Online Calculator Boosts Solar Generation Connections by 52 Percent
With over three million people, Dubai is a city and important emirate in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is a leader in alternative energy use supporting sustainable development. DEWA launched the Shams Dubai Calculator web portal to help achieve its aggressive renewable energy goals. The name Shams comes from the Arabic word for sun. The online application examines numerous parameters and estimates the electric production potential of every rooftop in Dubai. Access to this information quickly increased the solar panel adoption rate.
Dubai is ideal for photovoltaic solar power. It has abundant sunshine and an average of only five rain days per year, The Dubai Supreme Energy Council formulated a strategy to generate 75 percent of all electricity needs from renewable sources by 2050.
It is estimated that 88 percent of the roofs in Dubai are suitable for solar panels, but DEWA determined that a lack of convenient information was limiting the adoption of solar panels. Analyzing each project's potential took too long and cost too much. This project analysis created a serious barrier to realizing Dubai's renewable energy potential. DEWA determined that a user-friendly public application would allow it to communicate effectively with customers and encourage adoption of solar energy.
Industry – Electric/Gas
User - Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA
Challenge - DEWA determined that a lack of convenient information was limiting the adoption of solar panels. Analyzing each project's potential took too long and cost too much.
Solution - ArcGIS Enterprise
Result - The application is helping DEWA reach its renewable energy goals by providing timely information, eliminating barriers, and improving solar energy adoption.
The Shams Dubai Calculator uses the powerful analytic capabilities of ArcGIS to rate the suitability of any potential location. DEWA customers use the web application to quickly learn about their own roof's potential and to see if solar power is right for them. Built by Esri's professional services team, the application runs in a web browser. It even prompts users to share their results on social media.
Users interact with high-resolution imagery in 3D to accurately determine the roof area. Data about the specific rooftop location, sun position, solar radiation, and the solar panels themselves is processed in ArcGIS. This allows ArcGIS Enterprise to easily show the results about potential energy production, bill savings, and environmental benefits.
The application recommends an optimal solar energy system size to achieve the estimated energy bill savings. This includes a high-level panel layout for the customer's premises. The calculator also allows users to adjust panel quantity and spacing to fine-tune their estimate. To simplify installation, a list of certified contractors is also included with the recommendations. The app goes even further, estimating the carbon footprint reduction by calculating equivalents for planting trees and avoiding car usage.
The Shams calculator received tens of thousands of visits, increasing new solar connections by 52 percent in one year. The application has been very well received by residents and businesses alike. Users enjoy the convenient interface and accurate estimates of energy potential and ecological benefits of their roofs. Furthermore, the app estimates the energy bill reduction in comparison to the customer's billing history. Finally, it provides information on other sustainability initiatives like electric vehicle charging. Recognizing the app's value, neighboring governmental agencies have expressed interest in duplicating this capability in their region.
The application is helping DEWA reach its renewable energy goals by providing timely information, eliminating barriers, and improving solar energy adoption. Esri recognized DEWA's contribution to innovation and sustainability with the 2018 Special Achievement in GIS Award. To learn more about this project, click here.
This application provides DEWA customers with the ability to estimate potential electricity production and savings on electricity charges by installing solar panels.