Nearly Dh4.3 trillion ($1.2 trillion) worth of construction projects across the Mena region is estimated over the next decade and will provide the solar energy sector with huge opportunities for growth and innovation, according to industry experts.
Solar is emerging as a key power source to sustainably meet these supply challenges. Studies have shown that the installation of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) in a typical residential home can provide an average electricity surplus of 25,000 kilowatt hours per year, after meeting electricity needs, and reduce household energy bills by at least 25 per cent.
“Awareness of the need to develop green buildings and sustainable environments in the UAE is rapidly increasing, and there are concerted efforts across the entire supply chain to promote green building practices. Integrating solar panels to produce energy for hot water, HVAC systems and electricity is a key step in making buildings more sustainable,” said Adnan Sharafi, chairman of Emirates Green Building Council.
“With the UAE expecting a 71 per cent increase in primary energy demand by 2019 and the total energy spend set to be over $926 million, adapting solar energy in the total energy mix of buildings is a significant way forward,” said Sharafi.
Office towers are very expensive to operate with thousands of window panes that absorb heat and raise air-conditioning costs.
However, products like the In’Flector window insulation panels from the UAE-based Al Serkal Group could reduce energy costs by up to 50 per cent.
Residential developers in Gulf countries are exploring ways to utilise clean energy and new technologies in their construction projects in support of the sustainability commitments shown by governments across the region.
Solar power innovation and investment was a major feature at this year’s World Future Energy Summit (WFES), with some of the largest solar companies in the world exhibiting their latest technologies.
“Next year, WFES will have an even stronger focus on the future use of solar power in buildings with the introduction of an Eco-City and an Eco-Hotel in the Sustainable Living area as an extension of the successful environmental home at this year’s event,” said Naji El Haddad, show director for the 2014 World Future Energy Summit, themed ‘Powering the Future of Energy Innovation and Investment’, which is to be held from January 20 to 22, 2014 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.