MD and CEO of DEWA outlines role of modern technologies in developing energy and water sectors, and redefining concept of utilities

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has outlined the role of modern technologies in developing the energy and water sectors, and redefining the concept of utilities to achieve the vision and directives of the UAE’s wise leadership to keep pace with the latest developments and disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, while focusing on shaping the future and improving the skills of Emiratis. Al Tayer made these comments in his keynote speech at the EmTech MENA 2019 conference. Dubai Future Foundation organised the conference in partnership with MIT Technology Review with the theme ‘Discover the emerging technologies that will change the world.’

Al Tayer said that the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in Abu Dhabi, the world’s first postgraduate, research-based artificial intelligence university, shows the UAE’s commitment to achieve its vision.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai 10X initiative to mandate the Government of Dubai to become a global leader that is 10 years ahead of all other cities through government innovation and reshaping the way things have been done before. To achieve this initiative, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is committed to incorporating innovation in all its strategies and initiatives, as well as adopting disruptive technologies. This supports government plans such as the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031, to develop an integrated system that employs AI in vital areas of the UAE; the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and increase its contribution to the national economy by advancing innovation and future technologies. We are also committed to sharing expertise and best practices in these sectors. We have strategic partnerships with global technology leaders. DEWA is the first government utility in the world to join the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a partner. DEWA is also the first public utility in the world to form a strategic partnership with Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab; and is the first utility in the world and the first organisation outside the US to participate in Microsoft’s Quantum programme, said Al Tayer.

“In an ambitious move to employ AI to promote the foundations of sustainability and energy efficiency, DEWA launched Digital DEWA, its digital arm, to disrupt the entire business of public utilities and become the first digital utility in the world to use autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage. At the same time, we are expanding our use of AI and digital services. Digital DEWA comprises four pillars; the first pillar is launching advanced solar power technologies. The second pillar is deploying a renewable energy grid with innovative energy storage technologies to meet the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. To do this, we are building the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will be the largest single-site solar park in the world, with a capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030. The solar park features the value chain of solar power, including research and development, innovation to power generation, energy storage, and continuous improvement to ensure leading results in clean energy. The second pillar also includes launching DEWA’s Smart Energy-X. The third pillar will develop AI to make Dubai the first city to provide AI-based electricity and water services. The fourth pillar includes launching DEWA’s MORO data hub to provide advanced and innovative digital solutions, locally and globally, as well as launching Digital-X, and Infra-X as subsidiaries of Digital DEWA, said Al Tayer.

Al Tayer noted that DEWA is one of the first government organisations to provide all its services through various smart channels, to achieve the directives of the wise leadership to transform the Government of Dubai into a fully digital government and the first paperless government by the end of 2021: Our smart adoption of DEWA’s services has reached 94%. We also launched Rammas, DEWA’s virtual assistant that is capable of responding to customers’ enquiries in both Arabic and English, through DEWA’s website, smart app, Facebook page, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, robots, and WhatsApp Business platform. Rammas can continuously learn and understand customers’ needs based on their enquiries, and analyse them based on available data and information to best respond to and streamline transactions. It has answered over 2 million queries since its launch in Q1 of 2017.

Using modern and advanced technologies in the energy and water sectors has become a necessity to enhance availability, efficiency and reliability. DEWA’s strategy to use the latest disruptive technologies and keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution has resulted in establishing its position as one of the best utilities in the world. The latest World Bank’s report shows this. The UAE, represented by DEWA, has maintained first place, for the third consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all Getting Electricity indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. We will continue our Research and Development efforts and enhance the use of modern technologies in the energy and water sector in line with the vision of our wise leadership that not only anticipates the future, but also makes it, in order to maintain the UAE’s leadership, concluded Al Tayer.

Source: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority