Small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Abu Dhabi have come under the spotlight after an announcement by Abu Dhabi to have them regulated.
The Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB) in Abu Dhabi will, starting next month, roll out a set of regulations governing small-scale PV energy netting.
RSB is the regulatory body for water, wastewater and electricity in Abu Dhabi. It made the announcement in a consultation document posted on its website.
“It is anticipated that the regulations will be issued in December 2016 together with a guidance document for the installation of small-scale solar PV systems,” the document said.
The existing regulatory framework in the emirate allows for the grid-connection of solar PV systems but does not compensate for surplus electricity transmitted to the grid, according to Reuters.
The new regulations aim to establish a framework for energy-netting of surplus electricity from solar PV systems ‘not exceeding an aggregate capacity of 5 MW in one premise.’ The producers will be compensated not monetarily but by offsetting the surplus electricity exported against future consumption.
The Bureau also issued a public invite for comments and feedback until 8 December, 2016, on the regulation and installation guidance from parties involved in the supply, design, construction, installation, testing, maintenance or operation of small-scale solar PV systems.
In 2014, Dubai issued a resolution regulating linkage of solar power generating units to the emirate's power grid, reported Reuters. Utility service provider Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is responsible for concluding linkage agreements with producers and determining how to dispose of surplus energy.
DEWA's Shams Dubai initiative allows customers to install solar PV systems on their rooftops to generate electricity and export the surplus to the DEWA grid. The customer account is settled on the offset between exported and consumed electricity. As of October 2016, an aggregate rooftop solar capacity of 6 MW has been installed at 222 residential and commercial buildings in the emirate.
Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei was quoted in January by the English-language daily The National as saying that the United Arab Emirates is looking to increase the share of clean energy in power generation from less than 1 percent to around 30 percent by 2030.