Residents reluctant to see the light on solar power
Dubai residents not investing in solar power
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