Shams Dubai solar program
Solar power for commercial and industrial buildings in Dubai
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has called for solar panels to be installed on every roof in Dubai by 2030, as part of the Emirates vision to produce 75% of its energy from clean sources by 2050. To get there in time, the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 also calls for interim targets of 7% of solar power by 2020, and 25% by 2030.
As one of the first steps to facilitate this goal, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) created the Shams Dubai solar program in early 2015. This program allows DEWA customers to install solar panels on their property, and utilize the produced solar energy to reduce their monthly electricity bill. Any surplus electricity that can not be used immediately will be credited by DEWA at the retail rate, further reducing the electricity bill in the next month.
Solar panels can be installed on the roof, parking shades or on the ground, depending on available space and orientation. The best locations are clear, unobstructed roofs, parking or other areas facing south, with no shading. North-facing surfaces can be utilized with mounting structures that tilt the panels so that they face south.
Enerwhere is among the first solar companies in the UAE certified by DEWA to carry out solar system installation under the Shams Dubai initiative.
How does the Shams Dubai solar program work?
DEWA’s Shams Dubai solar program is based on the principle of ‘net metering’. This allows customers to install solar panels to produce their own power, reducing their electricity bill every month. Any surplus electricity not used immediately is sold back to the grid at the same price, and at the end of the month only the net amount is billed to the customer. Should a customer produce more energy in one month than he / she has consumed, DEWA allows rolling over these kWhs to the next month.
The big advantage of net metering is that customers stay connected to DEWA’s grid, thereby combining the 24/7 reliability of a grid connection with the lower costs of solar energy.
How much can I save?
Given the excellent solar radiation available in Dubai, solar power is now cheaper than DEWA’s ‘red slab’ tariff rate of AED 0.445 / kWh for most commercial and industrial customers. This is particularly true for factories and warehouses with large rooftops in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Investments Park, Dubai Logistics City and Dubai Industrial City.
To maximize savings per kWh, many customers with significant air conditioning loads chose to cover around 80% of their winter electricity consumption (i.e. the kWhs consumed in January / February), as this means that every kWh from solar saves kWs in DEWA’s most expensive red tariff slab. Over the whole year, this allows a typical customer to offset around 50% of their consumption with cheaper solar energy.
For customers with large and stable loads (e.g. factories or cold-storage warehouses) it is possible to offset over 90% of DEWA electricity consumption with solar energy, thereby saving hundreds of thousands of dirhams per year.
For customers using more than 10,000 kWh per month, owning their building, or with at least least 12 years left on their lease Enerwhere can offer solar power on a full lease basis, offering financial savings of 10-30% with no upfront capital investment.
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