Dubai makes the most of the sun

And it’s not just Dubai. Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City hopes to go completely green too.

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 9:08 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

After solar panels in parks, beaches and even at traffic signals, Dubai is powering its bus shelters from the sun. The emirate is serious about moving away from its reliance on oil and gas to cleaner energy sources.

The Roads and Transport Authority is planning the construction of 400 shelters in places with no access to conventional power supply. The shelters will have photovoltaic or solar panels which will light them up and provide power to advertisement signs. Some shelters will also be air-conditioned to keep passengers cool in the heat. Most of these shelters will be built in remote areas.

The 2015 UAE State of Energy Report says the country has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world. In 2010, the UAE produced just under 20 tonnes of CO2 emissions per person, a 63 per cent increase from 2000.

But that will change when renewable energy is expected to power 7 per cent of the emirate’s need by 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is one of the largest renewable energy projects in the region. The first phase (13 MW) was activated in 2013, and the second phase will generate 200MW by 2017.

Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 is to to diversify energy sources to include 71 per cent from natural gas, 15 per cent from solar energy, 7 per cent from clean coal and 7 per cent from nuclear power.

And it’s not just Dubai. Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City hopes to go completely green and is doing pioneering work in this regard while focusing on solar energy. Dubai’s beaches and parks are already powered by solar panels.

With plenty of sunshine around the year, Dubai and the UAE are playing to their strengths by capturing its energy. Solar-powered bus shelters are the next step forward, but authorities will have to strike a balance to keep costs down as energy needs grow in the emirate.

Investments in solar energy in Dubai are expected to reach $3billion. More facilities and individuals are opting for this source. It’s is a clean energy movement in the making. Here’s to making the most of the sun.

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