As countries across the globe look for new technologies and ways to conserve energy, the UAE, one of the youngest nations in the world, is also aware of its responsibilities and is doing its bit to encourage conservation and better management of resources.
Keeping this in mind, Dubai Quality Group, a non-profit organisation established by the Department of Economic Development, launched the Emirates Energy Award (EEA) last year to recognise the best-implemented practices in energy conservation and management that showcase innovative, cost-effective and replicable energy efficiency measures.
The recognition of various individuals, businesses and organisations engaged in the development of new and sustainable energy initiatives is just one of the tools EEA uses to achieve its goals. It also supports a number of programmes that not only encourage the development of professional management skills, but increase awareness of the efficient use of energy and its role in supporting sustainable growth in the UAE.
The awards were presented recently at a ceremony in Dubai where Dewa, Tecom, Dubal and Kuwaiti Institute for Scientific Research (Kisr) were some of the winners.
Speaking at the event Dr Abdullah Al Amiri, Chairman of EEA, said: "Our country is the first to support international efforts for energy-saving principles. This is manifested in the visionary policies of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which display a deep insight into the issues that concern experts in the fields of architecture, science, environment, harmony with international trends toward energy saving, and the development of alternate energy sources to maintain a clean environment with less thermal radiation. Ignoring these issues can lead to land deterioration during wars, famines, dry seasons, floods and other natural disasters against which man is powerless."
Emirates Business spoke to Dubai Quality Group and some of the winners to find out more about the awards, their objective and the criteria for choosing the winners.
Dr Wafi Dawood, Chairman, Dubai Quality Group, said: "The Emirates Energy Award was launched to recognise the best implemented practices in energy conservation and management that showcase innovative, cost effective and replicable energy efficiency measures. Such practices should have a sound and positive impact on the Gulf and create energy awareness on a broad level across the different facets of society.
"The significant increase in energy consumption and its subsequent impact on the environment and economy in the region necessitates the need for continuous and improved energy efficiency, conservation and management measures. This warranted a strong and effective campaign to encourage and foster energy conservation and management practices.
"Quite simply, the EEA aims to increase awareness among individuals and policymakers of the importance of optimising the utilisation of energy. This should ultimately contribute to the targeted sustainable development not just in the UAE but in the entire region. The role of the award is to hopefully act as a catalyst in educating those within our region about the need for increased awareness and sensible measures regarding energy consumption.
"The EEA is one of the key tools in generally drawing attention to environmental and energy-saving initiatives for the benefit of the region, and ultimately the world, as a whole," he added.
The awards cover six wide-ranging categories. These are Public Corporation Energy Award, Private Corporation Energy Award, Major Energy Project Award, Minor Energy Project Award, Education and Research Award and the Energy Engineer Award.
While the Public Corporation Energy Award recognises outstanding accomplishments by a public corporation in organising, developing and implementing effective corporate energy management programmes in the region, the Private Corporation Energy Award recognises outstanding accomplishments by a private corporation in developing, organising and implementing effective corporate energy management programmes.
The Major Energy Project Award recognises an energy conservation and management project with a total project construction cost of Dh10 million and the Minor Energy Project Award recognises an energy conservation and management project below Dh10m.
While the Education and Research Award recognises an implemented educational or research project that has successfully raised awareness of energy conservation and management issues, the Energy Engineer Award recognises an individual for outstanding accomplishments in promoting the principles and practices of energy engineering.
Dr Dawood said: "Anyone, either an individual or a company, can participate as long as their entries are able to demonstrate how effective they have been in energy saving. The participants are required to include facts and figures on how they have been successful in reducing energy usage and/or promoting energy efficiency.
"There were some extremely strong applications this year, it must be said. We were greatly impressed by all those who entered, and in some cases it was enormously difficult deciding on just one winner. For example, due to the calibre of the applicants, the Energy Engineer Award included a winner and four runners up."
Talking about the project that got them the award in the research and education category, Dr Saad Al Jandal, senior researcher and head of the Energy Group at KISR, who collected the award for his organisation, said the measures that they came up with were implemented in some buildings in Kuwait and resulted in 35 per cent saving in energy use in air conditioners and 50 per cent in lighting.
He said: "We were involved in the entire process from the word go. We not only participated in the designing of the building but also researched and studied the power- and energy-saving technology to be used in the building as well as its pattern of use. Then we implemented the measures and the results we got were tremendous."
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dewa, said: "In line with international efforts to promote the concept of sustainable development and to increase community awareness in the context of the continuous rise in electricity and water consumption, particularly in the residential sector, Dewa as a responsible corporate organisation is determined to educate consumers on simple but effective methods to rationalise the consumption of power and water.
"The efforts spent to sustain the resources, protect the environment and avail the components of sustainable development, are in line with Dewa's strategic plan, which is part of Dubai's strategic plan.
"Dewa continues its efforts to raise the production and operational efficiency and to use state-of-the-art technologies and methods of electrical load management and to use environment-friendly fuel, sparing no effort to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field."
- Include facts and figures on how they have been successful in reducing energy usage and promoting energy efficiency.
- Showcase any savings associated with energy conservation such as in the use of water, chemicals and other resources.
- Display environmental impact assessment for implementing a given energy management or energy conservation project or programme.
- Show how money has been saved through a life cycle cost analysis by outlining its payback period and the internal rate of return.
- Showcase successful examples of energy efficient projects and initiatives that could be replicated and reproduced elsewhere by outlining their market needs and ease of use.
- Demonstrate involvement of stakeholders such as customers, audiences and end users in a given project or programme during its development and/or after completion in order to highlight the awareness that has been raised.
Dewa won the Energy Award for Government Institutions, Tecom Investments won the Energy Award for Private Institutions, Engineer Fotouh Abdul Aziz Al Raqom of the Kuwaiti Institute for Scientific Research (Kisr) collected the Energy Engineer Award,
Dubal bagged the Big Energy Projects Award, Nakheel Asset Management got the Small Energy Projects Awards and Kisr picked up the Research and Education Award.
Dubal was the runner up in the Major Energy Project Category and Minor Energy Project Category.
The four runners up in the Energy Engineer Category were Mohammed J Sadek, Dubal; Faisal Ahmed, Bahrain Petroleum Corporation; Jayakumar, Tecom Investments; and Mohammed Pothilot Asharintavide, Nakheel Asset Management.