H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, stated that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, continues its efforts to promote a culture of innovation, build a knowledge-based economy, and support sustainable development efforts at the local, regional, and international levels.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed made his remarks during a visit to Shams Solar Power Station and Al Dhafra Innovation Centre, where he was briefed on Abu Dhabi’s ongoing sustainability efforts, implemented in support of the UAE Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative.
Inaugurated in March 2013, Shams Solar Power Station is a pioneering sustainability project with capacity to generate 100MW of clean energy per year, while the Al Dhafra Innovation Centre seeks to educate visitors on the different types of renewable energy technologies and projects in use in the emirate.
H.H said Shams Solar Power Station is a milestone in the UAE's drive to diversify its energy mix to meet growing demand for energy to fuel comprehensive development and has reshaped the renewable landscape in the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa.
‘’The station is one of the first pioneering projects in the field of concentrated solar energy and formed a starting point for many other projects in the field of solar energy in the country, which is the largest in the world and contributes effectively to achieving our national goals of increasing the share of clean energy to 50 percent, reducing emissions and achieving climate neutrality,'' Sheikh Hamdan added.
His Highness was accompanied during the tour by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Masdar, Majed Al Awadhi, General Manager, Shams Power Company, and several senior officials.
Located in western Abu Dhabi, Shams was the largest renewable energy project in operation in the Middle East when launched in 2013. It occupies 2.5 square kilometres and has a capacity of 100 megawatts. The solar field has 768 parabolic trough collectors to generate clean, renewable electricity.
Shams directly contributes toward Abu Dhabi’s target of 30 percent power-generation capacity via clean energy by the year 2030. The plant also is helping the United Arab Emirates diversify its energy mix and reduce the country’s carbon footprint. The plant displaces about 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to planting 1.5 million trees or removing 15,000 cars from Abu Dhabi’s roads.
Shams Power Company has developed the first innovation centre dedicated to promoting Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates’ renewable energy achievements.
The Al Dhafrah Innovation Centre has nine educational zones and an outdoor exhibition area. Each section include interactive models, videos and materials.The centre’s vision is to become a regional hub for renewable energy knowledge, and to inspire and motivate young generations to become active leaders in the transition to a more sustainable future.