Third cycle of Emirates Energy Award launched

Dubai: Dubai is giving building owners another motivation to shift to solar energy apart from helping Mother Earth — an environment award and a cash prize totalling $1 million (Dh3.67 million).

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) on Wednesday launched the third cycle of the Emirates Energy Award (EEA) 2016-2017 under the theme ‘Innovative Solutions for Clean Energy’. The council added a new category, ‘Connecting Solar Power to Buildings’, to encourage large and medium enterprises to choose solar in line with the Shams Dubai Initiative.

Shams Dubai (Arabic for ‘solar’) allows homeowners and building owners to install rooftop solar panels for their own use and supply surplus energy to offset their monthly bills. It was launched on March 15 last year.

“Through this award, we look to promote a culture of excellence, sustainability and innovation in energy management, as well as ensuring efficiency, boosting sustainable alternative clean energy sources,” Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, vice-chairman of the DSCE and president of the Emirates Energy Award.

“The award also works on activating the role of communities and raising awareness about conservation, as well as preserving the environment and natural resources,” he added.

The award, which is given every two years, recognises the efforts of private and government institutions in the UAE and Mena region in their drive to be more energy efficient through the use of clean or renewable energy.

Entries, whether from large-scale or small-scale entities, will be judged depending on their efficiency, creativity, and innovation, among other criteria. The project should be operational for at least one year to qualify. Entries can be submitted starting December 1 to February 1, 2017.

Taheb Diab, senior director, Strategy and Planning, Secretary-General of EEA, said this new category on connecting solar to buildings will boost residents’ interest in going solar. It has been a year since Shams Dubai was launched but public reception is yet to soar.

“Just like anywhere else in the world, solar is going to take time to pick up. It’s in the teething phase right now and the best candidates for this are the large-scale distributors, for example, Jebel Ali Zone, Dubai Airports, Emaar or Nakheel properties that can develop hundreds of villas. It just makes more sense when you have a collective approach,” Diab told Gulf News.

Diab said the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has received 20 applications for Shams Dubai, the majority of which are commercial entities, with a total estimated output of more than 12MW of power.

Emirates Energy Award (10 categories)

1) Energy Efficiency — Public Sector (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

2) Energy Efficiency — Private Sector (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

3) Large Energy Project (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

4) Small Energy Project (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

5) Connecting Solar Power to Buildings — Large Project (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

6) Connecting Solar Power to Buildings — Small Project (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

7) Energy and capacity Building (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

8) Research and Development (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

9) Young Professional Energy Award (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

10) Special Recognition Award (Gold, Siver, and Bronze)

Total cash prize: $1 million

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