• Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has provided an update on Shams Dubai, a program that encourages installation of rooftop PV panels
  • Since its announcement in 2014 until October 2016, installations under the program have crossed 6 MW
  • A total of 70 solar equipment manufacturers registered 578 products for Shams Dubai
    DEWA is also coordinating with government organizations to install rooftop PV panels on 35 government buildings

Dubai has reported rooftop PV installations of a cumulative capacity of over 6 MW as of October 2016 under its Shams Dubai program. A total of 222 buildings were connected to the grid, including both residential and commercial buildings in the city.

The government had introduced the Shams Dubai program in 2014 through the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA). It aims to promote rooftop PV installations across the city. Owners use the produced solar energy onsite and send excess power to the DEWA grid.

The agency has enrolled 44 contracting and consultancy companies for the entire program. At least 247 engineers have been certified as enrolled electrical and solar PV consultants and contractors. At the same time, 70 solar equipment makers reported having registered 578 products as eligible for Shams Dubai.

Dubai wants to increase the share of clean energy sources in the total power output to 75% by 2050 and has formulated a Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 for the purpose. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, said, “I urge house and villa owners, and all members of society to take advantage of Shams Dubai, to be our partners in producing renewable energy, and achieving Dubai Government’s objectives to diversify the energy mix. This supports a smart, sustainable, and happy city. It also contributes to reducing carbon emissions, in adherence with the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021 to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by 2021, ensuring a sustainable future for us, and for generations to come.”

DEWA is also coordinating with 18 government organizations to install rooftop PV on as many as 35 government buildings.

In September 2016, law firm Eversheds produced a brief document on Shams
Dubai on behalf of the Solar Middle East Fair that gave step-by-step guidelines to developers interested in entering the city’s rooftop PV market (see Eversheds Report On Shams Dubai).

A press release from DEWA stated, “DEWA recently announced the launch of the largest projects of the Shams Dubai initiative launched by DEWA. Construction of the largest distributed solar rooftop project in the Middle East is underway after DP World commissioned the installation of 88,000 rooftop solar panels on its Dubai facilities in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Mina Rashid. Phase one will be completed in 2017.”

The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 also envisions the creation of a 5,000 MW large Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Once complete in 2030, it is assumed to be the largest single site solar park in the world. In June 2016, DEWA awarded 800 MW capacity to be developed here in this park by a consortium led by Masdar for the lowest bid of $0.03 per kWh (see DEWA Selects Masdar Consortium).