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Power from the rooftop has become the buzzword in the real estate industry recently.
The Dubai Government is mulling over the promotion of rooftop solar energy generation in a big way.
For instance, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) recent move to bring the sustainable energy source model to the emirate’s property sector would greatly encourage the use of solar power across the emirate and the region.
The programme is being introduced at a time when awareness on rooftop solar systems is increasing the world over.
DEWA wants all domestic, commercial, industrial and government buildings to install solar panels.
The initiative is a grid-connected programme wherein the Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) system is installed on building rooftops and connected to DEWA’s grid.
The scheme would allow private owners of solar systems to feed excess energy to the DEWA grid.
The local real estate market welcomes the initiative as it will have a tremendous impact on the sector.
The cost-effective scheme can boost property values, whether the property in question is residential or commercial, by improving its marketability to occupiers who are driven by cost-effective objectives and additional income received via power purchase agreements and government-backed tariffs.
The residential property segment is very impressive, and it is expected to pick up momentum in the next few years.
Meanwhile, the DEWA programme will encourage landlords and tenants of both commercial and residential properties to explore the various advantages of installing solar panels to limit the rising energy costs.
Using rooftop solar panels would help homeowners and tenants of residential and commercial establishments meet their power needs.
The challenge in the commercial segment lies in getting access to the roof area for long years.
The commercial rooftop space is a valuable real estate with many competing uses; thus, it becomes hard to dedicate the space to a solar project for a longer period.
DEWA’s rooftop solar initiative is a strong governmental push for solar rooftop deployment.
The economic viability of the said programme has been rapidly increasing globally.
However, valuation of properties with SPV assets can be framed after completely implementing the system.
This will enable the users to take control of their energy costs, minimise environmental impact and achieve environmental commitments in general.
The grid-connected rooftop solar system is undoubtedly stimulating the real estate market.
However, there needs to be a greater understanding of the capabilities of the SPV, the other implications of its installation and the management implications of the asset.
Globally, commercial and industrial customers are now turning to solar energy.
The fact is that technology has helped change the attitudes of the customers and the industry positively.
Properties equipped with SPV may achieve premium prices as proof of good liquidity.
However, there is still a long way to go to create awareness among the public about what is going on in the city and for people to fully embrace the possibilities of solar energy.
With this initiative being rolled out, we would expect to see a significant escalation of rooftop solar projects in both commercial and residential establishments.
It is all about educating the public, and engaging them with the industry.
Source: Kalpesh Sampat, Special to Freehold
Director, SPF Realty