Solar panels on all Dubai roofs by 2030

Filed on November 29, 2015 | Last updated on November 29, 2015 at 06.31 am
Solar panels on all Dubai roofs by 2030
A solar park being built in Dubai is to have a generating capacity of 800 megawatts in April 2017 and 5,000 MW by 2030.


Dh100 billion fund set up to generate clean energy.

Billions of dirhams will be spent by Dubai on generating clean energy, the government said on Saturday, aiming to have solar panels installed on the roofs of all buildings by 2030.

The Dubai government will encourage building owners to place solar panels on their roofs and link them to a network of the local power utility, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said while launching the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy.

The authorities plan to establish a Dh100 billion ($27 billion) fund to provide low-cost loans for investors in Dubai's clean energy sector.

Dubai plans Dh500 million of investment in research into areas such as integration of smart power grids and energy efficiency. It intends to create a tax-free business zone to attract clean energy companies from around the world, Shaikh Mohammed said. It has used similar zones to lure foreign investment in banking, commodities trading and other industries.

A solar park being built in Dubai is to have a generating capacity of 800 megawatts in April 2017 and 5,000 MW by 2030, or a quarter of the emirate's energy production in that year. Total investment in the project is estimated at Dh50 billion.

Dubai aims to obtain seven per cent of its energy from relatively clean sources by 2020, raising that to 25 per cent in 2030 and 75 per cent in 2050, Shaikh Mohammed said.

Energy sources will include natural gas, solar, clean coal and nuclear. The UAE plans to start up its first nuclear plant in 2017.

Shaikh Mohammed said that the UAE, through its diverse strategies and investments in clean and renewable energy, is now leading global efforts in this area despite having the second-largest oil reserves in the world.

Shaikh Mohammed stated this during the inauguration of the second phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park at Al Marmum area in Dubai. The solar park is considered as the largest of its kind in the world, which will produce 5,000 megawatts in a single location by 2030, and involves total investments worth Dh50 billion.

"The strategy that we are launching today will shape the energy sector in Dubai over the next three decades. It aims to provide 75 per cent of the emirate's energy through clean energy sources by 2050, reflecting our commitment to establish a sustainable model in energy conservation which can be exported to the whole world, and support economic growth without damaging the environment and natural resources. Our goal is to become the city with the least carbon footprint in the world by 2050," Shaikh Mohammed said.

He added: "Every investment in the development of clean energy sources is at the same time an investment to protect the environment for future generations. It is an effort to build our sustainable economic sectors which do not depend on non-renewable energy resources and are unaffected by volatile energy prices. Through this strategy, which is based on innovation, research and development, we aim to explore the future of the energy sector to unveil initiatives that will make use of the scientific and technological developments in this sector and take the lead in their development and application."

Shaikh Mohammed asserted that the UAE is keen to become a global reference platform in sustainability practices by transforming concepts into real applications. He called on international companies and R&D centres to make Dubai a base for testing and applying the next generation of clean energy technologies to create a global model that can benefit the world.

Dubai Clean Energy Strategy aims to provide seven per cent of Dubai's energy from clean energy sources by 2020. It will increase this target to 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.

The strategy consists of five main pillars: Infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, environment friendly energy mix.


The infrastructure pillar includes initiatives such as Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest generator of solar energy in the world from a single location with a capacity to produce 5,000MW by 2030, and total investment of Dh50 billion. The first phase of this project began operations in 2013. The second phase will begin operations in April 2017 with a capacity of 800MW, the third phase will begin operations in 2020 with a capacity of 1,000MW, while the fourth phase will begin operations in 2030 with a capacity of 5,000MW, which is 25 per cent of the total energy production in the emirate of Dubai as estimated.

The infrastructure pillar also includes a comprehensive innovation centre which will be built using 3D printing technology. The innovation centre features a group of research and development centres specialised in the next generation of clean energy technologies such as solar energy technology test centre, drones research centre, 3D printing technology, and solar energy based desalination tests centre. Around Dh500 million will be invested in research and development in areas such as integration of smart grids, energy efficiency and electricity generation from solar energy.

The infrastructure pillar also includes the establishment of a new free zone under the name 'Dubai Green Zone' dedicated to attracting research and development centres and emerging companies in the field of clean energy.


The second pillar focuses on the establishment of a legislative structure supporting clean energy policies in two phases. The first phase will be implemented through Shams Dubai initiative which aims to encourage building owners to place solar panels on the roofs and link them to the main network of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. The second phase includes coordination with Dubai Municipality to issue a set of decisions on the integration of consumption rationalization technology and energy production and the requirement to install solar panels on the roofs of all building in Dubai by 2030.

Funding through the 'Dubai Green Fund':

The third pillar is related to financing solutions for investment in research and development on clean energy and its application. This pillar includes the establishment of 'Dubai Green Fund' worth of Dh100 billion which will contribute through its financial resources easy loans for investors in the clean energy sector in the emirate at reduced interest rates. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will ensure the demand management and economic value of the project.

Building capacities and skills:

The fourth pillar aims to build human resources capabilities through global training programmes in the field of clean energy in cooperation with international organisations and institutes such as International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) as well as international companies and R&D centres. The pillar will contribute to the creation of a sustainable model for research and development in the area of clean energy based on specialised human capabilities in this field.

Environment friendly energy mix:

The fifth pillar is focused on creating an environment friendly energy mix comprising solar energy 25 per cent, nuclear power seven per cent, clean coal seven per cent, gas 61 per cent by 2030. The mix will gradually increase the employment of clean energy sources to 75 per cent by 2050, making Dubai the city with the least carbon footprint city in the world. This pillar also activates energy generation mechanisms through waste by employing state-of-the-art technologies in this area that will contribute to turn 80 per cent of the emirate waste to energy by 2030.

Shaikh Mohammed also inaugurated the construction works of Dewa Innovation Centre, which includes under its umbrella a group of research and development laboratories in the field of clean energy with a total investment of Dh500 million.

During the inauguration, Shaikh Mohammed was accompanied by Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, other Shaikhs and senior officials.

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