Dubai formally inaugurated on Wednesday the first solar-driven green hydrogen producing facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. 

The 40-million UAE dirham ($11 million) pilot project is a joint initiative between Siemens Energy, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Expo 2020 Dubai. 

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee inaugurated the project, which is located at the Outdoor Testing Facility of DEWA’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. 

Daylight solar power from the solar park will enable the pilot project to produce around 20.5kg/hr of hydrogen at 1.25MWe of peak power, Siemens Energy said in a press statement.  

It said the system integrates [solar-powered] electrolysis [to produce green hydrogen], storage [of hydrogen], and re-electrification capabilities. 

“The plant has been built to accommodate future applications and test platforms for the different uses of hydrogen, including potential mobility and industrial uses,” it said. 

DEWA MD & CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said in a statement that the project supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to provide 75 percent of total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050 and the Dubai Green Mobility 2030 initiative, which aims to stimulate the use of sustainable transport. 

“DEWA has already explored and developed a pilot project for green mobility using hydrogen that can be executed in the near future, in addition to a number of studies, business strategies and a potential roadmap for hydrogen usage,” Al Tayer said, adding that the utility is “building know-how, experience and capabilities to contribute in shaping the clean hydrogen future of the UAE.” 

“As the first industrial scale facility to produce green hydrogen in the Middle East and North Africa, it is an important milestone of the energy transformation. We look forward to working together to decarbonise industries that are hard to abate with renewable energy alone,” said Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy. 

The pilot facility in Dubai is expected to help test buffering renewable energy production, both for fast response applications, as well as for long-term storage, according to Siemens Energy. Key applications include using hydrogen for re-electrification through gas motors, gas turbines and fuel cells; as a feedstock for the chemical industry; as fuel for transportation; a reducing agent for the steel industry; as heat for industrial processes; gas for residential heating and cooking purposes and energy for export. 

(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon) 


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