UAE announces wind energy program for 23,000 homes
The UAE Wind Program is an addition to the power mix of the country, joining solar, nuclear, and waste-to-energy initiatives
The UAE has planned a large wind power scheme to diversify its energy sources.
The new wind energy project will power 23,000 households and help fight climate change.
Low wind speeds in the UAE made utility-scale wind energy unfeasible, but climate technology and UAE-led knowledge have made it practical.
Wind power in UAE
The UAE Wind Program is scalable and economically viable due to larger turbines, decreased hardware prices, and the discovery of a unique meteorological phenomena that creates strong winds at night.
Wind power is highest at night in the UAE, complementing solar power.
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, launched the UAE Wind Program on Sir Bani Yas Island on behalf of the UAE President.
In 2004, the government built the region's first wind power facility on Sir Bani Yas Island to develop alternative energy sources.
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company – Masdar's 103.5-MW milestone project will add cost-effective, large-scale utility wind power to the UAE's electrical system, diversifying its energy mix and furthering its energy transition.
Technology, material science, and aerodynamics are used to collect low wind speeds at utility size, enabling future developments.
The UAE Wind Program will power over 23,000 houses annually.
It will replace 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, or 26,000 petrol automobiles each year.
As it prepares to host an inclusive COP that delivers outcomes, the UAE shows its commitment to climate change.
The project covers four locations:
A 45MW wind farm and 14 MWp solar farm have been built on Sir Bani Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Delma Island (27MW), Al Sila (27MW), and Al Halah (4.5MW) in Fujairah.
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the UAE has adopted the late Sheikh Zayed's values of sustainability and safeguarding the environment and natural resources.
With a profound vision, the founding father grasped the necessity of sustainability as a crucial driver of growth and part of human history.
He said that Sheikh Zayed's sustainability efforts are paying off in many areas.
Sheikh Khaled said the UAE is continuing Sheikh Zayed's mission with the same fervor.
Sheikh Mohamed's dedication to delivering large-scale renewable energy projects and leading climate action shows this.
These accomplishments expand on prior energy explorations, notably the 2004 Sir Bani Yas Island wind power project.
Sheikh Khaled said the UAE has historically led the region in energy innovation to progress the energy transition.
He noted that the UAE is ready to host COP28 due to its groundbreaking renewable energy development, which powers tens of thousands of households, creates employment, and reduces emissions.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Masdar Chairman, said: “The UAE Wind Program is a source of national pride and a demonstration of Masdar's ability to pioneer and implement innovations in wind and renewable energy technologies.
“More than twenty years ago, before Masdar was founded, our founding father, an environmentalist, oversaw the completion of a wind turbine on Sir Bani Yas Island.
Masdar, the UAE's renewable energy powerhouse, unleashes wind power's potential to support the nation's aim as a global leader in sustainability and climate change.
We must treble renewable energy capacity by 2030 to satisfy Paris Agreement targets for a feasible energy transition.
We look forward to hosting COP28, and today's inauguration underlines the UAE's solid commitment to this aim, encouraging renewable energy investments at home and abroad.”
The project ushers in utility-scale wind electricity in the UAE. The UAE was named a world leader in solar energy consumption by The Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy last month. Its major solar, nuclear, and waste-to-energy plants feed into the national grid.
A collaboration with global technical leaders and turbine manufacturers is enabling the commercialization of utility-scale, low-wind speed projects. The initiative is also producing crucial scientific wind data for the UAE's next phase of growth.
Masdar pioneered sustainable energy in 2006. The business created the first Middle Eastern concentrated solar power plant, the 100 MW Shams project, a decade ago.
Masdar is finishing Southeast Asia's largest floating solar plant, the Cirata, in Indonesia.
The Sharjah garbage to Energy facility in the UAE processed over 100,000 tonnes of garbage and offset over 150,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in its first year.
Masdar and Middle East sustainability pioneer BEEAH company are building the region's first waste-to-energy facility.
Masdar operates in over 40 countries and has invested in over 20 GW of renewable energy projects.
Masdar aims to reach 100 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.