The UAE continues to set the pace for Middle East renewable energy developments. UAE Minister of Environment and Water Rashid Ahmad bin Fahd issued a statement on 14 April, ahead of the Dubai Global Energy Forum 2013, saying that following the start-up of the 100mw capacity Shams 1 solar plant in Abu Dhabi (MEES, 22 March), the UAE was “bracing for launching the first phase of the Muhammad bin Rashid Solar Power Park as part of Dubai’s integrated energy strategy.”

Sa’id Muhammad al-Tayir, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), told the forum that the solar park was the most important renewable energy initiative in support of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which focuses on energy security and sustainability. “We are working within a framework for energy demand management initiatives to decrease demand by 30% by 2030,” said Mr Tayir, “to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment, to offset the environmental challenges created by climate change.” DEWA estimated Dubai’s peak power load at 6.637gw in 2012 and expects demand to rise more than 50% by the end of 2020 (MEES, 12 April). (CONTINUED - 590 WORDS)