While the shift towards renewables is more favoured in certain countries over conventional sources, it has shown immense promise in decentralised residential, commercial and industrial spaces. However, it’s yet to capture the market in terms of large-scale utility projects.
For the end-user, the solar industry is opening up more market opportunities than one, as the districts that use renewable energy are increasingly bringing building integrations to the fore alongside desalination and clean transportation ventures using clean energy generated from the Sun. One of the key motivators for the reduction of CAPEX of utility-scale projects happen to be the consistent price drop of solar panels, causing the UAE and in particular Dubai to lead the scene.
Based on net-metering, the 2015 Shams Dubai programme was launched to encourage building owners to create PV capacity for residential, commercial and industrial structures. According to the Solar Outlook Report compiled by UAE’s own non-profit, MESIA, 1,354 photovoltaic installations in Dubai were already installed with a total capacity of 125 megawatts (MW) as on October 2019.
This was followed by the successful Safaqat project in Hatta, where 640 villas were retrofitted with solar rooftop panels. Based on the provision of a complete PV kit and zero per cent finance, the Safaqat soon paved the way for the outreach to expand to other buildings under the Shams project. The initiative was then amplified by Dubai in January 2019 in a bit to transform 10 per cent of Emirati homes with rooftop solar as part of their previously announced 50-year charter.
As the industry has seen a spike in the provision of solar panels to retrofit long-standing structures to transition the Middle East towards a renewable future, it is also recording an uptick in upcoming real estate projects. ATUM, with its extensive dealer network in the Middle East, is already making strides. We confirm this as ATUM is being specified for upcoming projects such as EV charging stations, residential and commercial spaces. With its unique offering as a roof that can generate 40 per cent more power than its PV counterparts, ATUM is also patented to be the first of its kind solar roof in the world. With all this, we foresee a bright role for ATUM to play in the region’s efforts to become truly sustainable.
By Vamsi Krishna Gaddam, Joint Managing Director, Visaka Industries Limited