THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - ENERGY CONSERVATION
Dubai Municipality takes further step towards being most sustainable city in world with LED lighting posted on 02/10/2013
In the presence of Dr. Rashid Ahmed Mohammed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, Royal has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday with the Dubai Municipality to support the transformation of the Municipality's 262 buildings from conventional lighting infrastructure to energy efficient LED based solutions.
As part of Dubai Municipality's long-term vision to build an excellent city that provides the essence of success and comfort of sustainable living, the LED transformation project will help the municipality to reduce its energy consumption from lighting by more than 50%, leading to lower energy costs and a reduction in its carbon footprint.
The agreement was signed by Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality and Eric Rondolat, Chief Executive Officer, Philips Lighting.
"Dubai Municipality has pledged to reduce its energy consumption by 20% over the next three years, and we can do so by adopting innovative solutions, such as LED lighting. Becoming more energy efficient will help us protect and sustain our environment for generations to come," said Eng. Lootah. "We are pleased to take this next step with Philips as they share our vision and have provided a solution that meets the needs of the growing city." LED lighting solutions allow for greater control providing the right amount of light where and when it is needed, enabling municipalities to save energy and maintenance costs whilst also making buildings more attractive.
Eric Rondolat, Chief Executive Officer, Philips Lighting, said, "Philips is proud to partner with Dubai Municipality, as together we will shape a healthier and more sustainable future for residents in the city. As a leader in light, Philips will continue to shape the future with ground-breaking lighting technological innovation, such as LED, that will enable Dubai Municipality to meet its ambitions." Eng. Lootah reconfirmed the Municipality's eagerness to keep abreast of global developments in various areas of city administration, in line with its sustainability policy in the Emirate of Dubai in the fields of green buildings, and to ensure smooth integration with the strategic plan of Dubai. This comes as part of Dubai Municipality's long-term vision to build an excellent city that provides the essence of success and comfort of sustainable living.
The hope is to complete the transformation over a three-year period, during which Philips will also provide on-site education and training on implementing energy efficiency projects. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Wind turbine at Abu Dhabi school teaches students about clean energy posted on 11/09/2013
A school in Abu Dhabi has installed a wind turbine that will help it to meet its energy requirements.
Al Shohub School hopes the 10-kilowatt turbine will produce 10,300 kilowatts of power a year for its new campus in Khalifa City A, which is set to open this autumn.
That figure may be a small proportion of the school's total energy needs, but the turbine will help the school to reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by a significant 2,400 kilograms a year. It will also give the pupils a valuable lesson.
"It will give an indication to all students that you can use wind power to produce electricity," said Alaa Al Bayaty, head of engineering for the office of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the school's owner.
The turbine, a white structure nearly 30 metres tall, is not yet generating power but is expected to start in between two and three weeks.
Electricity produced will power three of the school's science laboratories.
Sockets in the labs will be a different colour to those in the rest of the school to remind students that clean power is being used.
Its power will also be used to cool a 20-square-metre service room, where the system's batteries and control panels will be placed.
Sheikh Sultan decided to install the turbine, the first in a UAE school, in May. Five consultancies submitted designs, with Makan Consulting Engineers winning the tender.
The school covers a built-up area of 13,000 square metres and includes a science and art laboratories, an indoor swimming pool and two libraries.
The school meets the one-pearl criteria under the Estidama green building system by the Urban Planning Council.
Initially, 700 students will move into the new school from an old campus in Abu Dhabi. The building has a capacity to handle as many as 1,200 pupils from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Construction started in September last year, with Nurol appointed the main contractor. The company that designed, supplied and installed the wind turbine is Dubai's Eco Solutions at Vista.
While the UAE may have greater potential for solar energy, harnessing wind power takes up less space and can be more eye-catching, said Ashraf Taha, a director at Eco Solutions.
"Something as high as this will be seen by everyone passing by," said Mr Taha. "I think you can even spot it from the highway, driving between Dubai and Abu Dhabi."
Wind speeds at the site range between three and eight metres a second, so the turbine is expected to be working at least 70 per cent of the time, he said.
"It will provide good information for other wind-power projects in the country," Mr Taha said.
About 700 workers are putting the finishing touches to the school. Construction is expected to be completed next month. – The National
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Energy savings at older buildings in UAE: Emirates Energy Star initiative launched posted on 15/08/2013
The sustainability footprint is getting bigger — and going wide — in the UAE.
The alliance between Pacific Controls and Etisalat, to bring about increased energy savings at older buildings under the Emirates Energy Star initiative, has found enough traction in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and plans to repeat the process across the country.
The aim is to reduce the carbon footprint at buildings under the programme's purview in the UAE by 20 per cent within an optimum period.
The hard yards have already been run with more than 80 buildings, of which 53 are in Dubai, covered since the launch last year. The task ahead can seem just as daunting, though a top official at Pacific Controls was having none of that.
"It is our objective to penetrate each and every emirate (currently Emirates Energy Star is connected to buildings across six out of the seven emirates) and to scale up to several thousand buildings before the end of 2014,” said Sougata Nandi, CEO. "There is a clear mandate to engage thousands of buildings into this programme in the quickest possible time.”
A sentiment shared by Etisalat's Abdullah Hashim – "our focus has always been across the entire country. In coming weeks we foresee more buildings from across all the emirates signing up as we continue to deliver on our current projects successfully.”
So, what does the initiative actually do? Older buildings represent the primary target since these are the ones less likely to feature optimum energy saving mechanisms.
Since these buildings would have an Etisalat network, the alliance partners can use this as the platform to put in place processes that would reduce consumption patterns, particularly on the air-conditioning side of things. (Not surprisingly, air-conditioning usage leads to the bulk of energy consumption in the UAE. Any property with preferably a centralised air conditioning system, can easily engage with the programme.)
Pacific Controls' role is to deploy its ICT-based M2M (machine-to-machine) technology. "To exponentially scale this programme, increasing numbers of buildings are being brought under its ambit, by which it is expected that the carbon footprint of the UAE will be reduced much faster,” said Nandi. Of the initial buildings brought under the network, average savings attained has been pegged at 19 per cent plus, with an average return on investments (for the building's owner) of seven months.
Apart from direct savings, additional ones come from "reduced maintenance costs due to shortened run time of equipment,” Nandi said. "With over 80 buildings now connected, the programme has a database of energy consumption profiles across different types of buildings.
"This is being utilised to benchmark multiple buildings across the same category, as well as different buildings belonging to the same owner. With benchmarking, stakeholders are able to understand the energy efficiency performance of their buildings better, particularly in comparison to each other and take educated decisions for their future projects in relation to the system design.
"Thus, the scope goes much beyond simple reduction of energy consumption to providing much needed data that enables intelligent system design process for future buildings.”
But what about buildings that do not feature centralised air-conditioning? "There is no technological limitation to connecting to a building's air-conditioning system as there are multiple methodologies to achieve this,” said Nandi. "However, in the case of older equipment, the level and depth of communication that can be achieved is sometimes limited by the technology of the equipment itself.
"Wherever such limitations exist, alternative methodologies for connectivity are used, which may have an impact on the extent of the energy savings achieved. Notwithstanding the age, energy savings can be achieved in all types of buildings, except in situations where individual tenants are paying for their electricity consumptions inside their occupied space and thus the building has multiple users paying for their electricity bills separately.” – Gulf News
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From Waste to Energy: Landfill site generates electricity - first in the region posted on 01/08/2013
Dubai Municipality's largest waste collection site in Al Ghusais started producing electricity on Monday night, becoming the first landfill in the region to run its entire operation with electricity generated from landfill gas.
This is the first time in the Middle East that landfill gas has been converted to generate electricity through the flaring of methane, which is also in line with Dubai Municipality's vision to generate 20MW of power from landfill gas by 2020.
The Municipality's ambitious waste-to-energy project through a landfill gas recovery plant at the site which opened in January, is now producing1MW (1000KW) of electricity to run the high-efficiency gas conversion and flare equipment installed the plant, power for the site offices and lighting at the landfill, spread over an area of 3.5 sq. kilometres, according to reports by local dailies yesterday.
"With Dubai's bid to host the World Expo 2020 going full steam ahead, we are further highlighting our leadership in creating innovative solutions for the future through the project. This 2020 project is set to produce 20MW of power by the turn of the decade," said Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality.
"The project also complements the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to explore alternative energy sources that will reduce demand on the existing power grid, while protecting the environment," explained Lootah.
The Al Ghusais Landfill site adopts the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) initiative, which is registered with the United Nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Through implementing the CDM project, the municipality aims to reduce methane emissions, which is expected to remove 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the air.
The gas collection system implemented by Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability for the Municipality can recover methane emitted from organic waste and convert it into electricity by flaring gas.
"This environmentally-friendly project involves turning methane gas into electricity, and this is the first stage of transferring electricity to feed the plant and the landfill from 500 cubic metres of methane gas into one megawatt," said Eng Abdul Majeed Saifaie, Director of Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality.
The Al Ghusais Landfill site has been receiving municipal solid waste since 1978. It is one of the largest sites for municipal waste collection in Dubai, which receives about 5,000 tonnes of waste a day, and with the decomposition of municipal waste, the landfill site emissions are approximately 55 per cent methane and 45 per cent carbon dioxide which until now has been discharged into the atmosphere. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Energy rating labels to be displayed on all UAE appliances posted on 09/07/2013
The UAE government is embracing clean energy initiatives with the implementation of an energy ratings system to be incorporated across household appliances, air conditioning systems and lighting.
The Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA) has passed into legislation and implemented the first phase of the new Energy Rating system to grade the energy consumption of products by using a star rating system - setting a benchmark for energy efficiency.
ESMA consulted the industry extensively to create the programme and worked closely with manufacturers in order to develop the standards.
The move is expected to save the government Dh 400 million a year by 2016 from energy savings on air conditioning units alone.
The new energy rating system is similar to that used in Australasia, but has been created specifically for the UAE.
The ratings will be displayed on labels to help make comparisons between models and choose the most energy-efficient appliance that suits their needs. The labels will provide information on how much electricity an appliance uses in a year, plus the star rating to show how energy efficient it is.
The first products required to adhere to the energy ratings system were residential air conditioning units, when compliance became mandatory earlier this year. Washing machines will need to meet energy rating standards from June 2013, after legislation was passed in early April.
Other products currently being addressed by the ESMA board are expected to be included in the legislation over the coming months include cooling and refrigeration products, lights, water heaters, motors and water pumps.
Implementation of the star rating system is mandatory and the government is encouraging manufacturers to produce higher quality products. Manufacturers and importers of lower rated products will be charged fees according to the star rating of the product The energy star rating system is just one part of an overall system being implemented by the government that combines building codes and energy efficient glass solutions with energy ratings to create a system to monitor and reduce overall consumption of energy. The government hopes to make the energy rating system the standard for the region and implement it across the GCC.
Meanwhile, Bosch Domestic Appliances recently launched their Green Star campaign, an environmental initiative aimed at promoting sustainability by encouraging communities to take simple steps in their everyday lives to save resources. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Emirates Energy Star aims for 100,000 buildings in 5 years posted on 07/07/2013
The UAE's national energy efficiency programme, Emirates Energy Star, or EES, plans to target 100,000 buildings in five years to reduce the carbon footprint of the UAE.
The programme, jointly launched by etisalat and Pacific Controls, is receiving positive response as ministries and public and private sector companies are adopting the project.
"The EES project's whole objective is to reduce the carbon footprint of the UAE,” Sougata Nandi, chief executive officer of Pacific Controls, told Khaleej Times.
Jointly launched in December 2011, the project boasts its presence in key economic sectors and received applause from the Ministry of Social Affairs, which has signed five buildings, and issued a case study.
"The Ministry of Social Affairs joined the EES programme in 2012 and declared its commitment to reduce energy usage and carbon footprint in its facilities. The ministry also carried out a green care initiative in its strategy for 2011-13 and this will remain for a third session strategy in 2014-16,” UAE Minster of Social Affairs Mariam Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi said in the study. The project is also being implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, with six campuses, and the Ministry of Justice.
"Currently, we are connected to 79 buildings across the UAE and more are joining as penetration is faster than before. The project has targeted 100,000 buildings in five years, which is endorsed by the Ministry of Environment, and supports the vision of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to reduce electricity consumption by 30 per cent by 2030, as well as the UAE's Green Economy Programme,” Nandi said.
He said the overall goal of the EES programme is to reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.
"The EES solution aims to reduce energy consumption in existing facilities and infrastructure across the UAE by monitoring real-time performance data of existing energy consuming equipment on a continuous basis and adopting optimisation measures. As of April 2013, the project has saved energy worth 10,741 of carbon dioxide valued at Dh7.2 million.” – Khaleej Times
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UAE: Emirates Energy Star project cuts energy consumption posted on 23/06/2013
SIM cards like the ones in our mobile phones are playing a major role in a national programme which cuts energy use in buildings — so far the plan has saved 10,741 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of planting 2,306 trees.
Some 72 buildings, from government buildings to apartments and schools, have to date signed up for the Emirates Energy Star (EES) programme. Reports suggest that energy used to power buildings is responsible for 60 per cent of total world electricity consumption. Etisalat and Pacific Controls (a Dubai-based information and communications technology company) introduced the programme. Through Etisalat SIM cards, a Global Command Control Centre (GCCC), assesses the electricity consumption of chillers and electronic devices used at those buildings.
A round-the-clock monitoring unit makes sure the savings are achieved.
EES is one the government's largest initiatives to battle the global concern of increasing carbon emissions and pollution. It has achieved 95 per cent of its target well before its 2015 time limit, a senior executive of the programme told Gulf News.
The programme, which originally aimed to reduce 20 per cent of energy consumed and the carbon footprint of all buildings under its scope by 2015, achieved a 19 per cent target by April this year, Abdullah Hashim, senior Vice-President, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Etisalat, said.
It has resulted in a cash saving of Dh7.2 million for the UAE since its launch in December 2011 until April this year, he added.
"If the monitoring team see an unexpected hike in energy consumption from any device on any client they identify the cause, check any existing technical problems and alert the maintenance team,” Hashim said.
The programme is being implemented under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment and Water and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).
EES also aims to enable the UAE government to be the first in the world to not only reduce carbon footprint but also monitor and report on its carbon footprint in real time, he said. – Gulf News
World’s most sustainable building can now be found in Dubai posted on 17/06/2013
If Dubai is home to the tallest, the largest, and everything else worthy of the record books, it can also have the "most sustainable" commercial building in the world — The Change Initiative (TCI) — on Sheikh Zayed Road.
TCI is a 4,000-square-metre shop that provides sustainable solutions in Dubai. It has secured the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum rating from the US Green Building Council (GBC), a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable buildings worldwide.
TCI achieved 107 points out of 110, making it the most sustainable commercial building in the world. The record was previously held by Pixel, a four-level building in Australia, with 105 points.
"Congratulations on setting a new record with your LEED for Commercial Interiors Platinum project. The store is a great prototype for sustainable real estate applicable worldwide,” S. Richard Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman of the US GBC and Chairman of the World GBC, said in his letter to Gundeep Singh, TCI Founder and CEO.
Upon receiving the certification on Sunday, Singh said that he shares the recognition not only with his team but also with the rest of Dubai.
"I think, not only for us, for the rest of Dubai as a whole, as you see, we have achieved a pinnacle of being sustainable around the world and in a place that is completely paradoxical. Most people believe that Dubai cannot be sustainable or is less sustainable. But we've proven that if Dubai can build the tallest, the biggest, then it can also build the most sustainable building,” Singh told Gulf News.
Only one year old, TCI doesn't only provide environmentally-friendly solutions. It practises what it preaches by incorporating all aspects of green building on its 4,000-square-metre structure from its roofing to energy-efficient lighting to its water system.
TCI has 26 technologies, including solar panels and heat-reflective paint, on its roof that provides 40 per cent of the building's energy requirements. Its outer structure has insulation three times more than that of a normal building; all its windows have heat-reflective films; water in the building is re-used and recycled; and most of the materials used for the building's interiors are recycled.
This high LEED Platinum rating is not the first in Dubai, which is also home to the Dewa (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) Sustainable Building, the largest government building in the world with 98 out of 110 points. – Gulf News
NASA-designed solar radiation reflectors in UAE posted on 12/06/2013
The UAE's Al Serkal Group announced yesterday that it has brought In'Flector window insulation panels to the Middle East, North Africa and Asia for the first time.
Originally developed by NASA to reflect solar radiation from the Space Shuttle, In'Flector panels can halve energy costs in homes and offices and will help to support the push for "Green Buildings” in the UAE and wider Middle East.
According to a media statement issued by the Al Serkal Group, the region's many glass-fronted buildings are prone to absorb solar heat and harmful UV rays, making it difficult to maintain a consistent indoor temperature. To overcome this, maintains the statement, buildings are excessively reliant on air-conditioning systems, which are expensive and energy-hungry, and floor-to-ceiling curtains and blinds, which block natural light.
The see-through In'Flector panels, which are constructed of aluminium, carbon and a UV layer, let light in and keep heat out by reflecting back up to 92 per cent of UV rays, 80 per cent of radiant heat, and 78 per cent of solar heat gain, providing a stable and comfortable environment alongside lower cooling and lighting costs.
In'Flector panels are particularly effective in the UAE's urban environment. In a week-long trial carried out in conjunction with Dubal, In'Flector panels were able to reduce overall energy use in a test building by 41 per cent, claims the statement.
Once installed, In'Flector panels can deliver a full return on investment on average within 18 months. Additionally, they reduce cooling loads which, in turn, lessens the amount of air pollutants entering the conditioned space through the cooling systems, improving indoor air quality.
In'Flector is launched amid intensified efforts to create "Green Buildings” in the Middle East. In 2014, Dubai will introduce mandatory green building rules and regulation on all buildings, a move which is likely to be echoed elsewhere in time. In'Flector panels offer developers and property owners a simple and effective way to retrofit existing buildings and equip new ones to meet the challenge of creating sustainable homes and offices.
"Reducing the energy consumption of both individuals and businesses is now widely recognised as being key to the continued sustainable development of the Middle East,” said Ian Constable, the Managing Director of In'Flector under the Environment Division.
"This emerging priority has made green products viable in the region for the first time and has unlocked new markets for innovations such as In'Flector. Moreover, this product is particularly well suited to the local climatic conditions and prevailing architecture, meaning it can make a major contribution to the drive to lower energy usage in the region's homes and offices.”
Already widely used across the US and Canada, In'Flector panels are now being installed by some of the Middle East's leading companies, including Aramex and Damac Properties, which has used the product in the offices of its Ocean Heights and Executive Heights developments. The Al Serkal Group has also seen strong early demand from residential customers keen to reduce energy use in their homes.
"Our founder, Nasser bin Abdullatif Alserkal, made addressing green issues a priority as far back as the 1920s, and we are proud to continue this legacy by introducing In'Flector into the region, which we believe will become a key piece of environmental technology over the coming years.” – Emirates 24|7
Dewa’s conservation initiative saves Dh16m in educational sector posted on 21/05/2013
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's conservation initiative saved Dh16 million in electricity and water, it was announced at the eighth Conservation Award for the educational sector.
Along with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) jointly honoured the efforts of individuals and institutions in the educational sector for reducing their water and electricity use at the award ceremony held under the theme ‘For a Better Tomorrow.'
"The initiative encouraged students and faculty members to save eight per cent in electricity usage and 27 per cent in water consumption. The consumer category encouraged residents to save 28 per cent of electricity and 33 per cent of water used,” said Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa.
Pointing out that energy and water conservation plays a key role in minimising carbon emissions, Al Tayer said the drive helped save a total of 21 million Kw of electricity, 144 million gallons of water, and 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in all categories.
The Conservation Award, which was launched in 2005 for the education sector, monitors and measures the results achieved by the universities, schools, and nurseries, and encourages students to integrate water and electricity conservation into their daily lives.
The awards were given to 19 educational institutions, 19 coordinators representing winning institutions, six best conservation teams and team coordinators from the academic level and five nominated facility-management workers. Four best nominated parents from the winning institutions along with three residential consumers were also awarded at the ceremony. – Gulf News
Eco-Stallion energy efficient car revealed by American University of Sharjah students posted on 29/04/2013
Mechanical Engineering students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) have built an energy-efficient car from recycled paper and glue in order to take part in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia competition.
The AUS team will compete with other students from all over the world in building an energy-efficient car that travels the greatest distance using the least energy at the Eco-Marathon Asia competition taking place from July 4 to 7 this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The AUS team, which compromises Mughees Khan (team leader), Badarud Duja, Fouad Khan, Ridwan Murshed, Omar Jadallah and Ahmad Farhat, built the ‘Eco-Stallion' from paper in order to reduce costs and build their own car shell from scratch.
"If we were to order a shell from abroad, that is made from carbon fibre, it would cost us Dh20,000, while building the shell from paper cost us around Dh500. Cost is important because when someone wants to buy a car he/she wants to buy the most efficient car with the least cost. Also, building the shell from scratch was more self-rewarding than just ordering it from abroad.”
The students said that building a shell out of recycled and reinforced paper was the most challenging aspect of the competition because it was the first time that it was being attempted in the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia.
"We had to build the body five times before perfecting the glue and making it strong. Also, not knowing if it will work at the end because it was the first time it was being attempted was extremely challenging for us,” added the team
A total of 15 teams are competing regionally out of which seven are from the UAE and the AUS is the only university taking part from Sharjah.
"Providing university students in the UAE with an opportunity to apply their engineering skills to conceptualise and produce energy-efficient cars encourages understanding about the future of innovation and smarter mobility. This unique experience empowers them to become active contributors in creating a sustainable platform for growth for future generations,” said Xavier Hery, General Manager Aviation - Middle East and South Africa, Shell Markets (Middle East) Limited.
Associate Dean and Director of the College of Engineering Graduate Programme at AUS Professor Hani Al Kadi added: "Our students will benefit from competing in an international competition like this one. Just telling future employers that they participated in an international competition sets them apart from other applicants.” – Gulf News
Earth Hour receives resounding response in UAE posted on 25/03/2013
The Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), in association with World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the coordinator of Earth Hour in the UAE, expressed his gratitude to the support afforded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai for Earth Hour.
The organisation also congratulated the UAE residents in making Earth Hour 2013 even bigger and more impactful.
Ida Tillisch, acting director-general of EWS-WWF said, "Once again the UAE community has demonstrated its commitment to the Earth Hour by switching off the lights, hosting community events and really making the campaign come to life.”
"Of course, while we can celebrate the successes of this year's event, we should not forget that the Earth Hour acts as a reminder to us all to consider ways we can reduce our impact on the planet and work towards a more sustainable future,” she added.
According to her, "The I Will If You Will” platform is a fantastic way for the UAE to continue working towards a sustainable future by challenging friends, colleagues and family to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.”
Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa), by participating in Saturday's Earth Hour exercise, was able to save a record 145 megawatts of energy and reduce 87 tonnes of carbon emissions in one hour.
Ibrahim Rashid Dimas, director-general of Sewa, said, "As a result of the increased awareness and massive participation of the general public, this year Sewa could achieve the highest rate in low power consumption since it started participating in the Earth Hour observation since 2009.”
He pointed out that the board of directors, chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, was keen on cooperation and concerted efforts with all government and private agencies in solidarity with the global initiative urging individuals and institutions and departments to take collective action.
The Emirates Identity Authority and its affiliated registration centres across the UAE have celebrated the Earth Hour, shutting down all the lights during the hour.
The Emirates Diving Association, in collaboration with The Archive at Safa Park (gate 5) celebrated the Earth Hour from 8pm to 10pm.
Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) took part in the campaign, with its employees forming a symbolic ‘60' at the company premises to highlight the event. The company switched off power at it headquarter offices during the hour, and several employees also took part in the Earth Hour Walk. – The Gulf Today
Earth Hour sees landmarks go dark in Abu Dhabi posted on 24/03/2013
As 8.30pm struck, thousands of lights were turned off and the iconic structure of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stood in darkness for an hour. Nearby, the lights on Sheikh Zayed Bridge were dimmed.
Across the capital, hundreds of residents joined the global Earth Hour commemorations as well, switching off their lights at home.
The initiative, which is being marked in Abu Dhabi for the third year, was led by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City. Lights at the municipality headquarters on Sheikh Zayed Street were switched off to mark the need for energy conservation and sustainability. Other environmentally-friendly family events were organised along the Corniche, including a performance by the Dubai Drums and a walk which saw nearly 8,000 visitors carrying LED-lit lanterns.
Many other organisations also went dark between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, including the Ministry of Interior, as well as a number of hotels and commercial organisations.
Many residents said the yearly event went a long way in promoting environmental consciousness.
"I am an advocate for initiatives like Earth Hour, especially as I believe it is our responsibility to protect the planet,” Madiha Ajaz, a 25-year-old resident from Pakistan, told Gulf News.
Like many others, Ajaz spent the hour outdoors with her family.
Julie Lewis, 50, an avid environmentalist and adventurer from Britain, headed out to the beach near her home.
"In big cities, every step counts in reducing energy use. I have been participating in Earth Hour for the last four years, and was proud to have been a part of it this year as well,” she said.
Others were, however, not as convinced about the efficacy of observing the annual event.
N. Farah, a long-time Abu Dhabi resident and media relations specialist from Lebanon, said most people quickly forget the message of Earth Hour.
"We switch off the lights for an hour, but few people really try to practise energy conservation on a daily basis. Even though people are aware of our dwindling energy resources, few try to make a real change in the way they consume energy,” she said. – Gulf News
Al Ain Zoo participates in Earth Hour and spreads conservation message to visitors posted on 22/03/2013
As part of its commitment to conserving the environment, Al Ain Zoo has announced it will participate in Earth Hour on Saturday 23rd March 2013 from 8:30pm to 9:30 pm, with a wider on-site campaign that encourages visitors to participate as well.
An annual event, Earth Hour aims to protect the environment, reduce global warming and regularise electricity consumption by switching off lights. Observed worldwide, the event is a collective measure to raise awareness about climate change, positive environmental practices and the importance of conserving energy.
Marking the Earth Hour occasion, Al Ain Zoo will be advocating all visitors to partake in spreading the message of energy conservation. Staff will be distributing candles, offering raffle prize draws for those that complete a pledge form to participate, and promoting the cause on the zoo's loud speakers.
Commenting on Al Ain Zoo's participation, Muna Al Dhaheri, Acting Chief Conservation '&' Education, said: "Al Ain Zoo is committed to environmental protection and preservation, and our participation is aligned with this, allowing us to enlighten the public about climate change in an interactive manner that sees participants become part of an international community united in one cause. We are proud to play our role in this initiative and look forward to engaging visitors in these efforts." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
UAE landmarks ready for Earth Hour 2013 posted on 20/03/2013
Authorities in the UAE aim to cut back on about 260,000 megawatts of electricity consumption and 195 tonnes of carbon emissions during this year's Earth Hour.
The annual event, set to be observed from 8.30-9.30pm on March 23 at Burj Plaza in Downtown Dubai, seeks to promote the concept of sustainability and raise environmental awareness by urging individuals to adopt eco-friendly practices on a daily basis. Participants around the world show solidarity with the campaign by switching off lights and electrical appliances for one hour.
"Earth Hour goes beyond turning off the lights for one hour; it is an international call for strengthening collaboration to promote the culture of conservation, and making it a part of a daily lifestyle. This supports our efforts at promoting sustainable development in Dubai and all over the world,” said Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).
The event is being held in partnership with Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), which works in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature.
During last year's event, Dewa recorded a reduction of 216,000 megawatts in terms of electricity consumption and 130 tonnes going by carbon emissions, Al Tayer said. Dewa plans to reduce electricity consumption by a further 20 per cent and carbon emissions by 50 per cent during Earth Hour commemorations this year.
Ahmad Al Matroushi, managing director, Emaar Properties, pledged full support for the campaign. "As the pioneer in developing integrated communities in Dubai, Emaar has consistently adhered to the highest standards of sustainability that complement the efforts of the government to enhance energy use efficiency. From our flagship Downtown Dubai development to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, Emaar will observe Earth Hour across all these iconic development,” he said.
Dubai Municipality is also keen to make a difference and all municipality centres have been preparing to observe Earth Hour.
The municipality's headquarters in Deira, in addition to other centres, will turn off their electronic equipment for one hour on Saturday.
"This year, nearly 5,000 cities in 135 countries of the world are going to join the environment event, and we are happy that Dubai is one among them,” said Hamdan Al Shair, director of the environment department at Dubai Municipality.
Earth Hour celebrations started off in Sydney in 2007, when more than two million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned off lights and unnecessary appliances for one hour, pledging to protect Earth. The initiative quickly evolved to become a global environmental movement of solidarity in which millions of people across the world recognised the importance of immediate action to save the planet.
Individuals and organisations can obtain more information about participating in Earth Hour in Dubai by logging on to http://www.ewswwf.ae/earthhour. - Gulf News
UAE residents urged to join Earth Hour posted on 14/03/2013
As millions of people around the world prepare for Earth Hour on March 23, Emirates Wildlife Society is calling on UAE residents to join in the movement and switch off all lights for one hour (8.30pm).
"Turning off the lights is just the beginning; millions of people want to take action and see a sustainable future for our planet,” Ida Tillisch, acting director general of Emirates Wildlife Society, said.
People are also invited to participate in the ‘I Will If You Will' challenge.
Tillisch has already promised to cook a sustainable seafood lunch for 50 people randomly selected from the signups for Earth Hour.
Various prominent landmarks in the UAE are expected to participate in Earth Hour, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Al Qasba in Sharjah, among others, which will all go dark as a symbolic gesture.
It is estimated that three million UAE residents participated in last year's Earth Hour.
For more information on how to participate, visit http://www.ewswwf.ae/earthhour. - Gulf News
UAE residents switch off for the environment posted on 19/01/2013
A poll conducted by Abu Dhabi Media for Eco Future, (a family focused sustainability exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat running until September 2013) has found that 82% of UAE residents turn off their air conditioning when leaving home. Coinciding with the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the online poll of more than 880 people, mainly from the GCC, found both English and Arabic users of the National.ae and Al Ittihad.ae websites made the same eco-friendly decision.
Eco Future, a thought-provoking, interactive exhibition engages visitors with some of the most important issues facing humans today, including global resources, healthy living, climate change and other options for a sustainable future. Its aim is to help young people learn about what is needed to survive and to make some choices about their future.
Coinciding with ADSW (hosted by Masdar) and as thousands descend the Capital for World Future Energy Summit amongst other initiatives, Eco Future will also host an evening of music and science on Wednesday 16 January, from 6-10pm at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. The event titled, Eco-Scape: Recycled Rhythms - An Art and Science Experience, invites families to join workshops on how to transform recycled materials - such as plastic bottles, tin cans and coat hangers into a decorated, musical-instrument. The children, working closely with professional musicians, will then be invited to perform live using their recycled instruments.
Presented by TCA Abu Dhabi, Eco Future was developed in close collaboration with expertise from Abu Dhabi entities including Masdar, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Urban Planning Council, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Tourism Development '&' Investment Company, as well as the Emirates Wildlife Society, in association with WWF (EWS - WWF), which is currently trying to raise awareness about reducing energy and water consumption amongst all sectors,, through the Heroes of the UAE' campaign.
As well as switching-off unnecessary air conditioning, EWS - WWF encourages people to lower the temperature of their washing machines, not to over-fill the kettle to make hot drinks, and to install energy-saving light bulbs around the home, as ways to help lower the environmental and economic costs of day-to-day living.
Eco Future, gives glimpses of a future world and explores how we will all survive on a changing planet, with the help of four fun characters to guide visitors' learning through the exhibition. The exhibition also provides a number of public workshops on art, science, and the environment both at their venue as well as outdoors. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Dubai Municipality to cut power, water use posted on 09/08/2012
Dubai Municipality, a member of the Supreme Council of Energy, or SCE, aims to cut its water and electricity consumption by 20 per cent in the next five years in line with Dubai's Integrated Energy Strategy that targets a 30 per cent reduction in energy demand in the emirate by 2030.
At the SCE's 18th board meeting, Dubai Municipality presented its ongoing energy-efficiency drive, which has delivered notable electricity and water savings and a reduction in carbon emissions, and plans to utilise solar power to light public spaces and parks, as well as to heat water.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the SCE, presided over the meeting held on Monday at the SCE's new headquarters at Dubai Petroleum.
Vice-Chairman Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said the council is managing the ongoing implementation of the Dubai Integrated Gas Strategy 2030, which falls within the wider framework of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.
"The council discussed the implementation of the first phase of the Dubai Integrated Gas Strategy,” he said.
Nejib Zafrani, Secretary-General and CEO of the SCE, was also present.
The board reviewed the council's visit to Brazil in June, led by Al Tayer, to attend the Rio+20 Earth Summit. At the event, the SCE presented its progress on ongoing demand abatement and supply-side strategies, and the Council's position on implementing renewable energy initiatives.
The meeting also reviewed preparations for the World Energy Forum 2012, which will take place in Dubai between October 22 and 24, the first time outside of its United Nations headquarters in New York.
The Energy Forum is an opportunity for global decision-makers to debate world energy issues, and aims to establish a global platform promoting sustainable energies, energy efficiency and clean technology.
In June, SEC reviewed the implementation of energy efficiency initiatives in Dubai, which target a 30 per cent reduction in energy demand in Dubai by 2030.
In 2011, Dubai power capacity grew by 18 per cent. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, or Dewa, said its capacity increased to 8,718 megawatts, or MW, for 2011 in comparison with 7,361MW in 2010. Desalinated water production capacity increased in 2011 to 400 million gallons per day, or MIGD, in comparison with 330 MIGD in 2010.
Collective energy demand in the UAE, the second largest Arab hydrocarbon consumer, grew by around 5.2 per cent in 2011.
From around 1.48 million equivalent barrels per day, or ebpd, in 2010, domestic consumption of crude oil, gas and other energy sources increased to nearly 1.56 million ebpd, according to the Kuwaiti-based Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The UAE energy demand has steadily risen over the past years, recording a growth of about nine per cent since 2007, one of the highest energy growth rates in the world. Energy consumption in the UAE recorded its highest growth of around 22.9 per cent in 2008 as a result of an upsurge in its economy after crude prices leaped by nearly 50 per cent to an average US$95 a barrel. – Khaleej Times
Eco-friendly mosque to come up in Dubai by 2013 posted on 10/07/2012
An eco-friendly mosque which is expected to reduce energy and water consumption by 15-19 per cent will come up in Dubai by 2013. The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation said the Dh25-million mosque will be located behind Al Rowad village near the Clock Tower Roundabout in Deira.
The 45,000-square-foot mosque will be in a 105,000-square-foot area. As the largest mosque in Dubai, the facility will accommodate 3,500 worshippers.
The mosque will feature green spaces, particularly gardens on the roof for heat insulation. In addition to green building technologies such as solar panels to heat water for ablution and the Imam's house, the mosque will host recycle plants to treat water used in ablution for gardening and washroom purposes.
Equipped with the latest technologies in energy efficiency to curb wastage in air-conditioning and air purity system, the mosque will be constructed with eco-friendly materials and avoid the use of asbestos and polystyrene. It will additionally use thermal insulation, programmed and automatic thermostat, suction fans with energy recovery units, and natural light and heat-reflective colours, especially at the interfaces and roofs.
Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais, Secretary-General of the AMAF, said: "The construction of the mosque is in line with the UAE leadership's vision towards the conservation of resources, environment protection and the adoption of green practices. With the global call for energy conservation, it is essential for developers to take responsibility for creating buildings that comply with green standards.
‘‘The mosque project complies with best practices in corporate governance, while being transparent and gaining the validation of Awqaf, government and private institutions.” – Khaleej Times
Earth Hour saves tonnes posted on 04/07/2012
Earth Hour, a DEWA initiative, achieved a saving rate of 216,000 KW/h and cut carbon emissions by an estimated 130,000 kilograms in 2012. The figures represented a 6 per cent increase in savings compared to Earth Hour 2011.
The UAE also has a vision to become the lowest-carbon emission producing economy in the region by creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable energy policy, according to the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.
Current scenarios forecast an expected annual growth rate of 5 per cent over the next 20 years. To address the challenge of managing the increased demand for energy, Al Tayer stressed that it is vitally important to implement a more efficient and sustainable energy policy that incorporates a diversified energy mix. This will be achieved by complementing still-dominant gas usage with a fair share of clean coal, nuclear and renewable energies, he added.
"DEWA has enough reserves of electricity and water until 2020,” Al Tayer said. "Moreover, the completion of one of DEWAs biggest projects, the M station, will increase the power generation capacity from 8,700 megawatts to 9,600 megawatts, while desalinated water capacity would increase to 470 million gallons per day, compared to 330 million gallons per day last year.”
Al Tayer noted that the utility is building a large water reservoir in Al Gafat, capable of storing of 170 million gallons for emergency cases.
"This capacity represents the consumption of water for two days but would be enough for 30 days in an emergency, he added. – Gulf News
Drydocks World Dolphin beta launches largest world wind-powered offshore platform posted on 24/06/2012
Drydocks World said that construction has begun on DolWin beta, the world's largest Wind Power HVDC Offshore Platform for Aibel AS, a leading service company that works within the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors.
A steel cutting ceremony was held to mark the occasion attended by H. H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group as the Guest of Honour at the ceremony. Also present were prominent people from Government and Private sectors.
"This is one of the several pioneering projects that we have initiated especially to support the Wind Energy sector. We have aligned our business focus with industry developments and have been successful in gaining a foothold within the renewable energy field, which will remain one of the areas of our prime focus in the years to come. We are delighted to be working with industry majors such as Aibel, ABB and TenneT, which helps us focus our capabilities on next generation technology and infrastructure. I am also extremely grateful to H.H. Sheikh Ahmed for endorsing the project and encouraging the initiative," said Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World.
DolWin beta will be built for a large wind farm cluster in the German sector of the North Sea. It will receive alternating current from wind farms, and convert it into direct current before sending it onshore via subsea cables. The dimension of the platform is 100.1 by 74.1 m. It will be 83 m tall with accommodation and outfits and weigh 20,000 metric tonnes approximately.
The platform can generate 900 MW power and can receive electricity from three wind farms, i.e. a total of 240 turbines. This offshore wind connection will avoid more than three million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by replacing fossil-fuel based generation.
The EPC subcontract between Aibel AS and Drydocks World was signed on 12 January 2012. The platform will be ready for sail away from Dubai Drydocks end 2013, and will, after assembly and testing inshore be towed out to the DolWin field from Aibel's yard at Haugesund, Norway.
The German company TenneT has awarded the Contract to ABB to supply the Platform, which acts as a transmission link that will connect offshore wind farms located in the cluster DolWin in the North Sea to the German grid. The project is designed and managed by Aibel AS. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
DEWA Awareness Campaign: Go green on home appliances posted on 07/05/2012
Spare a thought for the environment when you pick a refrigerator, or a washing machine. Dubai is keen to do its bit for the earth by spreading the good word around about common household appliances and energy consumption during a six-week campaign.
Awareness begins at home and the ‘Do Good to Planet Earth' effort will dwell on the importance of choosing environment-friendly home appliances and how to use them wisely to bring down water and electricity consumption.
The campaign by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) will run a series of workshops to consumers, brand owners, retailers from the electronic industry on the best methods and benefits of using environment-friendly home appliances.
Appliances included in the campaign are washing machines, refrigerators, air-conditioners, dishwashers and lights. Dewa will also engage residents about the most efficient home appliances.
The home appliances campaign will coincide with Dewa's ‘Peak Load Campaign,' which is launched in the summer each year when energy consumption is at its highest. The Peak Load Campaign is used by Dewa as a way to promote more responsible behaviour towards energy consumption.
Dewa will also use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as the official Dewa website as primary communication platforms to spread the word about ways to save energy.
The campaign supports the strategy of the Government of Dubai to create a sustainable future for the emirate and reinforce its position as a global hub for finance, business and tourism. "Dewa's efforts are evident throughout this campaign, as they fit with the nation's long term strategy for green development under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Dubai's vision to reduce energy consumption by securing our precious natural resources and finding energy-efficient solutions. We also want to reduce energy consumption and wastage as part of our efforts to protect the environment and planet earth itself as part of our long-term goal for sustainable development,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dewa.
"Achieving long-term environmental sustainability requires efficient management of resources and deploying clean-energy techniques for energy integration and development. Therefore, it is essential to focus on guiding the public to improve their ways of energy consumption, not merely by reducing usage but also by using the right environmentally-efficient technologies, to drive greater individual and social contributions to sustainability,” added Al Tayer.
Amal Koshak, Senior Manager of Marketing Communication at Dewa, said the authority continually aims to inform and educate all sectors of society in an easy and friendly manner. ‘‘Through the Home Appliances campaign, home appliances are personified into approachable cartoon characters, speaking and guiding our audience on ways to reduce electricity and water consumption,” he said.
He said the campaign will involve special tutorial sessions on various appliances available in the market, and how they help in reducing electricity and water consumption. – Khaleej Times
ADAC and the Green Sheikh team up to go beyond Earth Hour for children with special needs posted on 02/05/2012
Initiated under the patronage of Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, known as the Green Sheikh, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) launched a green initiative specifically designed for children with special needs to give them the opportunity to express their thoughts and experiences on the challenges that planet Earth is facing, and how they can contribute effectively in saving the scarce resources by reducing energy and water consumptions in their classrooms and homes. This initiative came as part of ADAC's Earth Hour 2012 campaign, with the themes of Going Beyond the Hour' and I Will If You Will, to drive employees and community engagement towards saving the environment.
Supported by the Centre of Waste Management (CWM) in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Private Centre of Care and Rehabilitation (APCCR), the green initiative consisted of a specially designed workshop, where the Green Sheikh talked to children with special needs about the best environmental practices. The workshop was followed by the launch of an art competition in the private centre's art classroom to encourage children with special needs to create artworks inspired by specific topics related to planet earth, such as saving the scarce resources and reducing energy and water consumption. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
Dubai Earth Hour 2012 celebrations saved a record 216 MW and 130,000 Kg Carbon posted on 02/04/2012
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced that Earth Hour 2012 celebrations held in Dubai on Saturday night attracted overwhelming support from all sectors of the community and achieved a record saving rate of 216,000 KW/h and 130,000 kg Carbon Emission to mark the single largest act of conservation for the betterment of planet Earth by people in Dubai. Dubai has achieved a 6 percent increase in saving compared to 2011.
Earth Hour in the emirate was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and in partnership with The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (SCE) and Emirates Wildlife Society (EWES) in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in cooperation with Emaar.
DEWA also announced that Earth Hour celebrations held at Burj Plaza witnessed the largest gathering of people coming together in support of the preservation of natural resources.
Saeed Mohammed Al Thayer, Vice Chairman of the SCE and Managing Director and COE of DEWA, inaugurated the Earth Hour 2012 walk.
Confirming the values of savings achieved Al Thayer announced that DEWA would honour its Earth Hour challenge set to the Dubai community in which the Authority promised to organise a fund-raising Victory Walk on World Earth Day with proceeds raised donated to an environmental cause such as the sponsorship of a UAE national high school graduate to study a specialised bachelor degree in renewable energy.
Dubai was the first Arab city to participate in Earth Hour in 2008 and has continued to increase the participation and passion for the Earth Hour cause in the emirate. In 2008 Dubai's participation saved 100,000 kW/h and reduced 60,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions. In 2009 the percentages increased, to save 146,000 kW/h and 88,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions and savings increased further following the 2010 Earth Hour celebrations saving 170,000 kW/h and reducing carbon emissions by 102,000 kg. In 2011 Earth Hour savings reached 204,000 kW/h and 122 kg carbon emissions.
Earth Hour is one of over 20 initiatives implemented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to educate its customers and the community on the importance of conservation of the environment and building a sustainable future for the emirate by using utilities in a rational manner.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, when more than 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour to take a stand against climate change. The initiative quickly evolved to become a global environmental movement of solidarity in which millions of people across the world recognised the importance of protecting the planet.- Emirates News Agency, WAM
Hundreds gather to mark Earth Hour across country posted on 01/04/2012
Earth Hour is a remarkable symbol of the pre-dawn darkness. From the dark and suffocating smog of CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases comes a beacon of hope for a sustainable future, as the world unites to ponder over action against climate change.
Hundreds of people, including government officials, families, children and environmentalists gathered at the foot of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa. With candles and fluorescent lamps in their hands, young and old took part in the Earth Walk.
Under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the event was organised by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) in association with the Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wide for Nature (EWS-WWF) and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE).
Burj Khalifa led the way as buildings along the usually sparkling Sheikh Zayed Road looked a shadow of their usual selves. Dubai Municipality, the Burj Al Arab, Etisalat, the Clock Tower and other prominent landmarks turned off their lights between 8.30 and 9.30pm, helping surpass Dewa's power saving target of 230,000 kWh.
Earth Hour started as a single city movement in 2007 and quickly spread across the world. The UAE participated the following year and has since succeeded in increasing the environmental awareness level with each passing year.
Commenting on the achievement, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dewa, thanked the residents for taking up the challenge.
"Dewa would honour its Earth Hour challenge set to the Dubai community in which the Authority promised to organise a fund-raising ‘Victory Walk' on World Earth Day with proceeds raised donated to an environmental cause. I thank people for their participation and urge them to take the message beyond the hour," said Al Tayer.
Attending the event along with other green crusaders were Habiba Al Marashi, the Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group, Ida Tillisch, Acting Director-General EWS-WWF as well Amal Koshak, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communication, Dewa.
"This symbolic event proves that the number of environmentally-conscious people is increasing worldwide and we are gathering steam towards a more sustainable use of our resources, which we owe to our children," said Habiba, speaking to Gulf News as she took part in the march.
In the capital, buildings along the Corniche went dark, while decorative lights were switched off along Sheikh Zayed Bridge. External facade lighting was also turned off at Zayed Sports City, Emirates Palace Hotel, Yas Hotel and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque during the event, Nahla Hamad Bin Fahd, head of the events section at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, told Gulf News.
Alongside a range of other activities, the municipality also organised a massive recycling initiative on the Corniche.
"Residents were urged to bring over recyclable materials because the whole idea of Earth Hour is to raise awareness about, and work towards, conservation and reduced consumption of the planet's resources. This is why a recycling drive has been organised for the first time as part of Earth Hour," Nahla said. – Gulf News