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Powering the Middle East and Africa towards a carbon-neutral energy future
Set against the backdrop of World Energy Day (WED), now more than ever planet Earth’s 7.6 billion people are counting on responsible actions for sustainable society. Now is the time for policy-makers, industries and consumers to increase global efforts and collaborate more to drive progress.
UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 outlines the importance of achieving reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Hitachi ABB Power Grids is directly contributing to this Goal, by helping to close the gap for the one billion people who do not yet have reliable energy. The global technology leaders’ 36,000 experts are pioneering future power systems, which are flexible, reliable, sustainable and affordable. The business is also investing heavily in creating sustainable partnerships, which support the energy transition and are moving us closer towards a carbon-neutral future.
As highlighted in the recently published World Energy Outlook 2020, the power sector is taking the lead in the energy transition – and where electricity is expected to form the backbone of our carbon neutral future. The flagship Report emphasized that a wide range of strategies and solutions are needed to deliver on the promise of the energy transition.
“Together, with customers and partners, Hitachi ABB Power Grids are delivering flexible, reliable, sustainable and affordable power systems that are helping to bring human-kind closer towards a carbon-neutral energy future,” said Johan Soderstrom, Region Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa within Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “Our team of experts embrace a purposeful and sustainable mindset as part of their everyday work and are proud to be making a big difference for millions around the world,” he added.
The World Energy Outlook 2020 has highlighted the rising role of solar as part of a more sustainable energy future. Hitachi ABB Power Grids is proud to be contributing to many of the world’s major solar projects, which are enabling communities to enjoy a more sustainable future and improved quality of living.
One such project is the connection of world’s largest single-site solar photovoltaic power plant to the Abu Dhabi grid. The ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ project in Sweihan – one of the sunniest and most productive places to generate solar energy on the planet – covers 3.2 million solar panels spread over an area of 7.8-square-kilometers. (This is roughly the size of almost 1100 football pitches). The plant, which has a capacity of 1,177 megawatts (MW) of emission-free electricity, supplies enough power to meet the needs of 90,000 people in Abu Dhabi – around 6% of the population.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ powerful ‘step-up’ transformers and power quality products are playing an instrumental role in enabling Sweihan to realize the benefits of sustainable energy.
“Our world needs more projects like Sweihan,” said Mostafa AlGuezeri, Managing Director of Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ business in the UAE, Gulf and Near East. “This phenomenal project shows how it is possible to harness solar power for improving energy efficiency – and everyday human life. Today, on World Energy Day (WED), it’s important to recognize that we have responsible choices to make relating to energy production and how they connect to the wider impact on our environment,” he added.
Another iconic solar project relates to the delivery of pioneering power systems to South Africa’s historically significant Robben Island.
A living museum and World Heritage Site, the Island faced a big challenge: its only source of electric power was fuel-thirsty, carbon-emitting diesel generators. As a solution, Hitachi ABB Power Grids worked closely with the stakeholders to deliver an innovative microgrid system, which integrates solar energy to power the Island – efficiently and sustainably. The results are impressive. The solutions have contributed to a 75% reduction in around annual fuel consumption (approximately 600,000 liters) and consequently, has significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Robben Island microgrid project is an iconic solar success story of environmental best practice,” saidMalvin Naicker, Country Managing Director for Southern Africa within Hitachi ABB Power Grids.” “We are proud to be contributing systems, which are directly contributing to the sustainable growth of this very special island community, which stands for so much. Through the project we are supporting the Department of Tourism’s efforts to keep the heritage and spirit of this world-renowned island alive,” he added.