By : Mohamed El Kholy
The Research and Development (R&D) Centre of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, organised a two-day virtual workshop titled ‘Solar Resource Assessment and Solar Power Forecasting.’ This is part of a series of workshops organised by the R&D Centre within the Al Baheth programme, aiming to develop Emirati capabilities and engage employees and academic institutions in research and development efforts. Many DEWA employees and UAE university students took part in the workshop.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said that the R&D Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, has consolidated its position as a pioneering centre for solar technologies.
It contributes to developing the clean and renewable energy sector worldwide by enriching the scientific community with specialised research, spreading knowledge, and developing researchers’ capabilities. This enhances Dubai’s position as a global hub for research and development in solar power, smart grids, energy and water efficiency, and capacity building in these areas.
Al Tayer said that the R&D Centre attracts researchers and academia from different nationalities. This contributes to exchanging the best local and global practices to enhance partnerships between the government and academic sectors. This makes Dubai an R&D global and top destination for scientists and researchers in clean and renewable energy. The R&D Centre has 41 researchers, including 24 PhD and master degree holders. Since its launch, the R&D Centre has published 55 research papers in scientific and international conferences, magazines, and journals. The Centre has funded 17 research projects by local universities.
Waleed bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, said that the R&D Centre is the only research centre in the UAE that focuses on renewable energy, smart grid technologies, and energy efficiency. He emphasised that students are keen to engage in the Centre’s activities and programmes to get practical training and learn from its high-profile researchers. He noted that the Al Baheth programme had hosted 77 students for internships to develop their knowledge, experience and prepare them for the job market. This enhances the Centre’s role in advancing research in energy and water to prepare for future challenges.
The workshop, which was managed by Dr. Luis Martin Pomares, Programme Manager of Solar Resources and Forecasting at DEWA R&D, and Haya Alshanqiti, Researcher at DEWA R&D, featured lectures and discussion panels. These included introduction to solar energy resources; measuring solar radiation and quality assessment; modelling solar radiation; solar irradiance forecasting and the main factors influencing an accurate PV yield forecast. The hands-on experience included accessing solar radiation databases; processing solar radiation data and PV simulation.
The Al Baheth programme aims to strengthen and develop national talent by encouraging Emiratis to engage in research, competitions, training, and activities organised by the Centre in collaboration with prominent international companies, global researchers and academics. This is in addition to giving them the opportunity to participate in developing the Centre’s projects. The Al Baheth programme consists of four categories: Internships, Capstone projects, visiting researchers, seminars and workshops for DEWA’s staff, engineers, academics and other stakeholders.