World Energy Forum host UAE leads sustainable energy investment

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Harold Hyunsuk Oh, President and Chairman of World Energy Forum speaks during the opening ceremony of the World Energy Forum (WEF) 2012 in Gulf emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 22 October 2012. [CFP] 

Vice chairman of the Dubai Supreme Energy council and DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said at a round-table discussion Wednesday that, still lots of energy is wasted. "Because window air conditioner systems are still widely in use, some 40 percent of Dubai's cooling energy used by them is wasted. To tackle this challenge, the vast majority of new buildings will be connected to efficient district cooling systems."

District cooling plants supply entire areas of a street or area of a city with cooling energy being generated with heat pumps that exploit thermal energy from purified sewage and waste water.

Besides increasing energy efficiency, new sources of energy are in Gulf state's pipeline to contribute the country's energy mix for tomorrow. Earlier in January this year, Dubai unveiled a 3.3- billion-U.S. dollar solar park. It will be located in the southeast of the emirate and is named after the ruling family Al- Maktoum. "The first phase of Dubai's solar park will be in operation by the end of 2013," Al Tayer said.

In order to diversify the sources of energy further, Dubai's neighboring sheikhdom Abu Dhabi, which is also the UAE's capital, currently builds four nuclear reactor plants in the Western region of Al-Gharbia. The nuclear plants will cost 20 billion dollars and is constructed under the lead of Korea Electric Power Corp., known as KEPCO.

"Until 2030, Abu Dhabi plans to satisfy 25 percent while the entire UAE plans to generate 12 percent of its electricity needs from nuclear energy. By using nuclear energy, every year more than 12 million tons of carbon emissions will be saved," said Abdulhamid Nassouri, chief commercial officer of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC).


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