Dubai Makes Ambitious Clean Energy Commitments


By Maura Forrest

December 3, 2015

Dubai plans to have solar panels installed on all of its buildings by 2030.

The desert city is the largest of the United Arab Emirates, with a population of more than two million.

On Saturday, the Dubai government announced a suite of new clean energy targets, many focused on solar power. It plans to make solar installations mandatory on all new buildings, and to encourage homeowners to install panels on their roofs.

It will also establish a 100-billion dirham (US $27 billion) fund to provide low-cost loans to stimulate investment in clean energy, Reuters reports, and it will create a tax-free business zone to lure clean-energy companies from around the world.

The emirate will also spend 500 million dirhams (US $136 million) on several clean energy research and development centres.

And it has expanded the total planned capacity for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park from three to five gigawatts. One part of the project is expected to be generating power with a capacity of 800 megawatts by 2017, and the rest is supposed to be operational by 2030.

“Our goal is to become the city with the least carbon footprint in the world by 2050,” ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, as reported by SeeNews Renewables

Dubai aims to source seven per cent of its energy from cleaner sources by 2020, and plans to increase that to 25 per cent in 2030 and 75 per cent in 2050. Power sources will include natural gas, solar, clean coal and nuclear.

The United Arab Emirates has traditionally been an oil-producing powerhouse, with some of the largest oil reserves in the world.

It also has some of the highest per capita rates of carbon dioxide emissions in the world. In 2009, it generated more emissions per capita than all but five other countries, and its per capita emissions were more than double Canada’s rate.

But in recent years, it has put more emphasis on developing its solar industry, as it is also one of the world’s sunniest countries.