Complex Made Simple

Rooftop solar panels keeping UAE energy costs from going through the roof  

The UAE public sector has been working hard on promoting clean energy.

Dubai is trying to reach $190 billion of savings by 2050.

UAE deals with Tesla as an example, go towards a goal of 44% renewable energy by 2025.

But the private sector isn’t waiting till 2025.

Spinneys, the supermarket company, has opened yet another supermarket this week in The Villa, Centro Mall, Dubai, and lined the top of the building with solar panels.

Energy tariffs are currently at $0.02/kWh for UAE nationals according to the government.

The average shopping center in Dubai uses 511 kWh/sqm, according to sustainability consultants in Dubai.

The solar grid will produce 6% of the energy required to power the shopping center, and according to our estimates, Spinneys being around 1,800 sqm will be saving around $19,000 per year.

Spinneys is the first supermarket to be powered by solar energy, but similar initiatives have been in the works.

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Hot roofs

Back in June 2017, Majid Al Futtaim announced plans to install solar panels in 4 different malls.

These are Mall of the Emirates, and City Centers in Deira, Mirdiff, and Fujeirah.

This plan reduces the equivalent CO2 emissions of around 700 cars off the road.

Mall of Emirates by Majid Al Futtaim recently unveiled the first phase of Mall of the Emirates’ solar photovoltaic (PV) plant.

Set to generate 3 GWh of ‘clean’ energy, configured to reduce 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions every year, saving up to $381,000 on energy costs every year.

A total of 7,291 PV panels were fitted, and the retrofit of the premises’ existing car park structure is a regional-first.

READ: Here’s why 8 out of 10 UAE start-ups fail in their first 2 years

Emaar is also constructing Dubai Hills Mall and installing solar panels at the cost of $159 million.

Emaar’s Dubai Hills Mall will be powered by 2,400 rooftop panels. The panels are expected to produce 11m kWh per year, according to the company, or $220,000 in savings per year.

Saudi is on UAE’s tail

Saudi is also going for renewable energy sources as plans have been inked left and right, but they are mostly driven by the public sector.

Neom is supposedly going to have its entirely independent renewable energy sources, according to Business Insider.

Plans for $200 billion solar parks have also been inked, and the first two parks are expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

In addition, Gulf Renewables Lab (GRL) is leading the drive towards a greener future for the region with the launch of its first solar panel installation program in Saudi.

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The firm recently completed its first five-day training session at GRL in Dammam, Saudi.

Candidates received hands-on training for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels and associated equipment and systems, followed by a full examination.

The 13 engineers and technicians who successfully completed the course are now ‘Certified Photovoltaic System Installers’ and received official certificates issued by UL.

GRL will now offer the program to relevant government entities and private firms across the region as countries, such as Saudi, continue to ramp up their efforts to ensure the greater provision and use of renewable energy sources, including solar power.