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Experts are forecasting a big expansion in clean electricity generation. One source that’s poised for growth is wind power. The wind energy industry is expected to grow as the demand for renewable energy increases. If wind energy continues to grow as quickly as it is now, industry experts predict that by 2050, wind power could be the answer to at least one-third of the world’s electricity.
The UAE launched its first wind program on Thursday. Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, said the UAE plans to add between 500 and 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity in the second phase of its wind energy project.
The project will be “commercially driven” and will be funded and operated by private companies.
Masdar will own a majority stake in the entity, ranging from 51% to 60%, and the remaining interest will be held by international consortiums made up of developers, operators, and investors, said Mohammad El Ramahi, chief green hydrogen officer at Masdar.
“The winning consortium with the lowest levelized cost of electricity will enter into a special purpose vehicle (SPV), with the shareholding represented by the economic interests of the respective shareholders,” El Ramahi addded.
Abu Dhabi will use the independent power producer (IPP) model for its second phase of wind energy development. Private companies will build and operate the wind farms, and Abu Dhabi will purchase the electricity generated through long-term contracts.
Masdar developed a 103.5-megawatt wind project across four locations, including a 45-megawatt wind farm on Sir Bani Yas Island.
“Wind profile works longer durations of the day. This will help us mitigate the peak hours and improve our renewable and clean energy availability throughout the day,” El Ramahi said.
The UAE, host of COP28, approved a new energy and hydrogen strategy in July. It plans to invest $54 billion by 2030 to meet energy demand and sustain economic growth.
Abu Dhabi expects to revise its energy mix strategy based on the outcome of the wind program. “I’m sure the concerned stakeholders in other emirates and at the federal level would do the same,” he said. Masdar will also seek to bring wind equipment manufacturing to the UAE.