Outlook Bright For Solar-Powered Desalination
UAE utility Utico Middle East's proposed solar-powered desalination plant would be the latest addition to a growing number of projects that are utilising renewables to power the energy intensive desalination process in the GCC region. We have highlighted for some time that this type of project has the potential to offer economic and environmental benefits, given that oil could be conserved for export purposes instead of being used as feedstock to power desalination, and that the region has abundant solar power potential.
UAE-based utility, Utico Middle East, which specialises in the water, wastewater, power and steam sectors, is reportedly planning on building a 20MW solar power facility in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, with the power generated from the plant used to fuel a seawater, reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant. The tender for the construction of the project is expected to be launched by the company in December 2013. This is not the first project of its kind, and we have been following the solar-powered desalination industry over the past year as the technology gains traction amongst members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Masdar recently launched a pilot project in the UAE and other plans have been mooted in Saudi Arabia and Qatar (see, 'Sun Shines On Desalination', January 21).
Light Shining On Desalination
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|UAE Solar Capacity and Generation, 2013-2022|