the UAE, there is a target to reduce electricity and water consumption by 40% by 2050. In Dubai, we have a Demand Side Management Strategy (DSM) to reduce power and water consumption by 30% by 2030. We are working in parallel on both ensuring the efficiency of supply side and concentrating on renewable energy together with rationalising consumption through our Demand Side Management Strategy. Our DSM has programmes such as building regulations, building retrofits, district central cooling, water reuse and efficient irrigation, specifications of energy efficiency of appliances, outdoor lighting, and the Shams Dubai initiative to install solar panels on rooftops.

“Dewa has established Etihad Esco to help retrofit around 30,000 existing buildings in Dubai. The present value of the cumulative costs up to 2030 is estimated at Dh30 billion, while the present value of savings is estimated at Dh82 billion. This gives the DSM plan a Positive Net Economic Impact of Net Present Value of Dh52 billion. By the end of 2017, we achieved a reduction in per capita consumption of 6% in electricity and 10% in water compared to business as usual,” continued Al Tayer.

“Dewa adopts a strategy to optimise energy efficiency for both supply and demand. Our efficient, effective and sustainable practices are clearly reflected in our international performance results. We succeeded in reducing electricity line losses from 7% to 3.3% and Unaccounted for Water from 42% to 8% and these are global benchmarks.

“Customer Minutes Lost reached 2.6 minutes per year compared with 15 minutes of leading utilities in Europe and the USA. The fuel efficiency of our latest power plants increased to about 90%. Our generation efficiency increased by 27% from 2006 to 2017,” added Al Tayer.