Oil-Rich Dubai Pledges To Put Solar Panels On Every Roof By 2030

The city is investing billions of dollars in an ambitious clean energy strategy.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, center, tours the 14th Dubai Air Show at Dubai World Central on it
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, center, tours the 14th Dubai Air Show at Dubai World Central on its opening day in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

As diplomats and delegates from 195 countries converge in Paris this week to help fight climate change, the oil-rich city of Dubai also wants to do its part.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Dubai, has announced a new clean energy strategy that aims to put solar panels on every rooftop in that city by 2030, according to a Sunday report in UAE's state-controlled newspaper, The National. State and local media did not provide details about the cost of the solar panel project or when it might be implemented.

The plan is one of the several initiatives outlined in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy, which aims to provide 75 percent of Dubai's power through clean energy sources and make it the city with the smallest carbon footprint in the world by 2050, according to the UAE newspaper Gulf News.

Sheikh Mohammed also expressed an interest in making Dubai the base for research and development of new clean energy technologies, Gulf News noted.

The city plans to open a program known as the Dubai Green Fund, which will be worth 100 billion UAE dirham ($27 billion) and will provide loans for clean energy investors at lower interest rates, according to The National.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, where Sheikh Mohammed unveiled the Clean Energy Strategy, cost the city and its investors 50 billion dirham. The park aims to produce enough electricity to power 300,000 homes per year, displacing 470,000 tons of carbon emissions, according to the energy industry outlet Power Technology.

UAE is the sixth largest producer of petroleum and liquid natural gas in the world, churning out some 3.5 million barrels of oil a day, per the U.S. Energy Information Administration's 2014 statistics. UAE's news outlets did not mention anything about changing oil production and exportation.

UAE is not alone in its commitment to gradually convert to solar energy. In September, the Chinese company Xinjiang SunOasis helped build the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park in the Cholistan Desert in Pakistan, a $130 million solar farm with 400,000 solar panels. The solar park is expected to displace about 57,500 tons of coal usage per year, according to the environmental newspaper China Dialogue. 

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