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UAE Inaugurates World’s Largest Single-Site Solar Power Plant

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has inaugurated the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, the 2-gigawatt (GW) Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project (IPP). The plant, located 35 kilometers from Abu Dhabi city, will generate enough electricity to power almost 200,000 homes and is expected to displace 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The project was inaugurated by Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and emphasized the importance of the plant as a symbol of progress in solar power efficiency, innovation, and cost competitiveness.

UAE’s Commitment to Clean Energy

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Chairman of Masdar, highlighted the significance of Al Dhafra as a reflection of the UAE’s ongoing commitment to clean energy.

The project broke records in terms of cost for utility-scale solar projects. Initially, the project led to one of the most competitive tariffs for solar power set at AED 4.97 fils/kWh (USD 1.35 cents/kWh), which upon financial close, was further improved to AED 4.85 fils/kWh (US$ 1.32 cents/kWh).

A Key Step in the UAE’s Transition to Clean Energy

The inauguration of Al Dhafra Solar PV is a key step in the UAE’s transition to clean energy. The country has set ambitious goals to triple renewables capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030, with Al Dhafra serving as a model for global ambition in clean energy initiatives.

Alignment with UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Goal

The project aligns with the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 goal, reinforcing its leadership in solar energy production on a per capita basis. The project is also a testament to the UAE’s commitment to hosting a successful COP28. The country will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference from November 30th to December 12 this year.

Exam-Relevant Questions

Question 1: What is the significance of the Al Dhafra Solar PV plant?

Solution: The Al Dhafra Solar PV plant is the world’s largest single-site solar power plant and a significant step towards the UAE’s transition to clean energy. It will generate enough electricity to power almost 200,000 homes and displace 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Question 2: How does the Al Dhafra Solar PV plant contribute to the UAE’s renewable energy goals?

Solution: The Al Dhafra Solar PV plant aligns with the UAE’s ambitious goal to triple renewables capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030. It serves as a model for global ambition in clean energy initiatives and reinforces the UAE’s leadership in solar energy production.

Question 3: What is the Net Zero 2050 goal, and how does the Al Dhafra Solar PV plant support it?

Solution: The Net Zero 2050 goal aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, meaning that the UAE will remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits. The Al Dhafra Solar PV plant plays a crucial role in this endeavor by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting clean energy sources.

Question 4: What are the environmental benefits of the Al Dhafra Solar PV plant?

Solution: The Al Dhafra Solar PV plant is expected to displace 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to removing 470,000 cars from the road. This significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will contribute to mitigating climate change and improving air quality.

Question 5: What is the economic impact of the Al Dhafra Solar PV plant?

Solution: The Al Dhafra Solar PV plant is not only environmentally beneficial but also economically advantageous. It is expected to create jobs during construction and operation, generate revenue for the UAE, and reduce reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports.

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