Will Abu Dhabi’s citizens choose solar panels for their roofs when electricity prices go up?
The residents of the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi, will soon experience three major changes as the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company electricity supplier plans to install a meter for every apartment and a solar panel on every roof, according to The National. While meters that measure a customer’s consumption are common features in the West, they only recently began to appear in the UAE.
Before, people used to pay a flat rate for their electricity regardless of how much they used, leaving little incentive for moving towards energy efficiency.
The new meters that will be installed are digital, and will monitor power consumption throughout the day so the company can optimize its production and supply.
Generate your own power
The Abu Dhabi Distribution Company also plans to raise the price of electricity for the first time in 15 years, though it will also offer subsidies to people who put solar panels on their roofs.
The power generated by the panels can either be used by the customers or sold.
Once the panel installations have been completed, the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company estimates that they will be able to produce 500 MW or one third of the Emirates renewable energy target.
The Abu Dhabi government aims to have 7% of its electricity generated by renewable energy sources, including both wind and solar power, by 2020.
Investing in Cleantech
Despite having the world’s sixth largest proven oil reserves and the fifth largest natural gas reserves, Abu Dhabi has invested heavily in developing other forms of power production as the power production capabilities of the traditional sources have not been able to keep up with growing demands.
The best example of this new strategy is a $15 billion investment in the Masdar project, which aims to construct the world’s first carbon neutral and zero waste city in the desert outside of Abu Dhabi.
Masdar City is also home to the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), a graduate school jointly established with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Read more “green” news on Abu Dhabi:
Masdar City: Small Hiccups, Or Total System Failure?
Summer Heat Jams Power Production in Oil-rich Saudi Arabia
Lebanese Op-Ed Calls Nuclear Energy In The Middle East A Fad