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Whatever happens to oil, the country will be forever energy rich in one resource: the sun
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Petrol stations: Last week, ENOC announced the opening of five new solar-powered petrol stations in Dubai, taking the number to 122. The new stations are located in Hatta, Oud Muteena, City of Arabia and two on the Dubai-Al Ain Road and any excess power generated will be directed back to the main DEWA grid. It’s all part of the company’s strategy to expand its retail footprint by 40 percent by 2020.
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Car ports: DEWA, appropriately enough, has taken the lead in decreasing energy consumption at its main offices by installing solar carports. The 902 solar port, which are located at its headquarters as well as the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment building, will help to reduce energy use by the equivalent of 1,500 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
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Parking meters: We may not like what they do exactly, but at least we know they’re efficient. Dubai’s parking meters are provided by a company called Energy International, which has now installed more than 5,500 high-tech machines across the UAE. All solar-powered, they utilise a Parking Central Management System (PCMS) to monitor whether we’ve paid or not.
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Bus shelters: Sharjah is the latest emirate to look to solar to help power its bus shelters. There are 28 such shelters now under construction which ought to be ready by the end of 2018, with another phase of 142 coming online in the next three years. Dubai began trialling solar-powered shelters back in February, 2014 at two bus stops near Al Jafliya Metro station.
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Supermarkets: Spinneys has led the way when it comes to using solar energy in its stores – which, with all the refrigeration required, are notoriously power-hungry. Its new home at The Villa, Centro Mall, incorporates a grid solar panel system that will, it is hoped, provide more than six percent of the mall’s total power requirements.