UAE Press: Solar power has a bright future

Abu Dhabi [UAE], June 20 (ANI/WAM): A local English-language publisher has commended the inauguration of the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai – the world’s largest single-site solar facility.

“It is not just that it is another important moment in the UAE’s energy transition or that it demonstrates a tangible investment commitment to meeting ambitious green targets. Its significance lies in revitalising the idea that we can actually harness, retain and use the almost unimaginable amount of energy emitted by our Sun,” The National said in an editorial on Tuesday.
The dream of solar power is not new. In 1839, a young French scientist called Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect when he covered a platinum electrode in silver – this then produced an electric current when exposed to light. The first patents for a solar-powered engine were registered by another Frenchman, mathematician Augustin Mouchot, in the 1860s.

However, the means to realise this dream have lagged behind humanity’s ambition to avail of an energy source that is all around us. Until recently, the technology was not available to realistically capture, store and transmit enough solar-generated power to run infrastructure, businesses and homes.

In Dubai, however, technical innovations have led to the creation of an advanced solar park that uses millions of photovoltaic solar panels that rotate to track the Sun and generate power from ground-reflected light and are cleaned of sand daily by robots.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and reducing 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually when it is fully completed in 2030 are also fuelling green targets that few other nations have set. These include generating 25 percent of Dubai’s energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. Every such advance in technical know-how that the UAE makes in this field can inspire other countries and regions to make their own efforts more efficient.

The daily continued, “It is undeniable that tangible progress is being made. Systems such as thermal energy storage, for example, are coming into their own as a reliable and efficient way to retain solar power. However, these technological strides are not just confined to Earth. Last week it was reported that scientists from the California Institute of Technology beamed solar power back from space using technology placed in high orbit in January.

The promise of solar power is immense, and humanity is moving closer to understanding and tapping into this limitless reservoir of cosmic energy. However, that does not mean a ‘eureka’ moment will reverse the decades of environmental damage that is now threatening communities and ecosystems worldwide.

“Solar will play a critical role in the green energy revolution, but it will do so hand in hand with other forms of power, such as hydrogen, wind and hydroelectricity. It will also co-exist with fossil fuels in the medium-term as the transition takes place. But it is clear that the future of solar power is bright,” concluded the Abu Dhabi-based daily.