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Tue 19 Jul 2016 01:58 PM

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Dubai to study potential uses of geothermal energy

Thermal energy from earth and ocean could be used to desalinate water

Dubai to study potential uses of geothermal energy
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

Dubai aims to start producing electricity from geothermal energy – its latest move in a strategy to generate at least 25 percent of power from renewable sources by 2030.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is requesting proposals for an early-stage feasibility study on geothermal energy and its use in domestic power generation, especially for water desalination, The National reported on Monday.

The DEWA study is also expected to assess the potential for tidal and ocean currents in the Arabian Gulf to be used as a source for power generation.

A spokesman for DEWA declined to provide further information when contacted by Arabian Business.

Geothermal energy is the thermal energy generated and stored in the earth, and it is known as a clean and sustainable form of energy.

It can be harnessed either from shallow ground and hot water, for example hot springs, or from rock deep underground.

The Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi has reportedly been studying the potential for using geothermal energy in the UAE.

Its vice-president for research Steve Griffiths told The National that this kind of energy was the most viable option for desalination. He also noted that geothermal energy can be sourced using the same drilling technologies used in the UAE’s hydrocarbons industry.

“It could be viable – the details will need to be worked out, but if there’s a tender for geothermal-based desalination, it’s not insane,” he said.

“It could be running as a standalone water desalination application, which could be cost-competitive [when compared with conventional approaches] such as reverse osmosis.”

Interested parties have reportedly been asked to submit proposals to Dewa by the end of the month.

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