Res­i­dents re­luc­tant to see the light on so­lar power

Dubai res­i­dents not in­vest­ing in so­lar power

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Ryan @ThatPad­dyRyan pa­

Dubai en­ergy chiefs are strug­gling to con­vince res­i­dents to opt for so­lar pan­els to sup­ply power to their homes.

That’s de­spite a huge drop in the price of the re­new­able en­ergy source in re­cent years – so­lar now av­er­ages $1 per watt com­pared with $7 per watt in 2011.

“We are push­ing res­i­dents to take up so­lar en­ergy,” said Has­san Chy­maysse, Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Se­nior Green Build­ing En­gi­neer, who was speak­ing to

7DAYS on the side­lines of the In­ter So­lar Mid­dle East con­fer­ence at Dubai World Trade Cen­tre.

“The prob­lem is that most peo­ple here are rent­ing and they are say­ing ‘why bother pay­ing for so­lar pan­els when we are not go­ing to be here for long?’”

Chy­maysse said that while the sec­tor is im­prov­ing in terms of sales, so far the vast ma­jor­ity of pur­chases have been by “peo­ple who own fac­to­ries, ware­houses or who have big roofs and want to re­duce en­ergy bills”.

That will all change if Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has its way.

“We are hold­ing work­shops on how to re­duce con­sump­tion and costs,” he said.

In June, 7DAYS spoke to Jo­hann Schoe­man, whose com­pany Oryx will be con­nect­ing so­lar-pow­ered homes to DEWA’s grid. He said the fall­ing cost of so­lar pan­els now means that adding them to the roof of a villa can start from Dhs20,000.

Speak­ing at yes­ter­day’s con­fer­ence, Hadi Tah­boub, Pres­i­dent of MESIA, Mid­dle East So­lar In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “The prices are just get­ting lower, lower and lower over the past few years.”

He said the ben­e­fits are im­me­di­ate – pro­vid­ing you have the right type of prop­erty.

“If you have a ware­house or a large villa and enough space to in­stall so­lar pan­els, the sav­ings can be huge,” he said.

To in­stall so­lar pan­els you need a large flat un­shaded rooftop sur­face, ide­ally in a prop­erty at least the size of a four bed­room villa, not to men­tion the per­mis­sion of your land­lord if you are a ten­ant at the prop­erty.

IL­LU­MI­NAT­ING: So­lar power has re­duced dras­ti­cally in price in re­cent years

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