Assessment of the Solar Roof Program in Abu Dhabi: On the Feasibility of Building Applied Photovoltaic Systems in the UAE

  • Mona Al Ali

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Building applied Photovoltaics (BAPV) is a fast growing sector in the global PV market. However, despite huge solar energy resources available in the United Arab Emirate (UAE), PV installations in buildings are still very limited compared to many countries with GW installed capacity. A rising energy demand over the last decade makes it increasingly important to examine the feasibility of large-scale application of PV into our built environment here in the UAE. In this thesis, technical and economic assessments were carried out on existing roof mounted PV systems of various sizes and using different solar cell technologies. These PV systems were installed within the framework of the Solar Roof Program initiated by the government of Abu Dhabi. The results show that PV technologies perform differently as indicated by the performance parameters analyzed, where different losses were evaluated. Moreover, the comparison of the UAE’s PV systems with systems installed in other parts of the world showed that the UAE’s PV systems have higher energy yield, performance ratio and capacity factor. This highlights the relevance and importance of using rooftop PV systems, and BAPV in general, in various buildings in the UAE. In addition, an economic analysis was performed on the PV systems and the results were compared and discussed based on a number of financial schemes. Finally, current policy frameworks used around the world supporting the use of PV in buildings were examined and some policy recommendations were proposed for largescale deployment of PV systems in the UAE built environment.
Date of AwardJun 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahieddine Emziane (Supervisor)


  • Solar Roof Program
  • Abu Dhabi; United Arab Emirates; Photovoltaic Systems.

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