Dubai to help source funding for solar rooftop projects

Dubai will begin to help companies source funding for solar rooftop projects.

A key challenge to the success of Shams Dubai, an initiative launched last year to put solar panels on every rooftop across the emirate by 2030, has been securing investment.

To ease access to funds and create a more streamlined approach to projects, Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad Esco), a Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) venture, will join the ranks implementing solar rooftop schemes across Dubai.


“The idea behind [Etihad Esco] venturing into solar is to source funding,” said Saeed Al Tayer, the managing director and chief executive of Dewa. “This is a challenge for certain customers, especially in old buildings.”

He said that in terms of sourcing the funding, new government initiatives would soon be announced in regards to the Green Fund, the Dh100 billion initiative to provide financial support for clean energy investors.

The fund is one of the central planks in Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050, unveiled in November, which sets a target to generate 7 per cent of Dubai’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2020, increasing to 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050.

Etihad Esco was created three years ago and has been geared towards energy efficiency measures, such as installing LED lighting and other methods to help reduce energy consumption rates in more than 2,100 buildings throughout the emirate.

Now under the new mandate, the company will have another division geared towards solar.

Companies that are already involved in the installation of solar panels on rooftops in Dubai will be able to partner with Etihad Esco, which will not only help with financing options but also provide a gateway to join projects for government buildings.

And Etihad Esco is looking to capture 50 per cent of the market share, according to Ali Al Jassim, acting chief executive of Etihad Esco. “If companies partner with Etihad, they will have an advantage and benefit,” he said.

Mr Al Jassim said that Etihad Esco would arrange financing with various solutions to be available, although he declined to give exact details.

lgraves@thenational.ae

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