Dubai Investments (DI),  the largest investment company listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), on Monday announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind, coloured solar glass, which is capable of generating energy on its own.
The launch of the coloured solar glass coincides with the announcement of a new entity, Emirates Insolaire , which will introduce the breakthrough concept in the region and across the world.
Emirates Insolaire is part of Glass, the glass pioneers in the Middle East, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of DI.
The newly announced entity is a joint venture that uses the Kromatix technology of SwissINSO, a Switzerland-based pioneer in the development and application of new solar technologies and products.
The company will produce the solar glass at the Emirates Glass manufacturing facility in the UAE, which has been modified to adapt the new technology.
The breakthrough glass, which comes in virtually any colour, is optimised for both photovoltaic modules, which use cells to convert solar radiation into electricity, as well as solar thermal collectors. The glass provides a matte coloured, architecturally aesthetic appearance to solar panels, preserving more than 90 per cent of efficiency.
Khalid bin Kalban, managing director and chief executive officer of Dubai Investments, said: “We are thrilled with the launch of this revolutionary solar glass technology here, which could literally transform the manner in which we use solar energy for our homes, offices as well as the commercial buildings. This is a significant paradigm shift in solar glass technology, and we see significant growth opportunities going forward as we accelerate market penetration.”
“In the coming 18 months we will be roughly spending around €2 million to purchase equipment that will help us boost production,” Kalban revealed.
Industry estimates reveal that over a billion square meters of solar glass, both photovoltaic and thermal, will be installed across the world by 2015. The photovoltaic market, in particular, has achieved exponential growth globally over the years.
The market was 40GW in 2010, representing 200 million square meters of glass, and has grown 40 per cent year-on-year. The number of installations foreseen for 2015 is 160GW, which is approximately 800 million square meters of glass.
The thermal solar glass market was 183 million square meters in 2006, and has been growing by 12 per cent year-on-year since then. Emirates Insolaire is targeting 10 per cent of the global solar glass market in the coming years. The company estimates that it will be selling 300,000sqm of solar glass in 2014.
“Kromatix is a first-of-its-kind business model not only in the region, but across the entire world. The technology is highly sustainable and is a major innovation for potential application in commercial and residential projects across the region,” Kalban revealed.
Rafic Hanbali, chairman and CEO of SwissINSO, said: “The coloured solar glass technology is expected to become the norm and standards in the construction industry over the next three to five years, particularly when considering the present and expected growth of solar integration into buildings. These buildings, by will or by law, will have to become energetically independent and Kromatix is the only road available today for this integration.”