500 MW Rooftop Solar Scheme To Be Submitted To Abu Dhabi

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Abu Dhabi’s electricity regulator is aiming to obtain 7% of the city’s electricity from renewable power sources, and it hopes to implement a rooftop solar scheme to help attain that goal. This will be proposed to the Executive Council in early 2014. The solar rooftop scheme is to generate 500 MW of power.

According to PV-Magazine, the proposal will outline ways in which residents can generate their own emissions-free electricity and sell the excess power back to the electricity grid.

This is one way in which regulators can stimulate the sunny city’s economy — by putting money back in the hands of the people rather than to power companies that would charge people for the solar electricity. It also gets Abu Dhabi closer to the 7% renewable energy goal, reducing power plant emissions and enabling residents to avoid electricity price increases.

Zachary Shahan standing by a parabolic trough solar power plant in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Credit: Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica.

According to PV-Magazine:

“We’re ready to recommend a solar rooftop plan,” said the regulator’s director general, Nick Carter. “We have sufficient data to tell the government that if they want to go down the feed-in tariff route, this is the price they will have to pay.”

“The cost of solar cells [currently at a global average of US$0.74/W] is not going to get any cheaper,” added Carter, who also spoke about the difficulties faced by Spain and Germany’s FIT schemes. “We’ve been quite cautious in Abu Dhabi. We have been definitely not advocating any feed-in tariffs because we want to be absolutely certain that any scheme we do suggest does not put the government at a disadvantage in 10 years’ time.”

Oversupply has pushed solar cell prices down to incredible lows, and now is a good time to take advantage of that!

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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

Nicholas Brown has 594 posts and counting. See all posts by Nicholas Brown

4 thoughts on “500 MW Rooftop Solar Scheme To Be Submitted To Abu Dhabi

  • >>“The cost of solar cells [currently at a global average of US$0.74/W] is not going to get any cheaper,” added Carter


    Also, while it is admirable that CT Director Zachary Shahan has gone to Abu Dhabi (where this story originates), the concentrated solar system he is standing in front of in the picture is not the type of solar (PV) being discussed in the article. At first glance, I was wondering why the concentrated solar picture was used.

    On topic, the Gulf States are in somewhat of a conundrum – they would like to use renewables at home to free up fossil fuels for export (fossil fuels being heavily subsidized in their home markets and growth in domestic population and energy use means that government costs are increasing faster than revenues over the long term) but, on the other hand, they don’t want to help the renewables industry to ultimately challenge and replace the need for fossil fuels.

  • Solar is always going to get cheaper. The more we use it the less it costs. That is how technology works, greater economies to scale and increases in efficiency. Doesn’t Nick Carter get that. There maybe supply and demand issues to drive it up sometimes, but over time it is down down down. Ten years from now it will be a lot cheaper.

    • Carter’s statement that solar won’t get cheaper is foolish.

      Solar manufacturers are stating that prices will be significantly lower within three years.

      Setting time limited FiTs is an excellent way to kickstart a new industry. Just set reasonable limits on how much you’re going to contract.

  • Let me make it clear I did not say it would not get cheaper – a complete misquote – of course it will.

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