The largest solar farm in the Middle East will be financed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai. He was also a big promoter of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa (the one Tom Cruise is climbing on in the video), so the man clearly has a taste for large projects. If you know what I mean.
This latest effort will, in one fell swoop, take Dubai from an effectively solar-free nation to one that gets around five percent of its projected 2030 energy use from the sun. It will be the largest solar power project in the Middle East, which despite being blessed with a surplus of sunlight does not have any countries on the list of the world's top 10 solar producers, reports Mark Halper at SmartPlanet.
At one gigawatt, the Dubai solar park will rank right up there with some of the world’s biggest solar facilities. It would represent an exponential spike in Dubai’s solar electricity, which today today stands at a mere 4.5 megawatts, according to the The National. That’s for a population of some 2 million people (about 75 percent of which are male – I’m not sure how that works).
The total cost of the project is projected to be $3.3 billion (which is sort of pocket change in Dubai), and when it's finished, it will cover 48 square kilometers (18.5 square miles).