Abu Dhabi announces world’s lowest tariff for solar power

Abu Dhabi announces world’s lowest tariff for solar power
The Al Dhafra Solar PV project, it will have the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the solar plant, including installation of solar PV modules, inverters, connection to the transmission network and associated facilities. (File/AFP)
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Updated 29 April 2020

Abu Dhabi announces world’s lowest tariff for solar power

Abu Dhabi announces world’s lowest tariff for solar power
  • The tariff set 44 percent lower than tariff set three years ago on the ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ project

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower) announced on Tuesday the world’s lowest tariff for solar power, state news agency WAM reported. 
ADPower has submitted a commercial bid for the 2 GW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer (IPP) project to be located in Abu Dhabi. 
The tariff set at $1.35/kWh on a Levelized Electricity Cost (LEC) basis, which is approximately 44 percent lower than tariff set three years ago on the ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ project – Abu Dhabi’s first large-scale solar PV project and a world record tariff-setter at the time.
“The cost-competitiveness of the bids received is truly remarkable – positioning Abu Dhabi as one of the world’s most attractive markets for solar energy development and reinforcing the economic benefits now achievable through renewable technologies,” Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said.
The Solar PV project will have the capacity to power approximately 160,000 households across the UAE with electricity. 
It is expected to double in size of the approximately 1.2 GW Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant – amongst the largest operational solar PV plants in the world – which commenced commercial operations in April 2019.
The project aims to reduce the Emirate’s CO2 emissions by more than 3.6 million metric tons per year – equal to removing around 720,000 cars from the road – improving efficiency and driving sustainability, while catering for the growth in demand across the UAE.
“Abu Dhabi has illustrated a remarkable step-change in the way the Emirate generates power through an enhanced focus on sustainability and renewable technologies,” Jasim Husain Thabet, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of ADPower, said. 
“The water and electricity sector intends to play a critical role in meeting the target of having 50 percent of Abu Dhabi’s energy needs served from renewable and clean energy sources by 2030, as well as the reduction of the generation system’s average carbon intensity by more than 70 percent compared to 2015”, he added. 
Known as the Al Dhafra Solar PV project, it will have the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the solar plant, including installation of solar PV modules, inverters, connection to the transmission network and associated facilities.


German startup to help Saudi hotels utilize empty spaces

German start-up NeuSpace, established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates, is now working in Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
German start-up NeuSpace, established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates, is now working in Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 21 January 2021

German startup to help Saudi hotels utilize empty spaces

German start-up NeuSpace, established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates, is now working in Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • COVID-19 pandemic has brought slump in average hotel occupancy rates in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A German start-up established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates is now working in Saudi Arabia.

NeuSpace aims to assist operators in coming up with new ways to generate revenue from their empty spaces.

Anne Schaeflein, a co-founder of the Dusseldorf-based company, told Arab News: “For hotel properties still in the completion phase, we feel it is best to evaluate the perspective, and to diversify pre-opening.

“To be empathic to the existing (or planned) infrastructure and environment of the location, we run a feasibility study and look at how the space could be best used from an ROI (return on investment) as well as community perspective. Turning function spaces into day nurseries, delis, and bakeries,” she said.

Anne Schaeflein, Collaborative Founder NeuSpace. (Supplied)

According to the company’s website, it aims to address the needs of hotel investors, operators, and the wider community surrounding the property.

“We deliver quick solutions to retain some of the hospitality jobs, and add others, and offer attractive living space for communities, all within one to four months, depending on the individual projects,” the company said.

A report in November by global hotel data analysis company, STR, found that the average occupancy rate in Saudi Arabia was 34.7 percent, down 38.7 percent on the previous year. As a result, the average revenue per available room fell 35.5 percent year-on-year to SR172.70 ($46.05).

Looking to the future, real estate consultancy firm, Colliers International, has forecast that average occupancy rates in Riyadh and Alkhobar will be 55 percent, 51 percent in Jeddah and Madinah, and 37 percent in Makkah.

On innovative solutions, Schaeflein said the startup’s concept was formed around the key pillars of value preservation, creating new housing space, and innovative housing concepts.

She pointed out that the company looked at how areas such as roof gardens or social spaces could be used by the wider community, or how pools and spas not being used by guests could be utilized by local residents.

NeuSpace also studies how back-office services and facilities could be offered to residents to better utilize staffing levels. This could include offering dog-minding services, turning rooms into office or retail areas, or renting out restaurant and entertainment spaces when footfall was low.