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DEWA satisfied that capacity can meet demand for next five years

There is sufficient electricity and water to meet the needs of Dubai residents and businesses for the next five years, a senior Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) official revealed.

Last year alone, Dubai's energy requirements grew by 9.6 per cent and are expected to increase further during the coming years at eight to nine per cent per annum, said Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of DEWA. Speaking to Emirates 24/7 on the sidelines of the launch of Health and Safety Awareness Campaign, Al Tayer said, "At present, we have about 2,500MW of additional capacity. We have sufficient resources to provide uninterrupted power and water supply for the next four to five years. Measures are being put in place to ensure sufficient availability of future demand as well."

When asked to comment on reports that new connections are being delayed to certain projects that are complete, he said, "These are totally baseless allegations. DEWA has never rejected connection to any completed project. If there is a delay, it is because of the developer."

According to Al Tayer, studies are underway to incorporate all alternative mechanisms in an effort to save resources. "We are also looking at the possibility of allowing solar powered structure to connect to the grid system. In future, when the system becomes viable it will become operational," he added.

Nasser Mohammed Hussain bin Lootah, Executive Vice-President for Generation (Power and Water), DEWA, said that solar energy, despite its advancement, has still not become economically viable."It works in Europe because it is heavily subsidised. At present it costs Dh1 to produce one kilowatt of electricity using solar power while we can produce it for just 15 fils. Moreover, the efficiency of a solar system is just 17 per cent," he said.

"But with technological advancement, we should be able to overcome these shortcomings and we will be incorporating it into the system then," said Lootah. He said DEWA is constantly working towards improving its efficiency and is confident of achieving the 2011 target of producing 400MW of additional energy using more efficient and cost-effective technology.