Solar energy is making advances around the world, with one of the more recent developments coming out of Dubai. Early this month, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Emir of Dubai and the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, announced a plan to put solar panels on every Dubai rooftop by 2030. This ambitious goal is part of the city’s larger initiative to have the world’s smallest carbon footprint by 2050.
The announcement was not accompanied with specific costs or timelines. However, roof-mounted systems are an excellent way to integrate solar energy into a city, as they take advantage of mostly unused space.
Solar panels also absorb and reflect heat and can help maintain more moderate building temperatures. By adopting solar energy early on, governments can encourage the growth of clean energy and lower utility costs for public buildings.
Solar Farms in the Desert
Rooftop installations are only one part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy that was announced by Sheikh Mohammed. The plan also outlines the creation of the Dubai Green Fund, which will assist in providing competitive loans to clean energy investors. Overall, the city is aiming to generate 75 percent of its power through renewable energy sources by 2050.
As even further evidence of Dubai’s commitment to clean energy, Sheikh Mohammed presented the strategy at Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, a solar farm project that was began in 2013 and currently generates 24 million kilowatts per hour of electricity a year.
Phase II of the park is currently under construction and will further expand the size and power of the farm. When complete, it will be the largest solar power plant in the Middle East and will produce enough power for 30,000 homes.
Of course, part of what makes these plans so interesting and important is that Dubai is an extremely oil-rich city, owning around one-tenth of the world’s oil. The city’s interest in promoting renewable energy may seem at odds with one of its most profitable exports. But, there are numerous obvious benefits to Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy.
By increasing solar usage, it is also increasing the amount of petroleum it can sell to other countries. Beyond that, the deserts of Dubai receive many hours of sun, and the availability of solar energy will be more reliable in the coming years than that of oil. Dubai’s plan will allow it to capitalize on land that would otherwise likely remain barren.
Big Strides for Solar
And by providing incentives to solar investors, the Gulf State city could find itself on the cutting edge of clean energy technology. Beyond that, the plan will contribute to the planet’s long-term health by limiting the release of green-house gases.
All this serves to underscore the huge strides solar power has taken in the past decade. The past year of 2015 was a record-setting year in solar energy growth. Around the world, individuals and governments alike are becoming more aware of the need for renewable energy, and are finding solar energy to be among the most promising options. This trend will only continue as technology becomes more efficient and cost per watt continues to drop.
If you’d like to find out how installing solar panels on your roof can help you drive your electric bill down to zero, contact us today for a free quote.