A Decade of Renewable Energy: Shams Solar Power Station’s Contributions to Emissions Reduction

The Shams Solar Power Station, located in the Al Dhafra Region of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a series of successes that underscore the UAE’s leadership in renewable and environmentally-friendly energy. Coinciding with the Year of Sustainability and the preparations to host COP28 in November 2023, the station has played a pivotal role in the energy transition process and the shift towards renewable and environmentally-friendly energy.

With a capacity of 100 megawatts (MW), the Shams Solar Power Station is located in an area measuring 2.5 square kilometres and has successfully generated electricity for over 200,000 houses in Abu Dhabi over the past ten years. In doing so, it has offset the production of 1.75 million tonnes of carbon emissions. The station’s success is due to its utilisation of the latest international technologies for producing electricity, which involve concentrated sunlight passing through mirrors into tubes filled with special oil with high thermal conductivity, producing steam that drives a turbine steam boiler for electric power generation.

In a video report titled “Shams .. Tomorrow’s Energy,” Majed Al Awadi, General Manager of the Shams Power Company, emphasised the station’s success in generating over 2,000 gigawatt-hours of clean energy since its launch, helping the UAE achieve its environmental objectives and diversify its sources of energy. He added that the station’s staff had completed over 2.7 million working hours without serious injuries over the past decade. The power station has also created job opportunities for young citizens and helped develop their skills and capacities in clean energy.

The Shams Solar Power Station houses the “Al Dhafra Innovation Centre,” inaugurated last year by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region, the first interactive centre in the region showcasing the work of the Shams Power Company and the UAE’s stature in the clean and renewable energy sector. The centre aims to motivate and inspire the youth to become leaders who can establish a more sustainable future.

Ali Al Masabai, Manager of the Shams Solar Power Station, said that the station uses the latest solar power technologies, including over 258,000 mirrors installed on 768 complexes of parabolic reflectors that extend over the area of the solar field, accounting for 95 percent of the station’s total area. The establishment of the power station continues the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in protecting the environment and underscores the significant efforts of the UAE’s leadership, which prioritises the development of the clean and renewable energy sector.

Over the past decade, the Shams Solar Power Station has offset the release of more than 1.75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting 15 million trees or removing 150,000 vehicles from the streets of Abu Dhabi. Sustainability has become an integral part of people’s daily lives, highlighting the efforts to promote the principles of sustainability among the company’s employees, partners, and the centre’s visitors.

The Shams Solar Power Station is the cornerstone of the UAE’s transition into clean energy. Its successes in the past decade, along with its utilisation of the latest international technologies and partnerships, underscore the country’s leadership in the renewable and environmentally-friendly energy sector. The station’s establishment continues the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose vision of protecting the environment remains an integral part of the UAE’s identity.

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