Dubai: Solar power developers from Japan are keen for feed-in tariffs to be introduced in the UAE to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources and to help accelerate the move toward grid parity where solar energy may be able to cost-effectively compete with fossil fuels.

Feed-in tariffs allow companies and individual producers of energy from renewable sources the right to feed the electricity they generate into the public grid and get paid fixed rates for any kilowatt hour (KWh) they produce, or feed into the grid.

A Japanese delegation from Sanyo unveiled a hybrid photovoltaic solar system on trial basis in Trakhees-Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), the regulatory arm of Trakhees — Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), in Dubai this week.

Good power

The photovoltaic system will provide energy to light the entire reception area and power two LCD televisions at the reception, the main conference room lighting and also the LCD projector in the conference hall.

Approximately 1,300 kilograms of carbon dioxide emission will be saved annually.

The system includes Sanyo's HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer) technology panel range combined with a high efficiency solar inverter from SMA Solar Germany and is expected to save 2,400 kilowatt hours of energy.

Takashi Hirao, Chief Regional Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Sanyo Gulf FZE, handed over the system to Trakhees-EHS.

Hirao appealed to the authorities concerned to encourage green energy solutions by offering feed-in tariff programmes similar to those in Europe.

So far feed-in tariff policies exist in over 60 countries including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Singapore, South-Korea, Japan and South Africa, as well as some states in the US.

Energy policy

"This will definitely transform UAE's power generation needs from conventional based system to greener photovoltaic based energy solution to save the CO2 emissions and to positively contribute to reduce the impact of global warming," he said.

In Abu Dhabi, Masdar PV, the solar photovoltaic manufacturer, is also awaiting a promised energy policy to establish subsidies for renewable power.

According to media reports the company had planned to start construction on a separate panel manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi by the end of last year but postponed it due to a lack of subsidies to support the high cost of renewable energy.

Sanyo is behind the Solar Ark facility in Japan — a symbol of the company's goal of achieving a "clean energy society".

It is an ark-shaped, solar photovoltaic power generation facility that is 315 metres wide, 37 metres tall and located in Gifu Prefecture, in the geographical centre of Japan.

Stationed at the centre of the Solar Ark is the Solar Lab, a museum of solar energy.