Dubai begins solar bus stop pilot

The Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai is conducting trial runs to introduce solar-powered ACs in bus stops. (Image source: gyuz mirrracle/Flickr)The Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai is conducting trial runs to introduce solar-powered ACs in bus stops. (Image source: gyuz mirrracle/Flickr)The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has initiated a pilot project to use solar energy to power air conditioners and lights in bus stops

The trial is currently taking place near the Al Jafiya Metro station, as part of the RTA's efforts to explore alternative sources of energy to power more than 100 bus shelters.

If the project is successful, the RTA will extend the scheme to more than 1,500 bus stops in the city.

Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s public transport agency, said, "We are looking at various options to power our bus shelters and solar energy is one of the options as it is readily available.

"RTA is doing feasibility and utility studies on the project and trying to clear all the obstacles before going ahead with the project in other bus shelters."

The trial is expected to run till the end of 2014, and various aspects like cost of operations, environmental benefits and maintenance issues will be analysed.

If successful, this project can solve the issue of power connectivity of more than 100 bus shelters across Dubai, according to Ali.

The Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) has stated that Dubai should aim to achieve 10 per cent growth in solar power within the next 16 years; Dubai is currently aiming to harness one per cent of its energy needs from solar power by 2020, and five per cent by 2030.

There are a currently a total of 898 AC bus shelters, out of which 130 still don’t have power supply.

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