Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) launched the initiative under the name “Shams Dubai” which allows generation of solar energy on buildings and their connection to the grid.
Jordan has a similar rooftop programme, but Dubai’s initiative is claimed to be the first such scheme in the Arabian Gulf region.
Last December, the executive council of the UAE passed a motion in favour of rooftop PV systems to operate under net metering.
Shams Dubai is one of the three projects that DEWA launched last year to support the “Smart Dubai Initiative” envisaged by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The system allows residents to feed excess solar power generated by their rooftop panels to the grid. The green energy produced will be offset against the amount of conventional energy purchased from DEWA.
But consumers will have to bear all solar-power connectivity costs and obtain necessary approvals and licences, and also comply with metering requirements set by DEWA.
Further, the rules discourage negative bills by selling more power to DEWA than they are using.
DEWA has also not placed any restriction on power that it can accommodate on the grid as a result of which it has not placed any cap on the number of solar roofs that can join the scheme.
Currently, Dubai’s power plants run on natural gas, all of which is imported. As per the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, the emirate plans to increase renewable energy in its mix to 7 percent by 2020 and 15 percent by 2030.
Ajith Kumar S – Greentechlead