The company will boost will boost its electricity production capacity within the United Arab Emirates to 30 gigawatts by 2030 from 18 GW now and increase production capacity outside the UAE by 15 GW.
Company plans call for two thirds of desalination projects to be based on reverse osmosis, technology used for treating sewage.
“TAQA has the support of our shareholders for this new strategy and is on its way to become the recognised low carbon power and water champion from Abu Dhabi…,” Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, Chairman of TAQA, said in a statement.
According to the company’s website, TAQA provides 95 % of the UAE’s needs in electricity. Data from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy shows 97 % of energy was produced on the basis of gas, with renewable sources accounting for 3 %.
This is underscored by the availability of natural gas (2019 production – 62.5 billion cu.m.) with the UAE occupying fourth place in production behind third Gulf countries, Iran (244.2 billion cu.m.), Qatar (178.1 billion cu.m.) and Saudi Arabia (113.6 billion cu.m.).
But climatic conditions can only be a great help in developing solar energy – not only in the UAE but throughout the Middle East: it is no coincidence that in the International Energy Agency’s latest World Energy Outlook in October 2020, the solar energy capacity of Middle Eastern Countries is set to expand to 18 GW by 2025 (from 4 GW in 2019) and to 37 GW by 2030.
Given TAQA’s plans, the real volume of solar energy generation capacity in the Middle East by the end of the decade could be even higher.
According to current data from the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), seven projects are now under construction with a total capacity of 2.7 GW – two in Bahrain (Askar, Tatwee Solar PV), one each in Egypt (Kom Ombo), Jordan (Husainiyah Solar Park) and Oman (Ibri II) and two others in the UAE (MBR Solar Park Phase 4 and Phase 5).
In addition, MESIA notes more than 40 planned projects in 11 countries in the region, including three in the UAE (Al Dharfa, Umm Al Quwain Solar Park, Abu Dhabi), with a total capacity of 4.5 GW.