Dubai to establish Gulf’s first solar-driven hydrogen facility

Hydrogen from the facility will be used to power cars at the Expo 2020 site

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with German multinational Siemens to pilot the Gulf’s first solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facility.

The agreement, confirmed on Monday, will see the facility established at DEWA’s outdoor testing area at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

Both sides will seek to test and showcase an integrated MW-scale plant to produce hydrogen using renewable energy from solar photovoltaic panels, with the ability to store gas and then use it for re-electrification, transportation or other industry.

DEWA and Expo 2020 Dubai intend to use the hydrogen to power fuel-cell vehicles. Key facilities of the project will be open to visitors of the world expo and live data will be displayed.

“This is truly a landmark project for Dubai and the world, and a great step forward in building a secure supply of sustainable energy for the region’s economic development,” said Siemens president and CEO Joe Kaeser.

“Green hydrogen can be a fuel of the future. It will accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in the Middle East through sector coupling, offering new use cases, such as e-Mobility and other environmentally-friendly industries.”

DEWA has allocated Dhs4.26bn to provide infrastructure for Expo 2020 Dubai including three 132/11 kilovolt (kV) substations with 45 kilometres of high-voltage (132kV) cables

All of the energy used for the event is intended to come from renewable and clean sources.

Last year, DEWA/Masdar joint venture Shuaa Energy 2 began work on the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, worth an estimated $968m.

Read: UAE approved world’s two largest solar projects in 2017

Dubai aims to increase the share of its power from renewable sources to 75 per cent by 2050.