Fuel of the future: Dubai utility giant DEWA to launch pilot green hydrogen project

The pilot project using solar power will decide the way forward for hydrogen, says Al Tayer

  
DEWA Selects Preferred Bidder for 120 MIGD Hassyan Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) IWP Project Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose.

DEWA Selects Preferred Bidder for 120 MIGD Hassyan Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) IWP Project Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose.

State-owned utility giant Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) will inaugurate a 300 kilowatt (KW) green hydrogen project on Wednesday on a pilot basis as the UAE takes another step towards its strategic goals on energy diversification.

The hydrogen generated from the facility will be used to power fuel-cell vehicles at the Expo 2020 site.

The 40 million-dirham ($11 million) project, which will produce green hydrogen using solar energy, is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said in a virtual media event Tuesday.

The cost of the project will be shared between DEWA and its partner, Siemens, with the latter contributing 25 million dirhams.

According to Al Tayer, to draw up a roadmap for future hydrogen projects, the unit cost will first need to be reduced and only then can decisions on scaling up production and investments in infrastructure can be made.

“The pilot of the solar (project) took three years to see a cost reduction from 50 fils/KW to about 18 fils/KW and then it went down to about 6 fils/KW.” 

 SHe said Dubai has surpassed the target of reducing 16 percent emission by 2021. By reducing 22 percent of emission in 2019, the share of clean energy in Dubai's energy mix has increased to around 9 percent.

“We have a clear approach for the energy sector, in line with Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75 percent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050,” Al Tayer said. 

The renewables push also is in line with the UAE’s plan to diversify its energy mix away from hydrocarbons. The UAE, an Opec heavyweight oil producer, plans to add 50 per cent renewables capacity by 2050 and has earmarked a greater potential role for hydrogen.

The production of hydrogen is termed “green” if the power used in the process is from a renewable source, like solar energy.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)

brinda.darasha@refinitiv.com

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