GCC needs solar framework to emulate Shams Dubai's success

Net metering policy such as Dubai's will drive commercial and industrial PV uptake, Enerray's regional leader tells CW

Shams Dubai's model will benefit the GCC [representational image].
© Pixabay / Gregroose
Shams Dubai's model will benefit the GCC [representational image].

The market for commercial and industrial photovoltaic (PV) solar power projects will flourish when more GCC countries adopt net metering policies similar to the Shams Dubai initiative, an industry expert told Construction Week.

Massimiliano Vernaleone, area manager for the Gulf business of Italy-based firm Enerray, said the UAE, led by Dubai, is "well ahead" of other GCC markets in terms of solar PV projects. 

“At the moment, other [GCC countries] are yet to approve a net metering policy [such as Dubai's], so their commercial and industrial project markets are lagging a little bit," the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor's regional leader said. 

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) launched Shams Dubai in 2015, and the programme is designed to increase PV capacity for commercial, industrial, and residential structures.

Solar-powered electricity is used for projects covered by Shams Dubai, with surplus energy exported to Dewa’s grid.

The scheme supports 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, which aims to make Dubai the smartest city in the word.

“Policies [like Dubai's] are being discussed [in the GCC], but they are taking a little longer than we expected," Vernaleone said.

The Italian outfit works on Dubai projects under the Enerray Gulf Solar Energy Systems banner, and Vernaleone said the company is also involved with utility-scale solar developments in the region.

Last month, Enerray announced that its projects within Egypt's 37km2 Benban Solar Park were proceeding as planned. 

Around 1,000 Enerray technicians are working on three solar farms that have a combined capacity of 116 megawatt-peak.

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