Dubai is set for a solar power revolution, as the government creates regulations that would allow property owners to install rooftop solar power systems.
Already a rapidly expanding solar power market, the regulations to allow installation of rooftop solar power systems would open up a whole new market segment for project developers. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority confirmed that it has prepared a draft legislation in cooperation with the Supreme Council of Energy. The bill is expected to the approved in a month’s time.
DEWA started work on the rooftop solar policy in January this year when it hired a consultant to work on formulation of regulations. At that time, DEWA had stated that the regulations would cap the amount of electricity that a rooftop solar power system can inject into the grid, and place a maximum threshold for the size of the system.
In 2012, DEWA had launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with First Solar Inc. getting the contract to set up 13 MW capacity. The plant is part of the 21 MW aggregate solar power capacity operational in Dubai. DEWA issued a fresh tender to increase the capacity of this solar park by 100 MW earlier this year.
Neighbouring emirate Abu Dhabi is home to Asia’s largest operational solar thermal power – the Shams 1. Dubai is also considering implementation of solar thermal power technology on a large scale. To this effect, DEWA has initiated a pilot project that uses Stirling engine technology. The Authority recently singed an agreement with Swedish company Cleanergy to set up 10 units of 11 kW each for this pilot project.
As per the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, DEWA hopes to diversify its energy mix with 71% power coming from gas, 12% from nuclear, 12% from clean coal and 5% from solar power.
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