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Dubai heads backwards to its clean energy future

(Climate News Network, 3 Dec 2020) A clean energy future is what Dubai says it’s aiming for. So why has it built a huge new coal-burning power station?

Dubai, surrounded by desert but with its skyscrapers, luxury hotels, beach resorts and kilometres of shopping malls, promotes itself as a city with a clean energy future.

Yet when it comes to meeting the challenges posed by climate change, the Gulf state is going smartly backwards.

Within the next few months, what will be the Gulf’s first coal-fired power plant will start operations in the desert south of Dubai city.

The 2,400 MW Hassyan coal plant, when fully operational in 2023, aims to supply up to 20% of Dubai’s electricity, a big step towards a clean energy future.

The state-controlled Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) describes the project as a clean coal facility fitted with the latest technology, including facilities for carbon capture and storage – the aim being to bury harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the plant deep underground.

But a number of questions surround the plant’s operations. Under the Dubai clean energy strategy2050, unveiled five years ago, the emirate aims to turn itself into what it calls a global clean energy centre by mid-century, with Dubai city having the smallest carbon footprint of any urban centre in the world.

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Climate News Network, 3 Dec 2020: Dubai heads backwards to its clean energy future