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03 March 2024

DEWA among leading national entities in supporting sustainable investments

By E247

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is one of the leading national entities that attract both public and private sector investors. These investments support the implementation of global clean and renewable energy projects, anticipating the scope of environmentally friendly financing solutions, and developing climate finance methods to find innovative practices to combat the effects of climate change. Through its Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects, DEWA aims to foster communication and collaboration with partners who share the same insights, ideas, and directives. This supports sustainable investments and lays the foundation of a new financing model that meets both climate and development needs. DEWA has developed a pioneering model of partnership between public and private sectors to attract investments in energy and water in Dubai, as well as transfer knowledge and modern technologies to diversify energy sources according to best international practices.

Sustainable financing is a distinguished landmark in the UAE’s record for consolidating environmentally friendly solutions. Green finance is one of the pillars of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which the UAE hosted at Expo City Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023.

“We aim to achieve the wise directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. DEWA supports the comprehensive development path and strengthens constructive public-private partnerships. We seek to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in developing climate finance mechanisms and consolidate Dubai’s position as a global capital for a green economy. Since 2014, DEWA has pioneered the IPP project management and implementation model. Leveraging partnerships with the private sector has proven highly beneficial for DEWA and so far has attracted investment valued at over AED 43 billion. This has also attracted foreign investments and international investors, and enhanced the sustainable development of the energy sector, which enhanced DEWA’s capabilities to provide sustainable energy and water to Dubai,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“Achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, and Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100% of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050 requires an approximate capacity of 42,000MW of clean and renewable energy by 2050. DEWA is committed to effectively implementing good governance to ensure transparency, accountability, and the rule of law to enhance investor confidence and develop an attractive regulatory, supervisory, and legislative environment. The Independent Power and Water Producer (IPWP) model aligns with the requirements of Dubai and its legislative and technical environment to create integrated solutions for energy and water technologies. The IPWP model aims to enable profitable partnerships. DEWA ensures necessary support to its private sector partners to streamline procedures and accelerate the implementation of energy and water projects in Dubai in line with the Emirate’s strategies,” added Al Tayer.

“DEWA represents the effort needed by corporations to mobilise further investment for the green energy transition. Its positioning naturally drives collaboration between public and private sector stakeholders. These interactions are critical for bringing momentum to the UAE Green Agenda and international climate goals,” said David Hay, President, Brand Finance
The capacity of DEWA’s current projects with the private sector using the IPP model exceeds 4,000 megawatts (MW). Through this model, DEWA was able to save an additional investment of approximately AED 26 billion, which allows DEWA to invest in other infrastructure projects. Through this model, DEWA has achieved world-class results and developed a new benchmark for solar energy prices for every kilowatt hour, thus making Dubai a global benchmark for solar energy prices.

The funding pillar within the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 focuses on finding financing solutions for investment in research and development related to clean energy and its applications. This pillar includes the Dubai Green Fund (DGF). DGF is a member of the Global Impact Investing Network, a leading non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investing is a relatively new term, used to describe investment funds and global companies that invest across many asset classes, sectors, and regions, and focus on improving society or the environment while generating financial returns. This method has exponentially moved towards investing in companies that create a positive social or climate impact on the world. Most of these mutual funds are traded as private equity firms (open only to institutional or accredited investors) or corporations and are willing to deal with less liquidity and returns in exchange for making a more significant difference.

DEWA’s key investment projects using the IPP model include:

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world, using the IPP model, and will have a production capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030, using photovoltaic panels and concentrated solar power (CSP), with total investments of 50 AED billion. When completed, the solar park will reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The commissioned solar energy projects within the park currently total 2,627MW. The projects at the solar park are of great interest to international developers and reaffirm investor confidence in the major projects supported by the Government of Dubai. DEWA has attracted considerable investments to the UAE from the private sector and foreign banks, leading to increased cash flow to the economy of Dubai and the UAE.

The Hassyan Power Complex
The current production capacity of the Hassyan Power Complex, which runs on natural gas, has reached 1,800MW, using the IPP model. A further 600MW will be added the following year. This will raise the capacity of the Complex to 2,400MW.

Hassyan water desalination plant
The Hassyan Desalination Plant project is the largest of its kind in the world for water production based on Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) technology using solar energy. It is DEWA’s first Independent Water Producer (IWP) model project. The 180 million Imperial Gallon per Day (MIGD) Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Hassyan Phase 1 Independent Water Producer (IWP) project has an investment of AED 3.357 billion (USD 914 million). DEWA has achieved a world record by receiving the lowest bid of 0.36536 USD/m³ of desalinated water.

Global events
In addition to implementing major projects with the private sector, DEWA organises global events that bring together prominent decision-makers, officials, and investors from around the world, to explore investment and business opportunities in the UAE and worldwide.

The World Green Economy Summit
Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, DEWA, and the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), organised the 9th World Green Economy Summit (WGES). The summit brought together intellectuals, government organisations, major corporations, leaders of sustainability funding, and international experts in vital sectors worldwide. This is to exchange best practices and explore the green economy theoretically and practically. WGES focused on the UAE’s priority areas for COP28, including mitigation, adaptation, finance, and loss and damage; through its five main topics: Green Policy, Green Finance, Green Technology and Innovation, Green Energy, and Green Partnerships

WETEX and Dubai Solar Show
DEWA organised the 25th Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and Dubai Solar Show (DSS). The event brought together thousands of exhibitors, officials, decision-makers, and investors in various vital sectors. It is the largest exhibition in the region in energy, water, green development, sustainability, electric vehicles, and smart cities, and one of the largest specialised exhibitions in the world. This makes it an ideal platform for companies, investors, and visitors to learn about innovations and solutions in these sectors, exchange experiences, conclude deals and build partnerships, and explore investment opportunities in local and regional markets.