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The UAE must reduce its global energy footprint


Growth of population and consumerism key factors for high consumption

February 24, 2014 5:14 by

Sixty per cent of the UAE’s energy consumption will be affected by energy management systems (EMS), according to experts that attended the inaugural conference of the Centre of Excellence for Green Development today (Monday, February 25).

Niraj Mathur, senior lead assessor at Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), also believes that adopting an EMS, such as the ISO 50001, is one of the best ways for the UAE to reduce its global footprint. “The applications of an EMS are mind blowing and virtually limitless. At the LRQA alone, EMS has been successfully adopted in some of the biggest companies across the region, such as Emaar Community Management, BAE Systems, Agfa Graphics and Avnet Asia.

As part of its EMS, Emaar Community Management recently replaced 12,000 halogen light bulbs with LEDs across its high-rise communities, resulting in an energy saving of 4.5 million KWH and a cost saving of more than AED2 million.

“I think more companies in the UAE will adopt EMSs, as they begin to see the cost benefits to their businesses. The ISO hopes at least 60 per cent of energy consumption worldwide to be influenced by the ISO 50001 and that is certainly achievable in a progressive and committed country, such as the UAE. EMSs, like the ISO 50001, can be applied to any kind of organisation, be it a private company or a government entity,” says Mathur.

The growth of population and consumption in the UAE are key factors for it being ranked as one of the countries with the highest per capital ecological footprints in the world, as highlighted in the WWF Living Planet report, which was published last year.

The Government of Dubai has announced a raft of initiatives to adopt energy efficient and green technologies, with the most recent announcements being its plans to phase out low efficiency incandescent light bulbs by restricting import from July 2014 and the launch of a new energy efficiency programme called the Dubai Green Building project (to be implemented this year).

“The need for energy efficiency in Dubai is well documented,” adds Mathur. “The growth in population and a tremendous amount of consumerism have led to high rates of consumption in energy and that has led to issues, such as the depletion of natural resources, searching for alternative resources and creating energy efficiency through EMSs, which is arguably the most practical way for change.”

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