Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid sees Dubai as “the city of the future.” To him, that means becoming the city with the smallest carbon footprint in the world by 2050. The first order of business: make rooftop solar power mandatory by 2030. The second order of business: generate 75% of the city’s energy via solar power by 2050. After the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) built its first solar powered gas station, it’s safe to say the UAE – one of the world’s biggest oil producers – has every intention supporting Dubai’s 2050 Clean Energy Strategy.
Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy
“Through this strategy, which is based on innovation, research, and development, we aim to explore the future of the energy sector to unveil initiatives that will make use of the scientific and technological developments in this sector and take the lead in their development and applications,” Shaikh Mohammed said in a recent press release.
Capable of generating 120-kilowatt hours of energy, ENOC’s recently built solar gas station is the first of its kind. “The panels produce 30% more energy than what the gas station actually needs,” according to the ENOC. With the remaining energy sent back into Dubai’s electric grid, it’s really hard to find any downside to a gas station covered in solar panels.
There really is no better way to show the world your commitment to clean energy than transforming gas stations into fully sustainable energy facilities, especially if you’re one of the leading exporters of crude oil. Dubai’s commitment goes way beyond ENOC’s recent solar power gas station project. With $27 Billion dedicated to low-interest financing for clean energy ventures as part of Dubai’s Green Fund, it’s no surprise that the UAE is predicting reaching 25% of its solar power goals by 2030.
Here are some of the clean energy projects currently underway in Dubai:
Elon Musk’s vision to build Hyperloop One – a rapid transit service – is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to investments totally $160 million. Capable of reaching speeds of 1,200 km (800 mph), Hyperloop One can take passengers and cargo from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes.
With $50 million in new funding from DP World Group, the third largest port operator in the world, investors are ready to play a major role in building the future of megacities. CEO Rob Lloyd signed the deal with His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA). The building blocks are in place and with the backing from companies like 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, The French National Rail Company, and GE Ventures, designers have revealed a new system that shows how it would really be like to ride Hyperloop One.
On the heels of the government announcing its plans to make at least a quarter of the city’s buildings 3D printed by 2030, Dubai partnered with Cazza Construction – a tech firm known for its vision in the industry. “Cazza has developed a system of 3D printing buildings at large scale and at high speeds with the use of giant robotic 3D printers.”
Cazza Construction is an impressive company, to say the least. Since agreeing to take on the skyscraper project, they’ve developed an innovative printing system that retrofits on existing cranes – eliminating the need to build 3D printing cranes from scratch. After turning down a Saudi developer’s $38.6 million offer to buy the company, Cazza Construction has been focused on upgrading their technology for the sake of building the world’s first 3D printed skyscraper.
Dubai police showed off their newest crime fighter at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) and it just so happens to be an android. Able to shake hands and salute, Dubai’s Robocop can scan faces and spot people from 10 to 20 meters away.
The new android officer is equipped with a touchscreen so the public can report crimes and process fines for traffic violations. The next step for Dubai’s Robocop: voice commands. Working with IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, and Google to add virtual assistant technology, Dubai wants the android cop to follow voice commands.
Ehang, Inc. – the Guangzhou, China drone company, is about to integrate its single-passenger 184 AAV (autonomous aerial vehicle) into Dubai’s alternative transportation plan of attack. With its debut flight over the iconic Burj al-Arab skyscraper hotel already in the books, the Ehang 184 is poised to revolutionize transportation in the United Arab Emirates.
On the heels of Dubai’s Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s announcing that “25% of all passenger trips in the city to be done by driverless vehicles in 2030,” Ehang’s could not be more ideal. Already partnered with Tesla’s Elon Musk to build the Hyperloop One – a startup building futuristic tubes to zip people from Dubai to Abu Dhabi – the high-tech UAE city is confident Ehang’s AAV will be an alternative transportation success story.
“This is not only a model,” Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Agency said. “We have actually experienced with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.”