The dream of virtually inexhaustible solar power generation from the Arabian desert has come true. Countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are taking matters into their own hands after one of Germany’s largest solar projects, Desertec, fizzled out. Oil is by far the most important economic factor. Exports have made Arab countries super rich. Besides oil, the region also has a lot of sun and a lot of desert. This combination does not seem to be an ideal basis for feeding a rapidly growing population. But times are changing. This time it’s not oil, but solar energy. The desert suddenly became a major locational advantage.
The “Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park” is currently the largest interconnected solar project in the world. Construction began in 2012 and is scheduled for completion in 2030. The final phase will install a photovoltaic and solar thermal power plant (CSP) with a capacity of 5,000 MW. The total investment is estimated at AED 50 billion (EUR 11.2 billion). The Green Hydrogen project occupies an area of 10,000 square meters at the Outdoor Test Facility (OTF) of DEWA R&D Center. In his opening speech, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director of Dewa, emphasized that Dubai “sets a clear direction for the energy sector.” This includes expanding access to clean energy, leveraging digital transformation and smart grids as “tools of the fourth industrial revolution,” and leveraging the impact of disruptive technologies on the energy and water sectors.
At Groupe Curie, we see such projects as the future solution to our energy problems.