Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance of the UAE and President of DEWA, along with Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), and other senior officials, at the opening of Wetex 2017, at Dubai World Trade Centre and Exhibition halls. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

DUBAI: The first day of Dubai’s Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (Wetex) saw a number of announcements from companies and organisations working in the sustainability sector.

DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, and Dubai Carbon, a partnership between Dubai and the United Nations, signed an agreement on Monday to use crowdfunding and new technologies to power the retrofitting of warehouses in Mina Rashid.

Students from Dubai Modern Education School, explain their project to visitors at their stall during Wetex. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Using crowdfunding, UAE residents will be able to invest in a total of 3,000 kilowatts of solar energy. In addition, investors will attain a return through the kilowatt hours generated from the project, at an estimated return rate of 40 per cent across a ten year period. Through crowdfunding, the project aims to install high-efficiency and energy saving utilities in Mina Rashid.

The project is one of several initiatives undertaken by Dubai Carbon to encourage the development of green finance, which is, in turn, part of a wider effort to diversify the economy away from its reliance on oil revenues.

Elsewhere, Masdar, the government body, and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) showcased their clean energy initiatives to visitors at the event.

Masdar highlighted its growing clean energy portfolio in the UAE, including innovative projects in water desalination and waste-to-energy production. It also addressed conference delegates on critical issues such as clean-tech innovation; renewable energy desalination options for the UAE; opportunities and challenges for the development of smart cities; and the next stage of urban evolution.

The solar stand at the 2nd Dubai Solar Show was the centre of attraction at Dubai Wold Trade Centre. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

The RTA, on the other hand, displayed a Tesla electric car to attendees, as a way to promote the group’s green credentials.

Dubai’s transport authority recently inaugurated 50 Tesla cars, with a deal for 200 more vehicles on the way, set to be operated in batches by 2019.

In a first for the emirate, Dubai Investments, an investment company listed on the Dubai Financial Market, separately announced that coloured solar panels supplied through its joint venture, Emirates Insolaire, will soon be installed on buildings across Dubai, as the emirate reinforces its commitment to a sustainable future.

Exhibitors interact with visiors at the Dewa stand, during Wetex, at Dubai World Trade Centre. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Lastly, Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), which operates over 100 gas stations throughout the UAE, told Gulf News in an interview that it would power all of its future stations with solar energy, at a cost of between $20 million (Dh73.5 million) to $30 million.