posted on 18/01/2017: 872 views
Rooftop solar energy will help drive renewable energy to the next stage of its development in the Middle East and South Asian markets, according to leading industry figures at the World Future Energy Summit, WFES, and the Solar Expo in Abu Dhabi.
Renewable energy, particularly solar, is making rapid progress in the region, with organisers estimating that buyers at WFES have more than 200 gigawatts of planned capacity to be added within the next decade. The region is already setting the agenda for utility scale projects, with bids for projects in the UAE bringing in below 3 US cents per kilowatt-hour during 2016.
The industry expects to see similar progress in rooftop solar, driven by initiatives such as the Shams Dubai programme by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, which encourages Photovoltaic system, PV, systems on residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
The projects themselves can vary in size from just a few solar panels to thousands. One of the initiatives under the Shams Dubai programme is the installation of 88,000 solar panels on buildings belonging to port operator, DP World, which will produce enough energy to power around 3,000 homes.
"We are at a point where solar energy is clearly at the centre of the UAE's electricity plans, and we are beginning to see rooftop solar play an important part in this growth," said Sami Khoreibi, CEO of Abu Dhabi-based Enviromena. "Official targets are being set for installing rooftop solar panels, and policies allowing customers to sell electricity back into the network are in place. This will fundamentally change the way we think about electricity in the region."
Enviromena has constructed 42 solar projects in nine countries throughout the region, including rooftop solar installations at Yas Marina Circuit and solar carpark shades at Masdar City. It sees rooftop solar as an important growth market.
Rooftop and other small, localised solar projects have multiple benefits. Allowing property owners to invest in solar panels spreads the cost of expanding the electricity supply, while locating generation and consumption in the same place reduces the burden on distribution infrastructure.
Held under the theme of ‘Sustaining the Clean Energy Consensus; Empowering New Players', WFES 2017 brings together the world's leading technology providers, government delegations, innovators, and thought leaders in Abu Dhabi.
"Within the growing renewable energy market, the falling cost and increasing efficiency of solar energy has particular relevance in the UAE, which is why, together with Masdar, the event's host, we created a dedicated Solar Expo as part of WFES," said Naji El Haddad, Group Event Director at Reed Exhibitions, which organises WFES in partnership with Masdar. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-sustainability-events/1395306032063.html
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