Chinese engineers complete largest solar farm on Earth in UAE
The world’s largest single-site solar power plant – a flagship project under China’s Belt and Road Initiative – was inaugurated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), days ahead of the UN climate change conference Cop28 in Dubai, in November-December 2023. However the project had already commenced supplying clean, emissions-free electricity to the UAE national grid in May 2023.
The UAE became a member of the BRICS bloc on 1 January 2024.
The two-gigawatt Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic Project covers 20 sq km of desert outside Abu Dhabi and can power about 200,000 households, and eliminates over 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, according to main contractor China National Machinery Industry Corporation. During construction, almost 4 million bi-facial solar panels were installed at an average rate of 10 megawatts (MW) a day.
The UAE is a world leader in solar energy use, according to the latest data from The Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy, ranking second globally in terms of per capita solar energy consumption. In under a decade, the country has surpassed leading nations by installing solar energy as part of the country’s energy diversification.
In less than fifteen years, the UAE has become a global leader in solar energy. In 2009, Masdar switched on the country’s first solar project – at 10MW – was switched on. Today, Al Dhafra Solar PV represents a plant that is 200 times that size.
As the countdown to COP28 in the UAE began, this mega project initially achieved the world’s lowest tariff at financial close and demonstrates the country’s longstanding commitment to decarbonisation, at home and around the world, said H.H. Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
VIDEO: CGTN, November 29, 2023. https://youtu.be/OvwomniW2QE
- South China Morning Post, 25 Nov, 2023 https://www.scmp.com/…/china-engineers-complete-largest…
- Emirates Water and Electricity Company, 16 November, 2023, https://www.ewec.ae/…/deputy-ruler-abu-dhabi…