UAE Open to the Idea of Water Desalination by Solar Energy


The countries of the Gulf Operation Council may start using solar energy for the desalination of water. The plants used until now, required a lot of energy and they weren’t very efficient. The old systems will last for only about 30 years, so the people of this region have to think about an efficient replacement.

Water Desalination(photo credit:

A step into the future

According to the officials, the money saved by these countries while using solar energy should be invested in switching from the old desalinization equipments to solar powered ones. At the moment in the United Arab Emirates desalination works by thermal and reverse osmosis. These require a lot of energy produced with the help of oil.

The oil used is not exactly the most sustainable energy source and so the Gulf nations may consider that they will encounter a problem pretty soon if they don’t make the transition. In case the plants will start to use sunlight, the solar power will be used to drive the pumps. During this solar powered process, the marine water will have to go through membranes that will remove the salt from it.

Huge impact on the financial scale

According to the official information, the methods used today are very expensive and they aren’t as efficient as they should be. Although the current plants are less expensive to build, the cost of water production is very high.

The plants in the UAE are the third behind the ones from the U. S. and Saudi Arabia. If the country wants to maintain its position, a transition towards the new technology becomes mandatory. People say that even Qatar is making efforts to use solar power and the UAE should do the same.

Desalinization plants and perspective

In the last 5 years the number of new plants used in Abu Dhabi has increased. Although we are referring to 22 new plants, you should know that these are only small-scale ones.

The country has expressed the intention to build 8 other, larger plants that would offer 11,000 cubic meters of water on a yearly basis. At the moment UAE is producing a larger water quantity but at a significant higher costs. The perspective of price reduction for water supply production becomes this way a very good reason for this country to make the transition to solar energy.

Just as in any other case the beginning is difficult and it will cost a lot to build the new plants. Nonetheless there will be a lot of money saved starting with the moment when the plants will initiate the production of desalinated water at lower price.

As a result the desalinization plants will become more cost efficient and in the same time the water production will become greener due to the use of sustainable solar energy.


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