Clean energy is the buzzword today given the rise of global warming, climate change, rising sea levels and increasing frequency of water-related episodes. In this context, experts say, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India can form a powerful collaboration to usher in a sustainable future.
Concurring with this observation, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) MD & CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer says both the UAE and India are driven by a common goal of meeting their energy needs from clean energy sources.
“We have a long-standing history of friendly ties with India. We have common interests in several areas. Clean energy and a sustainable future is one such. I am sure, together we can create a better future for our people,” Al Tayer opined.
Interestingly, Dubai is chasing the target of 75% clean energy from renewable sources to position itself as the lowest carbon footprint city in the world by 2050 while 450GW renewable energy installed capacity by 2030 is fuelling India’s ambitions.
Mohammed Fayaz, CEO & and Director of Moopens Energy Solutions Pvt Ltd, a major player in the solar and EPC landscape of India says both the UAE and India can create a win-win situation in clean energy through meaningful collaboration.
“Dubai has set huge targets for renewable energy in the coming years. It will need a huge talent pool and knowledge-transfer. India has a massive workforce of skilled and trained manpower in design, consultancy, operation and maintenance (O&M) of renewable projects,” said Fayaz.
A mechanical engineer who has earned his MBA from Oxford University, UK, Fayaz confirms that many Indian players in the renewable energy sector have their subsidiaries in Dubai. “This is because the absorptive capacity of new knowledge in Indian industries is very high,” he added.
Indian companies operating in the renewable energy space, according to Fayaz, are trained to achieve high productivity with limited resources, which is something Dubai can cash on by outsourcing some of the key functions to India.
“For instance, design of power plants, remote monitoring of the data from solar power plants, research and development, consultancy and production of systems can be done from India,” he pointed out, adding: “This can be done with excellent results.”
This proposition, Fayaz explains, would cut down the production cost drastically since only teams manning project execution, administration, testing (both software and hardware) and online after-sale departments need to be stationed in Dubai.
The de-regulation of the energy sector is prompting many companies to make huge investments in Dubai’s energy sector. This, Fayaz believes will open up more opportunities for Indian renewable energy players especially to those specializing in innovative technologies.
“If you see, one challenge by the solar projects in Dubai is the harsh environment. High temperature, strong dust and dust storms affect the performance and decrease the life of solar power plants,” Fayaz said.
According to him, Dubai is trying to overcome this challenge by resorting to robotic cleaning and anti-soiling nano-technology. “But the costs are prohibitive,” he added. In other words, this is throwing up new opportunities for Indian startups known for their innovative skills.
As a global business hub Dubai is attracting talent and companies from India and India too needs Dubai to fuel its FDI capacity. India too needs Dubai to fuel its FDI capacity. Interestingly, UAE has emerged as the 10th largest investor in India FDI under the India-UAE Infrastructure Fund set up in 2015 with major investments in the energy sector.
Despite India’s ambitious renewable energy targets, experts say that the country’s import-dependence of oil and gas is likely to go up to 90% and 27% respectively compared to the corresponding figures of 76% and 12% in 2012.
This makes a perfect reason for the UAE and India to deepen their collaboration because renewable energy development is one sector that provides extraordinary synergy between the two countries and the partnership meshes well with other plans that animate both the sides.