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Solar energy best for UAE to produce sustainable supply

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 27, 2017
Solar energy best for UAE to produce sustainable supply
Experts during the conference on Trends in Solar Power Generation and Energy Harvesting at Amity University Dubai on Monday. - Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

The transition towards renewable forms of energy is unstoppable, especially as the price of energy generated by the sun continues to decrease, experts at a recent workshop informed.

Speaking at the workshop on 'Trends in Solar Power Generation and Energy Harvesting' at Amity University in Dubai, M. Bandyopadhyay, senior expert and administrative officer at the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre), said that fossil fuels are a very limited resource and that renewable forms of energy are the only solution to meeting the growing demand for energy.

He explained that the NAM S&T Centre's objective is to promote science and technology among developing countries through programmes, workshops, training courses, and collaborative projects, with the involvement of various countries. Currently, 48 developing countries have joined the centre as a member. The centre also provides over 50 fellowships each year, and its programmes have proven to be very popular.

"One of our main areas of focus is solar technology," he said. "The main purpose of the event today is to exchange ideas relating to solar energy generation and harvesting. Our role is to encourage developing countries to create programmes for solar energy generation. For a region such as the UAE, that is blessed with lots of sunshine, solar energy is the best solution to producing a sustainable supply of energy."

Another speaker at the event, Dr. V.K Jain, distinguished scientist and professor at Amity University UP, said: "We have reached a point in time when solar energy has become low cost enough for it to be available to the common man. Now, the issue that needs to be addressed is how we can reduce the cost of the solar panels, or increase their efficiency to the point that it becomes attractive for the common man. In addition, we need to focus on trained manpower that can assist users in their adoption and operation of the solar power systems that have been installed."

David Provenzani, managing director of Architaly Green Energy DMCC, also spoke about the strides that the UAE has made on its mission towards renewable energy.

"Dubai approved the Clean Energy Strategy that aims to produce 75 per cent of Dubai's electricity through solar energy; which is an amazing target. In addition, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) achieved $2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in solar energy production. The latest tender announced was for 800MW to be added to the programme of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which in 2030 will reach 5GW. Today it is possible to produce clean energy with the sun at half the cost of gas. There is no financial reason for us to say no to solar," he said.

In addition to companies in the region adopting solar energy programmes, it is also important to educate students on adopting clean energy practices, he added. Towards that end, a new private initiative called 'Dubai Solar Schools' has been launched by Architaly which is supported by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding and the Clean Energy Business Council Dubai.

"The initiative aims to serve 100 schools and universities in Dubai during the next three years in order to install solar energy to support them in their green education aspects," said Provenzani. "We will analyse the site, and if it is feasible to install a solar energy system, then we will handle everything from appointing a designer and contractor. We will also involve third party investors so that the school or university will not have to pay upfront. The energy that will be generated will be cleaner and cheaper than the current rate. The transition towards renewable energy is unstoppable." - rohma@khaleejtimes.com



Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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