Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), which operates over 100 gas stations throughout the UAE, has said it will power all of its future stations with solar energy.
At a cost of between $20 million (Dh73.50 billion) to $30 million, Enoc will fit each of its new gas stations with solar panels, providing enough energy to power the forecourt and other services within the station.
“We are planning to open 48 new stations in the UAE between now and the end of 2020, and they will all be powered by solar panels, located on their roofs,” said Zaid Al Qufaidi, Managing Director of Enoc’s retail business, in an interview with Gulf News.
Al Qufaidi added the company would also be looking at retrofitting older gas stations with solar panels, where the structural design allowed for it. In cases where gas stations could not support solar panels, the MD said that Enoc would be upgrading them to be able to hold such heavy panels.
In a further push towards reducing its carbon footprint, Enoc is also building on its partnership with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), he said.
“We will be fitting all 48 of our planned stations in the UAE with electric car chargers, in collaboration with Dewa,” Al Qufaidi said.
He added: “Dewa already has many chargers in the city, so together we are trying to ensure there is sufficient coverage in more remote areas, the outskirts.”
In May, Al Qufaidi told Gulf News that Enoc had already installed 10 of these chargers at existing service stations, adding that he will increase that number in line with the number of electric car owners in the emirate. He said there were more electric Tesla cars in Dubai than ever before. In January 2017, the UAE announced plans to massively decrease its reliance on fossil fuels by 2050.
With this drive towards clean fuels and renewable energies, mass transportation and electric cars will be promoted by the government as more sustainable methods of travel.
Responding to a question in May about whether he saw this as a threat to his business, Al Qufaidi said that some of his counterparts definitely do.
“I, however, see it instead as an opportunity. All of our new gas stations will be equipped with vapour recovery and enough operational solar panels to sustain the station’s capacity,” he said. “I feel very strongly about these things.”