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Sun 18 Feb 2007 04:19 PM

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Abu Dhabi to build $350m solar power plant

The solar power plant will be the first of its kind in the world's biggest oil exporting region.

The government of Abu Dhabi will build a $350-million solar power plant, the first of its kind in the world's biggest oil exporting region, an investor in the project said on Sunday.

The 500 megawatt plant, expected to begin operations in 2009, is part of Abu Dhabi's drive to cut dependence on hydrocarbon power generation, said Sultan al-Jaber, chief executive of state-owned Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co.

Future Energy, a subsidiary of government-owned Mubadala Development Co, and the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority will fund the plant with other investors.

Abu Dhabi holds more than 90% of the oil reserves of the United Arab Emirates, the seven-member federation.

The emirate eventually hopes to provide solar power to 10,000 homes and is setting up a special economic zone for the alternative energy industry, Jaber said.

"We ... do not want to be 100 per cent dependent on (hydrocarbon power), Jaber said.

"We have an economic development programme dedicated to establishing an entirely new economic sector focused on alternative energy and sustainable technologies," he said.

The plant will be the first of its kind in the Gulf, home to oil and gas producers who supply a fifth of the world's energy needs, he said.

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Ametis 13 years ago

It is refreshing and wonderful to see the intiative being Taken by sheikh Sultan in this arena, along withdevelopments at Emirates Technical Innovation centre both organisations are shining the shining beacon for the future of the region...

jaafar hamza 13 years ago

Based in facts and figures which that middle east and specially the gulf region have the huge amount of power for Oil and Gas. It's not the right step to keep our dependency in that kind of power while it's have the limited time to consume for us or for the next generation. So, I believe the UAE is the ideal symbol for combination of Passion of looking to the future and taking the logical step for better future for the all generation. We hope that other governments in the Gulf take the logical steps and looking for alternative power sources too.

Stanley A. Clemenz 13 years ago

I am a retired Engineer and have always been interested in Solar Energy, as a hobby. I will be following your project with interest as to the method of distribution and storage of the product. Any Public Relation Material of a technical nature you have would be of interest to me. I understand that the efficiency of Solar Cells has be improved. Thanks for your time.

MOhan T.A., Manager, Industrial Project Development, Sojitz Corp. 13 years ago

Finding new source energy is always, helping the economy and the country to be non dependant on oil & gas. It is good that Abu Dhabi has taken the lead in this SOLAR POWER PLANT, and I am pretty sure, Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries will follow the same.

Dr.Shankar Vodela 13 years ago

It is the greatest bold step taken by Abu Dhabi to invest in Solar Power. It is the most wanted alternate energy source in this country..Shortly all the Gulf countries should follow.. We have such large areas of Desert where taking Government produced electricity icosts a lot..Solar powere genration removes all these hurdles..

Dr.Shankar Vodela 13 years ago

Though I am doctor by profession my passion is for alternate energy since years, I had a misconception that Arabs are rich in oil and they wound not allow solar power system to become popular..It is fantastic development..I have lots of ideas in this alternative energy system.. If anyone wants to share my ideas can contact me...

Sandhya Prakash 13 years ago

It is the way to go. Reserves are limited . Wants unlimited. Time to tango with nature . Fully support Shk. Sultan Al-Jaber & for Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. on this first step.

Liz Cabel-Wagner 13 years ago

Dear Sirs,  Could you please give me the lead to contact Future Energy.  I highly appreciate your attention to my request.  Thank you in anticipation.  Yours truly,  Ms Cabel-Wagner 050 268 2384

Jeejo Puthoor 13 years ago

With nearly 350+ days of sunshine, the region is most suited for harnessing solar energy. Kudos to Future Energy to have taken this very important step in pushing for renewable and non-polluting energy sources. Though a major oil producer, this Solar Power Plant shows the UAE government's commitment to reduce dependence on oil. And now Architects & property developers should take the next step in designing energy efficient and partially self sustaining buildings

Poosarla S Ganesh 13 years ago

It is great to hear to build solar energy plant from a oil rich emirate. Though they do not need to think about alternative energy,They are in search of research & Development. Like oil the solar power is equally valuable, the difference is oil from our own planet earth and solar power from Sun. Solar irradiation on earth provides nearly 21900 Billion Kwh of energy per year which is equal to 2500 times more than the energy consumed by the world population.