Two solar-powered street lights have been installed at Dubai Internet City to demonstrate how the city can make better use of one of its greatest natural assets: year-long sunshine.

The lights, which store energy from the sun throughout the day, will automatically turn on at dusk and switch off again at dawn.

Prabissh Thomas, Regional Managing Director for gesolar, one of the partners in the project, said: “The UAE has the greatest potential for capitalising on solar energy because it receives a lot of sunlight.

“The most important advantage for solar street lighting is that it is financially viable particularly in areas where the cost of providing a mains supply is prohibitive.

“The solar panel is guaranteed for 20 years reducing labour costs and increasing safety.''

Ali Bin Towaih, Director of the Energy and Environment Park (Enpark), the project's other partner, said: “This pro-active demo project reflects our commitment to protecting the environment.

“Amidst escalating global environmental challenges, we are looking towards solar powered solutions for its obvious eco-benefits, including producing pollution-free energy and reducing energy costs.

“We are confident our initiative will encourage a wider adoption of solar-powered technology based solutions in Dubai.''

According to the Energy Information Administration, the data arm of the US Department of Energy, worldwide consumption of renewable energy will almost double by 2030. The Middle East is set to see a dramatic increase in the annual average renewable power generation capacity, more than 2.5 times the global average.

A recent report by Greenpeace, the European Solar Thermal Power Industry Association and the International Energy Agency's SolarPACES programme, said that by 2025 the industry will attract nearly $20 billion (Dh73 billion) investment a year, employ 54,000 people, and would have avoided the emission of 362 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.