The Middle East’s first solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facilityIn the United Arab Emirates, where solar energy is abundant, Siemens Energy, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Expo 2020 Dubai have collaborated to establish the region’s first solar-powered green hydrogen plant at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. The UAE plans to increase the contribution of clean energy in the country’s total energy mix from 25 percent to 50 percent by 2050.
The facilityThe Green Hydrogen Project covers an area of 10,000 square meters at the Outdoor Testing Facility of the DEWA Research and Development Center, which is part of the Solar Park.
During the day, the plant harnesses some of the photovoltaic electricity from the MBR Solar Park to produce green hydrogen using a technology called PEM electrolysis. At night, the green hydrogen is converted into electricity to power the city with sustainable energy.
Green Hydrogen: Cornerstone of a sustainable energy future
The world faces the challenge of maintaining economic growth while reducing and mitigating the effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. To avoid a climate catastrophe, we need to achieve “net zero” emissions by 2050 and accelerate the transition to clean energy. Experts and policymakers are increasingly looking to the use of hydrogen as a potential game-changing technology.
A pioneering model for public-private partnerships
During Expo 2020 Dubai, which takes place from October 1, 2021 until March 31, 2022, the facility will test and demonstrate how green hydrogen can be produced on an industrial scale, stored, and deployed for a number of applications.
In the spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai’s main theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, the three project partners DEWA, Expo 2020, and Siemens Energy are working together to promote sustainability and innovation in a strategic partnership between the government and private sectors.
Impact for generations to come
It is hoped that the pilot project and its legacy will accelerate the transition to a green economy in the UAE, as well as the adoption of renewable energy across the Middle East through sector coupling, offering new use cases.
Hydrogen has the potential to electrify the mobility sector further, but also offers the possibility for heavy-industry sectors to switch to the chemicals produced by electrolysis of water with renewable energy.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will be completed in five stages to form the world’s largest single-site solar park based on the Independent Power Producer model. It will feature a parabolic basin complex and a solar tower, 70,000 heliostats, and 15 hours’ worth of thermal storage capacity.
The Solar Park is the first of its kind in the region, and the first of many projects to boost reliance on renewables to generate electricity in Dubai.
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