Green Cities

A Success for Solar in the Desert

  Dubai is making moves to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. Yesterday, the Shams Dubai Initiative announced Dubai Solar Schools. The new project targets 100 schools as hosts for solar panels. Energy generated from the solar panels will be used at the schools and surplus energy will be diverted to the Dubai power grid.   The project has a fast timeline. Fifty schools have already gone under analysis to gauge if they are eligible for the solar panels. The solar panels are expected to reach 50 megawatts and be installed within the next three years. Typically, a project of this scale would require an initial investment of a little under a million dollars. However, through Dubai Solar Schools, schools can lease solar panels from third parties and pay the costs back over the course of a decade. Schools are expected to have significantly reduced monthly electricity bills—virtually zero—after the payback period.   200,000 students could be part of the next generation of clean energy through their school’s participation. A creative completion in Dubai for students will be held through the 2016-2017 academic year to engage them in clean energy by imagining Dubai as a solar city.   Dubai is reaching to become a global center of clean energy and green economy. Dubai Solar Schools will push forward the Dubai Clean Energy Plan 2050, put forward by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE. The plan aims to provide 75% of the Emirate’s energy from clean sources by 2050. Investments over the next three decades will exceed $27 billion with Dubai’s contribution to the Dubai Green Fund and the development of a solar park.