Latest Buzz: Drones go vertical on clean energy practices in UAE
Falcon Eye Drones, Dubai based drone-powered solutions company, introduced a sustainability practice to the portfolio of its wide range services in the Middle East. Drones for Sustainability vertical is designed to address the growing importance of sustainable business and industry practices across construction, oil and gas, agriculture, mapping, surveying, utilities, energy, and many other highly regulated sectors. Within the framework of the new practice Falcon Eye Drones will be sustainability proofing their upcoming developments by evaluating the amount of carbon footprint that will be avoided by utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to service a project; increasing its participation and contribution towards regional discussions at industry events and trade shows; and further contributing towards the education of relevant industry professionals and experts via co-hosted and independently organized events and training activities.
“While we are fully aware of drones’ impact on the time and cost efficiency of any project we encounter, sustainability of these ventures is an added value that industry players don’t fully recognize yet. Sustainability and renewable energy practices are some of the top priorities amongst the GCC and wider Middle Eastern governments and are explicitly reflected in their vision statements. By launching our Drones for Sustainability vertical, we are helping our customers to be much more sustainable, industry professionals to learn about ‘cleaner’ practices and our peers to continue their sustainable journeys while supporting further growth and progression of our flourishing region”, said Rabih Bou Rashid, Managing Director of Falcon Eye Drones.
Drones for Sustainability vertical was inspired by the increasing role UAVs play across many industries that lean towards clean energy practices. New practice was also boosted by the regional market sentiment on renewable energy and sustainability. The Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) renewable energy market is currently dominated by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where power requirements will grow by 6.4% each year until 2022. According to the World Future Energy Summit statement, the Middle East is expected to more than triple its share of renewable energy from 5.6% in 2016 to 20.6% in 2035, with solar making up the lion’s share of this figure. To successfully achieve this target, an estimated USD 30-40 billion of capital will need to be invested in future projects across the region.
Introduction of UAVs to develop solar energy plants in the Middle East is one of the breakthroughs that demonstrates the importance of drone technologies within this sector. During the construction of any solar plant, each zone has its own pace, and various activities such as groundwork preparation, topographic survey, construction, screw, and panels installation that are happening simultaneously. With the addition of a fully automated ground screw installation methodology, the construction speed increases tremendously.
To increase the time efficiency during any the solar plant construction project, fully automated ground screw installation solution can make a tremendous impact. A fully integrated software, cloud, and hardware solutions can save the solar installation time by 10-30%. Such solutions use computer-aided design to plan the location and the depth of the screw, and then use the fully automated real-time kinematic (RTK) guided machinery to install the ground screw.
Another great example of the sustainable impact of drone applications is observed in the agriculture sector. According to Statista, the market size for drones in smart agriculture will reach 2.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2021 globally. The contribution of the agricultural sector to the overall economy varies significantly among countries in the Middle East, ranging from about 3.2% in Saudi Arabia to 13.4% in Egypt. Drone technology makes a huge contribution to the agriculture industry through planning and strategy based on real-time data gathering and processing, mainly considering water supply challenges that are common across the region, especially in the GCC countries. Drones can contribute towards the sustainability of the agricultural sector by taking on such tasks as soil and field analysis, planting, crop spraying, crop monitoring, irrigation, health assessment and many more.
“We believe that the important part of the drone technology implementation lies in the awareness amongst various industry professionals. This awareness can only be achieved through continuous educational efforts carried by the regional governments and private sector entities via industry events, legislation, various campaigns and educational programs introduced across schools and universities”, added Rabih.