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HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer reviews progress of the 1,800MW 6th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Energy Park. (Image source: DEWA)

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has assessed the ongoing development of the 1,800MW 6th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model

The project, with an investment of approximately US$1.485bn (AED 5.5bn), aims to supply clean energy to around 540,000 homes and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by about 2.36 million tonnes each year. Spanning 20 square kilometers, this phase has recorded the lowest Levelised Cost Of Energy (LCOE) at US$1.6215 cents per kWh.

Al Tayer received updates on the 6th phase from officials of Shuaa Energy 4, a company formed by DEWA in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), with DEWA holding a 60% stake and Masdar the remaining 40%.

DEWA is advancing the 6th phase of the solar park using the latest solar photovoltaic bifacial technologies with single-axis tracking under the IPP model.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, recognised as the world’s largest single-site solar park, is set to surpass 5,000 megawatts capacity by 2030, backed by an estimated investment of approx. US$13.5bn (AED 50bn). These projects are pivotal to achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050, targeting a 100% clean energy share in Dubai’s total power capacity by 2050.

Presently, the solar park boasts a production capacity of 2,860MW, with an additional 1,800 MW under construction. The completion of the 1,800MW sixth phase will elevate the total production capacity to 4,660MW by 2026. By 2030, DEWA anticipates that clean energy sources will contribute approximately 27% to the generation mix.

During the review, Al Tayer was joined by Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, along with other officials from the authority.

Around US$2 trillion is set to be invested in clean technologies in 2024, according to the IEA report. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Global investment in clean energy is set to be almost double the amount going to fossil fuels in 2024, boosted by improving supply chains and lower clean technology costs, according to the IEA’s newly-released World Energy Investment 2024 Report

Total energy investment worldwide is expected to exceed US$3trillion in 2024, with around US$2 trillion set to be invested in clean technologies, according to the report. Solar PV is spearheading the transformation of the power sector, with more money is now going into solar PV than all other electricity generation technologies combined. In 2024, investment in solar PV is set to grow to US$500bn, boosted by the fall in module prices.

China is set to account for the largest share of clean energy investment in 2024, reaching an estimated US$675bn, followed by Europe and the USA, with clean energy investment of US$370bn and US$315bn respectively. The new report highlights however the low level of clean energy spending in emerging and developing economies (outside China), with the high cost of capital being a key constraint.

Grids and electricity storage have also been a significant constraint on clean energy transitions. But spending on grids is rising, largely due to new policy initiatives and funding in Europe, the USA, China and some countries in Latin America. Investments in battery storage are also on the up, but again largely concentrated in advanced economies and China.

“Clean energy investment is setting new records even in challenging economic conditions, highlighting the momentum behind the new global energy economy. For every dollar going to fossil fuels today, almost two dollars are invested in clean energy,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol.

“More must be done to ensure that investment reaches the places where it is needed most, in particular the developing economies where access to affordable, sustainable and secure energy is severely lacking today.”

Clean energy investment on the rise in the Middle East

Clean energy investment in the Middle East is rising, but it remains dominated by the region’s traditional role as a supplier of oil and gas, the report notes. Energy investment in the Middle East is expected to reach approximately US$175bn in 2024, with fossil fuels predominating and clean energy accounting for around 15% of the total investment.

“The region’s power sector holds a distinct opportunity for increasing investment in clean energy technologies, notably for solar PV,” the report comments. “Harnessing these resources could substantially decrease reliance on both oil and gas in the power sector. Saudi Arabia, for example, is targeting 130 GW of renewable capacity by 2030, up from less than 5 GW today. Projects including the large Al Shuaibah solar plant in Saudi Arabia and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in UAE are underway. Various countries have also announced blue and green hydrogen investments, as well as intensifying investments in critical minerals.”

Both parties also agreed to host a joint launch event at Pre-COP, which will take place in Baku ahead of COP29. (Image source: IRENA)

The incoming COP29 Presidency, Azerbaijan, will collaborate with IRENA to monitor progress towards tripling renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency by 2030, as outlined in the First Global Stocktake concluded in the ‘UAE Consensus’ at COP28.

This collaboration was agreed upon by Azerbaijan's Minister for Energy, Parviz Shahbazov, and IRENA’s director-general, Francesco La Camera, during the Baku Energy Week. Both parties also agreed to host a joint launch event at Pre-COP, which will take place in Baku ahead of COP29.

In May, COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber officially tasked IRENA with establishing a special annual report series to monitor progress and provide recommendations on achieving the key energy goals set in the UAE Consensus at COP28.

The new annual tracking report, led by IRENA as the official Custodian Agency, will be published each year from 2024 to 2030. It will feature the latest data and projections on the tripling of renewables and doubling of energy efficiency by 2030, offering timely and accurate inputs to future COP engagements. The 2024 edition will be released by IRENA in cooperation with the Presidencies of COP28 and COP29, as well as the Global Renewables Alliance (GRA).

The call to triple renewable power capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030 is a crucial part of the global effort to address climate change and keep the 1.5°C target within reach. The UAE Consensus advocates for transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems in a just, orderly, and equitable manner, aiming to achieve net zero by 2050.

Azerbaijan's Minister for Energy Parviz Shahbazov said, “Our cooperation with IRENA will contribute to monitoring the energy results of the COP28 consensus and the promotion of countries' actions on renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030. Within the COP29, we are pleased to support this process and coordinate our efforts to achieve global energy and climate goals.”

IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera added, “Given the centrality of the Agency’s World Energy Transitions Outlook to the tripling of renewables and doubling of energy efficiency goals, IRENA and its 169-strong global membership are best placed to monitor progress towards the historic energy outcomes of COP28. Today’s cooperation between COP29 and IRENA will help ensure we have the continuity required to triple renewables and double efficiency by 2030 – from Dubai to Baku and beyond.”

IATA annual general meeting. (Image source: IATA)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is creating a SAF registry to enhance the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) by accurately accounting for and reporting emissions reductions.

Seventeen airlines, one airline group, six national authorities, three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and one fuel producer are collaborating on the development of the registry, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2025. SAF is projected to contribute up to 65% of the carbon mitigation needed to achieve net zero carbon emissions in air transport by 2050.

Global accessibility

The registry will enable airlines to purchase SAF regardless of its production location, with certified environmental attributes tracked and assigned to the purchasing airline. This ensures accurate recording and transfer of SAF's environmental benefits, helping airlines and customers report emissions reductions in line with reporting obligations and international standards.

Versatile application and neutrality

The registry will be neutral concerning regulations, types of SAF, and jurisdictional specifics, capable of handling diverse user requirements. IATA is working with certification organisations and fuel producers to standardise data for efficient processing.

Ensuring regulatory compliance

The registry will assist airlines in meeting regulations such as the carbon offsetting reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA) and the EU emissions trading scheme. It ensures compliance with SAF mandates and provides transparency to authorities regarding emissions reductions.

Independent governance will ensure the system's impartiality and robustness. Participation in the registry will be on a cost-recovery basis, avoiding unnecessary cost barriers to SAF adoption.

The registry is being developed with input from airlines, government authorities, international organisations, OEMs, fuel producers and suppliers, airports, and corporate travel management companies. A key feature is the involvement of governments to ensure compliance with civil aviation authority requirements. Relevant authorities will validate and approve claims, update national emission inventories, and align with international standards, such as those set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“SAF is key to aviation’s decarbonisation. Airlines want more SAF and stand ready to use every drop of it. The SAF Registry will help meet the critical needs of all stakeholders as part of the global effort to ramp-up SAF production. Governments need a trusted system to track the quality and quantities of SAF used. SAF producers need to accurately account for what has been delivered and effectively decarbonised. Corporate customers must be able to transparently account for their Scope 3 emissions. And airlines must have certainty that they can claim the environmental benefits of the SAF they purchased. The Registry will meet all these needs. In doing so, the Registry will help create a global SAF market by ensuring that airlines have access to SAF wherever it is produced, and that SAF producers have access to airlines regardless of their location,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

The Cat CG260-16 generator set capable of running on natural-gas/hydrogen blends. (Image source: Caterpillar)

Caterpillar has added Cat CG260 gas generator sets to its range of power solutions, now capable of running on hydrogen fuel.

Available through global Cat dealers for both 50 and 60 Hz applications, the 12- and 16-cylinder versions of the Cat CG260 can operate on gas containing up to 25% hydrogen by volume. The CG260 provides up to 4.5 MW of electric power for continuous, prime, and load management needs. Additionally, Caterpillar offers retrofit kits to upgrade existing CG260 generator sets with these hydrogen capabilities.

Diverse hydrogen-fueled power solutions

With this addition, Caterpillar’s portfolio now includes gas generator sets ranging from 400 kW to 4.5 MW, offering hydrogen blending opportunities via factory-installed hardware and retrofit kits for the CG132B, CG170B, CG260, and G3500H platforms.

Expertise in hydrogen power technologies

Caterpillar has extensive experience in hydrogen-fueled power technologies, focusing on minimising impacts on maintenance costs, schedules, availability, and operations. Since 2022, Caterpillar has offered demonstrator Cat G3516 gas generator sets capable of operating on 100% hydrogen, recommended for locations with abundant hydrogen fuel supplies, available with a maximum rating of 1000 kW for 50 Hz or 60 Hz continuous applications.

Caterpillar recently announced a successful collaboration with Microsoft and Ballard Power Systems, demonstrating the viability of using large-format hydrogen fuel cells to supply reliable backup power for data centres. The project simulated a 48-hour backup power event at Microsoft's data centre in Cheyenne, Wyoming, using two Cat Power Grid Stabilization (PGS) 1260 battery energy storage systems and a 1.5 MW hydrogen fuel cell. Supported by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the H2@Scale initiative, this demonstration was a significant success.

Caterpillar is also working with District Energy St. Paul to demonstrate a 2.0 MW combined heat and power (CHP) system fueled by various combinations of hydrogen and natural gas. This project, supported and partially funded by the DOE and backed by the NREL, aims to further explore the potential of hydrogen in energy systems.

These initiatives build on Caterpillar’s 35 years of experience in hydrogen fuels, supporting numerous power generation projects across various industries currently operating on blended gas with up to 80% hydrogen.

Commitment to a reduced-carbon future

Beyond hydrogen power solutions, Caterpillar is committed to a reduced-carbon future through continuous investments in new products, technologies, and services. These include Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) software solutions for monitoring, managing, and monetising on-site energy assets; a comprehensive hybrid energy solutions technology suite; Cat combined heat and power (CHP) systems and combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) systems; support for hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), biodiesel, and blended fuel products; and expertise in landfill gas, biogas, and other waste-to-energy applications.

“The movement toward lower carbon solutions for power generation is accelerating,” said Melissa Busen, vice president for Caterpillar Large Electric Power. “Caterpillar is positioned today with a large and growing lineup of technologies to help customers integrate hydrogen-fueled systems into their power strategies.”

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