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Mon 13 Sep 2010 10:28 AM

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RAK plans floating solar island project

Prototype currently being tested that could pave the way for full blown solar islands project - paper.

RAK plans floating solar island project
SOLAR PLAN: A prototype of the floating solar island is currently being tested with results due in two years time. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Ras Al Khaimah is developing a series of floating solar islands off its coast in a bid to solve its power issues, it was reported on Monday.

According to a report in the National, a prototype is currently being tested with results due in two years time that could lead the way to a full blown solar project.

The solar islands may range in size from 500m to 5km in diameter and hover up to 20m off the ground, the report stated. Small prototypes are being tested in the desert, which can produce up to 1 megawatt (MW) of power – enough to cool or heat a small shopping mall, according to the report.

“The basic technology is known and it works,” Dr Hamid Kayal, chief executive of CSEM-UAE, the company behind the project, told the paper. “The problem is not in the technology, the problem is using it in a reliable and an effective way.

“The prototype is not to show we can produce electricity; it is to show how economically we can produce it, at what size, and where.”

The RAK government is providing funding for the project on a six-month basis, the report said.

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ametis 9 years ago

Wonderful concept, some technical deatils to sort out, but weldone..

john 9 years ago

Finally someone in the country with all year round sunshine is making use of it! I cant understand why the rich capital has not already done this. If you go to Bavaria almost all of the huge farms have full roof size solar panels on them already, and its cloudy a lot of the time there! Im confused why they need to put it in the sea though, surely there is enough unused desert out there, why fight the effects of salt water and possible freak waves? Not to mention the effect on sea life while constructing them. I can only think its to reduce the amount of dust/sand getting on them, but labour is cheap so why not create some cleaning jobs!?

Sabu Simon 9 years ago

John - There are already various projects in UAE that are making use of renewable energy resources and one of the biggest among them is done by Masdar in Abu Dhabi where a whole city is built and when completed will run only using renewable and clean energy, you can find more details on www.masdar.ae One of the main reasons why IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) has its interim headquarters in Abu Dhabi is because the government was able to convince IRENA of its plan to reduce dependency of fossil fuels and to go green in the future. I am sure that people who are working in the industry will be able to mention many other projects that are happening all over UAE.