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Dubai in discussions with French companies over installation of ‘smart light poles’

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) have announced that it has entered into negotiations with a number of French-based companies in relation to the possibility of installing 'smart light poles and solar roads. Dubai is one of the most progressive and technologically driven cities in the entire world, and has its own dedicated government led initiative entitled Smart Dubai.

DEWA is already leading the way in the GCC region when it comes to renewable energy due to construction of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park earlier this year. A delegation which is being spearheaded by the Managing Director and CEO of DEWA Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer has flown to Paris to engage in talks with French company Colas Group about the potential of forming collaborations in areas such as research and development, smart lighting poles and solar roads.

It has also been disclosed that DEWA representatives discussed the opportunity to produce clean energy from photovoltaic cells that are installed on road surfaces and hope to develop smart lighting poles in partnership with the Ragni Group. It has also been reported that talks regarding a collaboration that would see both parties working in tandem at the R&D Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai was also discussed.

It has been claimed that during the meeting Colas Group presented DEWA with 'Wattway' which was developed in a partnership with the French National Energy Institute. Wattway is a set of solar cell panels that have been installed on existing road surfaces that transform them into 'solar roads' that produce clean energy.

The solar panels are a few millimeters thick and can endure all types of vehicle loads without being damaged. It has been further disclosed that the technology will be further developed in order to be used for charging electric vehicles that travel on these roads that have been installed with the Wattway solar panels.

DEWA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ragni Group between Innogy International Middle East, which was established by DEWA and Europe's Innogy, and lighting company Ragni Group. Under the terms that have been established they will design and implement smart lighting poles that combine multiple innovative features that support smart-city infrastructure. The smart poles will be produced in the first quarter of 2018.

CEO of DEWA Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said these innovative initiatives support efforts to promote Dubai's sustainable development as well as national efforts to increase reliance on clean energy.

Al Tayer said, "Dubai is one of the pioneering cities in innovating new techniques and practices to improve energy efficiency and developing alternative solutions for conventional energy. These innovative initiatives support Dewa's effort to promote Dubai's sustainable and comprehensive development as well as national efforts to increase reliance on clean energy, protect the environment and sustain our natural resources. This is part of our efforts to achieve the Dubai Plan 2021 to make Dubai a smart, integrated, and connected city, and the preferred place to live, work, and visit."