Abu Dhabi Unveils World’s Largest Solar Park Ahead of Global Climate Conference

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Abu Dhabi Unveils World's Largest Solar Park Ahead of Global Climate Conference

In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a new colossal solar park has been put into operation. It’s deemed the largest contiguous solar park globally and was inaugurated just before the commencement of the World Climate Conference, hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Located approximately 30 kilometers south of Abu Dhabi City, Al Dhafra spans an area of around 21 square kilometers. It hosts about four million solar panels, mounted on rotating mechanisms to track the sun, and maintained clean from sand and dust by cleaning robots.

The installed capacity at Al Dhafra is 2.1 gigawatts, intended to power 160,000 households. The solar park aims to generate 4,700 gigawatt-hours annually.

The UAE’s focus on solar power

With Al Dhafra’s launch, the installed solar power capacity in the UAE has significantly increased. Earlier in the summer, the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai was completed, boasting an installed capacity of over 2.4 gigawatts.

The operators of Al Dhafra include the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), a state-owned renewable energy enterprise, the energy provider Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), along with EDF Renewables from France and the Chinese solar energy developer Jinko Power. TAQA owns 40 percent of the solar park, while the other three partners each hold 20 percent.

The World Climate Conference (COP) commences on November 30 in Dubai, marking a favorable timing for the opening of Al Dhafra. However, the UAE has faced criticism as Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who presides over COP, concurrently holds positions as the head of Masdar, the state oil company Adnoc, and serves as the Minister of Industry for the UAE.

The UAE aims to install 14 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

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Carl Woodrow
A seasoned tech enthusiast and writer, Carl delves deep into emerging technologies, offering insightful analysis and reviews on the latest gadgets and trends.