World’s Largest Concentrated Solar Plant planned near Abu Dhabi
The United Arab Emirates includes miles of very hot, very sunny desert so it would seem an obvious place for a solar energy plant. The UAE agrees, and plans to build the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant about 75 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi.
The concentrated solar power systems planned combine both solar energy and natural gas or oil to heat water for steam to power turbines. The turbines will generate the electricity for storage or distribution. The proposed power plant, named Shams 1, is expected to be able to generate about 100MW of electricity. Although oil is being used in the power plant, Shams 1 will still represent a reduction of 170,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
The rapidly growing cities in the UAE have increasingly higher energy demands, especially during the day when city residents run energy-gorging air conditioners. However, as the eighth largest oil producing nation in the world, the UAE would not seem to need to worry much about alternative energy. Even so, Abu Dhabi has set itself the goal of meeting 7 percent of its electricity needs with renewable energy sources by 2020.