Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, made a special presentation on the ‘Future of Solar Power in Hotels’ at The Big 5 Solar conference held in Dubai recently.
Laurent believes increasing awareness about solar power can lead to significant benefits for the hotel industry. He stressed, “To take advantage of evolving solar technology greater collaboration is required among various stakeholders of the building design and construction process, such as building owners, developers, architects, building material suppliers, regulatory authorities and specialized PV/BIPV industry experts. It is important to start a dialogue between all parties, so we can all collaborate for a better future.”
Renewable energy is a global phenomenon and the adoption of solar PV systems in the Middle East is starting to accelerate which will soon lead to a more diversified national energy supply portfolio. New business models for solar energy production and distribution are emerging. Several countries across the Middle East region have set steep capacity installation targets over the next 10 to 15 years. Given its increasing affordability, the applications and use of solar energy have broadened and can also be implemented in hotels.
Laurent said, “Innovations in solar energy technology are rapidly changing both – the solar industry as well as the way we embrace solar energy. Solar requires investment but it has tremendous financial and ecological benefits too. The development of innovative design concepts is essential for energy efficiency in hotel buildings for both new and existing stock. Hotel designers need to rebalance the relationship between architecture and nature with the goal of increasing the quality of life. We know wind and solar power will dominate power mix by 2050. We expect to see greater adoption of solar in hotels as well.”
There are multiple factors that are driving solar energy solutions in the urban sector. In order to prepare for an urban influx of 2 billion people by 2050, it is critical to create cities that are low-carbon, resilient and affordable.
According to recent reports, the UAE is among the world’s top investors in clean energy and is set to invest AED 600 billion by 2050 in the sector with a target to have 75 per cent of the total power output from it. Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park has announced plans to build one of the world’s largest solar energy plants, which will be able to generate 5GW of power by 2030. Similarly, the GCC’s installed solar capacity is expected to reach 76GW by 2020. Egypt is hoping to put 2,650MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity online by 2020. Morocco is aiming for 600MW while Jordan has 540MW of PV projects under construction.
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