Deserts, pristine beaches and endless amounts of oil and gas are not the only things Abu Dhabi is known for. It is known for its excruciating temperatures and sunshine. When you have so much sunshine, why not use it as a source of renewable energy? The Shams Power Company is doing just that, as it has now begun operating the world’s largest concentrated solar power station of 100 MW in Abu Dhabi, called Shams 1.
Shams 1 solar power station has 258,048 parabolic mirrors that absorb sunlight. At the center of these parabolic mirrors is tubing through which oil flows. The mirrors concentrate sunlight towards this tubing so as to heat up the oil, which then goes up to a heat exchanger. This heat exchanges makes steam which power turbines that produce electricity.
It is a good step from an oil and gas rich emirate like Abu Dhabi to invest heavily in renewable energy. Fossil fuels are a major contributor towards global warming and it is high time that the world comes to terms with the fact that renewable energy projects should no longer remain in research papers and presentations.