Sunday 12 May 2019
The UAE is leading the Middle East and North Africa region in the implementation of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, or IRENA, cited by Eco Business.
The UAE was, until recently, the only country to have that technology in the Arabian Gulf. The country has set a target of achieving 30 per cent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030.
CSP refers to a type of solar technology that uses giant mirrors to direct sunlight on to a receiver, which converts it into heat. Such mirrors can be parabolic troughs, or rounded dishes, or power towers.
CSP can be a lot more effective than solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. This is because PV uses solar panels that can only work when there is sunlight, meaning electricity can only be generated as long as sunlight falls on the panels.
CSP on the other hand stores the sunlight as heat, which can be used at a later time, and even when there is no sunlight.
The UAE was the first from the GCC countries to get CSP technology, and is currently the only country in the GCC to have actual electricity generation through this. The UAE has had CSP since 2013 — with an installed capacity of 100 MW and electricity generation of 261 GWh, states the 2019 edition of the IRENA report 'Global Energy Transformation: A Road Map to 2050'.
The UAE is pioneering the development of CSP within the GCC countries, with one of biggest investments being the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the world’s largest single-site solar park, and aims to achieve 1,000 MW capacity by 2020 and 5,000 MW by 2030.
IRENA / Eco Business