It’s no secret that Dubai uses a lot of energy: in fact, just keeping the desert at a palatable temperature for much of the year and having desalinated water flowing through our taps is an intense power drain.
But the government is aware of that and is taking steps to create a more environmentally sustainable city via their Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which was announced today. In fact, they don’t just want to be a sustainable city, they want to be the most sustainable one in the world.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced that the emirate will obtain 7 per cent of its energy via clean sources by 2020, which he then aims to raise to 25 per cent in 2030 and 75 per cent in 2050. These ‘clean’ sources include solar, clean coal, nuclear and natural gas. By 2030, the emirate aims to garner 25 per cent of its energy through solar, 7 per cent via nuclear, 7 per cent from clean coal, and 61 per cent using natural gas.
“The strategy that we are launching today will shape the energy sector in Dubai over the next three decades,” Sheikh Mohammed pointed out.
And the aims are lofty, as Sheikh Mohammed noted: “Our goal is to become the city with the least carbon footprint in the world by 2050.”
Here are five of the key steps…
1. Sheikh Mohammed has announced that all Dubai buildings will have solar panels installed on their roofs by 2030. The Shams Dubai initiative will encourage building owners to place solar panels on roofs and link them to DEWA’s main network.
2. The government is going to establish a Dhs100 billion fund – the Dubai Green Fund – to provide low-interest loans for those working to innovate and improve the clean energy sector in Dubai, and around the world.
3. They will create a tax-free business zone – like Media City – called Dubai Green Zone that will be designed specifically to attract and help grow clean energy companies from around the world. This will create a space for new products to be tested and improved upon.
4. The Dhs50 billion Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is being built and will be able to generate 800 megawatts by April 2017 (and 5,000 megawatts by 2030 – which is a quarter of Dubai’s energy requirements). The park will also include an innovation centre that will be built using 3D printing technology.
5. Plans are underway for Desert Rose (pictured above) – a sustainable city to be built in Dubai that will house up to 160,000 people. The city will be in between the Al Ruwaya and Al Aweer areas off of Emirates Road, and will be linked to the Dubai Metro via an electronic train track.