Dubai Municipality hopes to save up to 100.000 dollars in electricity bills every year and increase environmental awareness by switching to solar power for its 80 public toilets.
Dubai, one of the cities in the United Arab Emirates, which is already developing Masdar, a solar-powered city in the desert —is also pursuing more down-to-earth clean energy applications. About 80 public toilets across Dubai run on electricity, including the fluorescent lights, exhaust fans and small water pumps. This power source will be replaced by solar power in the experimental toilets, says Juma Khalifa Al Fuqae, director of the general maintenance department who is in charge of the project.
Seeing how the sun is always blazing in Dubai all the time, solar-powered structures are definitely a step in the right direction. If these new toilets are successful, Dubai will also be upgrading its older toilets to take advantage of this renewable energy source as well. The city will also be drawing up plans for solar-powered swimming pools and abattoirs for the future.
Mr Al Fuqae says he hopes the initial investment will be returned within two years.
The toilets will be free for public use.