Siemens to work with DEWA on Dubai’s first solar hydrogen electrolysis plant

A portion of the 1 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – currently taking shape in the desert plains outside of Dubai – will be used to power a hydrogen electrolysis facility.

This pilot scheme will be the result of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Siemens and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), which will host an outdoor testing area at the solar plant.

The actual size of the solar-hydrogen electrolysis plant is described as merely “MW-scale” in a DEWA press release, but should the facility prove its worth, then it could certainly be scaled to meet the energy needs of the Emirate.

The stored hydrogen created by the electrolysis process can be utilized in a number of applications, including re-electrification, transportation and even re-introduction into the gas network.

According to DEWA, the hydrogen produced at the pilot plant will be used to power fuel-cell vehicles in the Emirate.

“This is truly a landmark project for Dubai and the world, and a great step forward in building a secure supply of sustainable energy for the region’s economic development,” said Siemens president and CEO Joe Kaeser.

“Green hydrogen can be a fuel of the future. It will accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in the Middle East through sector coupling, offering new use cases, such as e-mobility and other environmentally-friendly industries.”

The MoU was signed at the Expo 2020 Dubai, taking place this week. Visitors to the expo can take a trip in vehicles powered by green hydrogen.

DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer announced at the event that the utility will invest 81 billion dirhams ($22 billion) in energy projects in Dubai over the next five years – the bulk of which will be invested into renewables.

“Our strategy is to be 75% renewable by 2050,” said Al Tayer. “By 2020 we will exceed our target of 7%; I think we will achieve around 8-9%.”