Abu Dhabi’s major environment friendly policy initiatives of renewable energy

By Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

United Arab Emirates being a hub of foreign direct investments, tourism, trade and the last but not the least service sector is also taking all possible policy initiatives to lead the region and world in the field of renewable energy resources/technologies.

The deteriorating global warming levels and drastic changes in the climates have forced us to find new sustainable, renewable energy resources to power the planet without further damages to environment equilibrium.

On the part of the United Arab Emirates, it launched the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 to provide the emirate with the strategic environment that achieves sustainable urban planning and economic growth in 2007. It is estimated that UAE population may reach to five million in 2030 so its main focus is to on creating a diversified economy to reduce its dependence on oil and building the necessary foundations and infrastructure that will support a sustainable society. In the ongoing World Future Energy Summit, 2011 (WFES), the experts, researchers, technologists, and common people got mesmerized about knowing and seeing the 17 pioneering projects of the better conserve energy and drive sustainable development in the UAE. It includes the DMA and the three regional municipal administrations: Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Ain Municipality, and Western Region Municipality projects of the renewable energy which also showed the gradual lessen reliance of the UAE on more traditional forms of energy.

The UAE have initiated many diversified but integrated policies to institutionalize renewable energy resources, through the emirate which are not confined only to the introduction of a set of building codes by the Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA). It is hoped that the new building codes will unify building practices and create better, safer, greener buildings that are more cost-effective and meet safety standards. It has also introduced the International Energy Code, which sets out minimum standards for energy conservation that it is hoped will help the emirate meet all United Nations Green Building targets for extremely hot areas.

The other mentionable project was showcased in the WFES, 2011 include the Mohammad Bin Zayed City Project. It is is setting the standard for building sustainable communities. Introduction of more energy-efficient street lighting using solar energy and LED technology and the use of solar panels for lighting and providing air conditioning in bus shelters are the few prime policy initiatives taken by the UAE government.

Majid Ali Al Mansouri, chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs said that with the successful implementation of many local sustainability initiatives such as regulating mandatory use of energy efficient LED street-lighting, creating environmental health and safety management frameworks and introducing a unified set of building codes for the construction sector, the emirate of Abu Dhabi is leading by example with practical initiatives to reduce energy consumption and protect the environment in the MENA region.”

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One Comment

  1. Adopting the IECC is a great firs step. But it’s important to keep in mind that adoption does not equal compliance. Rather, it’s just the first step. For an energy code to be more than just a book with technical language, design and construction professionals must comply with it and code officials must enforce it. Both groups must also receive support from other stakeholders, like policymakers, utilities, etc.

    Even locations with the model energy codes or even green or above-code standards sometimes struggle to ensure that actual energy savings match predicted. Let’s hope Abu Dhabi implements its new code, which will require a firm commitment from their government to make their code go beyond a “green” initiative.

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