Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has a well-defined strategy, and an ambitious vision, to support the development and establishment of sustainable energy projects in Dubai, under the leadership of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and is committed to environmental sustainability and the happiness and welfare of its citizens, residents and visitors , to provide an ideal environment for living, working, and visiting.
The Dubai Plan 2021 aims to make Dubai a smart, integrated, and connected city that uses its resources sustainably, whose environmental elements are clean, healthy, and sustainable. The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, launched by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, diversifies Dubai’s energy mix and reduces energy demand in the Emirate by 30% by 2030.
DEWA’s efforts in renewable and clean energy
DEWA has increased the targets for renewable energy to 7% of Dubai’s total power output by 2020 and 15% by 2030. DEWA is doing this to support the Green Economy for Sustainable Development long-term National initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to build a green economy in the UAE. It also supports the UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE among the best countries in the world by 2021. DEWA’s vision is to ensure the Emirate’s continuous growth and, at the same time, protect its natural resources and shape the future of energy in the region as a whole, to achieve the sustainable development and promote the welfare of citizens, residents, and visitors, and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
AED 60 billion investments until 2020
According to HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, DEWA will invest AED 60 billion in Dubai’s energy and water sector over the next five years to meet increasing demand. This will provide considerable investment opportunities, support the growth of a green economy and create a competitive advantage for the UAE in clean energy and energy-efficiency technologies. DEWA has also allocated over AED 2.6 billion to support electricity, water and renewable energy infrastructure projects, according to the highest international standards. This will contribute to organising the best World Expo in 2020, in Dubai. DEWA will focus on renewable energy sources to support Dubai Expo’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and its three sub themes of sustainability, mobility, and opportunity.
Two forms of solar energy
Solar energy is connected to DEWA’s grid has two forms. The first is DEWA’s solar power plants such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is managed by DEWA, is one of the largest renewable energy projects in the region, with a planned production capacity of 3,000MW by 2030. The second is electricity produced from medium and small solar energy systems. This is done by installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on rooftops of buildings and connected to DEWA’s grid as part of its Shams Dubai initiative.
Shams Dubai, DEWA’s rooftop solar energy initiative for buildings
DEWA has launched Shams Dubai, as part of its efforts to support the Smart Dubai initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. Shams Dubai engages society in producing renewable energy and contributing to achieving Dubai Government’s objectives to diversify energy sources. The initiative allows customers to install PV panels on their rooftops to generate electricity form solar power. The electricity is used on-site and the surplus is exported to DEWA’s network. An offset between exported and imported electricity units is conducted and the customer account is settled based on this offset.
Dubai Executive Council’s Resolution
To regulate electricity produced from PV panels to the power distribution system in Dubai, the Dubai Executive Council issued resolution number 46 for 2014 to put in place a comprehensive framework at a legislative level to connect electricity produced from solar power to the distribution system. The resolution defines DEWA’s responsibility to develop a policy for solar energy electricity production, and the adoption of binding agreement terms and models, and monitoring and supervising producers.
Solar energy systems are easy to install on buildings
DEWA has outlined easy steps to install photovoltaic systems in buildings to generate solar power as part of Shams Dubai initiative. The installation process starts with the customer contacting one of the consultants or contractors accredited by DEWA to study the possibility of installing the solar power system and suggest the best solution. The consultant or contractor then obtains the necessary approvals from DEWA. These include an NOC for installing solar energy system and connecting it to the power network, and approvals for the solar system design that meets all the requirements. After obtaining the necessary approvals, the consultant or contractor undertakes on-site work. After completing installation, they submit a notification to DEWA to conduct the technical inspection of the site and install the meter to complete the connection process.
While installing a PV system requires an initial investment, the in-house production of power reduces electricity bills in the building throughout the life cycle of the PV system, which is 25 years, at least, for a properly-maintained system. Installing a PV system also increases the value of a property as the new owner enjoys discounted electricity bills as a result of the production of electricity via the building’s solar power system. Installing these systems to locally generate renewable energy, supports Dubai’s economy, and ensures a sustainable future for the Emirate. Each kilowatt of solar energy produced in Dubai contributes to reducing the Emirate’s electricity needs, thus reducing the carbon footprint of individuals and the Emirate as a whole.
What is a PV system?
A photovoltaic system uses PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity. PV cells are made of semiconductors and are used to assemble PV modules: the components used in PV systems. A great advantage of PV systems is that they are fully scalable and vary in size according to the local energy needs, so they can be used for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity supply. PV systems components include solar panels, inverters, metering systems, and an interface protection system.
Requirements for enrolment as Solar PV Consultant or Contractor
DEWA enrols and accredits consultants and contractors to ensure solar with DEWA as an electrical consultant or an electrical contractor, the company must have a valid trade licence issued by Department of Economic Development. The company must also have at least one graduate electrical engineer under their sponsorship with at least one year’s experience in supervising electrical works and design in compliance with DEWA’s regulations for electrical installations. The company’s employees should also pass the PV systems Expert programme, and submit applications via DEWA’s website. Companies must also have employees who are certified by DEWA as solar PV experts. Companies can register and submit applications through DEWA’s website.
DEWA’s enrolment scheme ensures that systems connected to DEWA’s grid have been designed and installed by skilled and experienced professionals, to guarantee high levels of safety, security, and compliance with required technical standards. It also ensures that only solar PV qualified professionals work on solar panels, to ensure the protection and safety of the public and DEWA’s grid. Certification as a solar PV expert by DEWA requires attending a 5-day training programme and passing a test.
Eligible PV equipment
DEWA has invited manufacturers of solar power equipment and tools to register their products as eligible for DEWA. Eligibility criteria are described in the standards for the Distributed Renewable Resources Generation (DRRG) programme for connection to DEWA’s power grid, which sets out the requirements for solar photovoltaic modules, inverters, and interface protection systems, among other tools. DEWA will continuously review and update the standards to keep requirements updated on the latest available standards.