Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

UAE making giant strides in implementing renewable energy


UAE has recognized the potential of renewable energy and has invested heavily into it, such that it Masdar City has become somewhat of a role model for renewable energy.

Way back in 1981, in a U.N. Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the conclusions of that meeting was a proposal for the creation of an international agency dedicated to renewable energy. It took 28 years of painful on-and-off negotiations to establish the International Renewal Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2009.
Speaking of renewable energy sources, Masdar City in the UAE is a model of sustainable development. It is a testament to the fact that even in the desert environment as present in the UAE, cities can not only survive but thrive in a sustainable manner.
Many see the UAE as a pioneer in renewable energy, and it was the UAE that has had the distinction of hosting IRENA. On multiple occasions, Ban Ki-moon has rained praises on the UAE for its relentless contribution towards the U.N.’s ultimate goal of Sustainable Energy for all (SE4ALL). In his own words the UAE has been a “a strong supporter of renewable energy”, and a central portion of that is the fact IRENA is located in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE not only hosts IRENA, the first international organization in the Middle East, but it also plays host to the Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence (DCCE).
Given today’s environment wherein climate change and global warming are major issues the world is facing as a whole, the SE4ALL concept plays an important role in the U.N’s post 2015 development agenda. The forth coming conference in Paris, is expected to generate new development models and is an ambitious endeavor by the U.N to bring about systemic change in our economic models. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will also play an integral role in that agenda, as will SE4ALL.
Keeping in lines with the U.N’s SDGs as well as current environmental factors, IRENA is supporting and pursuing efforts to double renewable energy’s share, in the world’s basket of energy sources, by 2030. This is as per a new roadmap launched by IRENA in 2013.
One out of every five persons does not have reliable access to electricity, 40% of the global population is still dependent on biomass for their cooking and heating needs. “This is neither equitable nor sustainable,” says Ban Ki-moon. Renewable energy, says the Secretary General of the U.N “is among the most critical issues of our time.” 
As per the United Nations, energy is central to our way of life, our economies are dependent on it, right from feeding the populace, generating jobs to strengthening our security, energy is at the center of it all, energy is the core of all our interests.
Masdar City in the UAE, for example, is powered by a 22 hectare field which hosts more than 87,777 solar panels. Even cars in the city have been replaced by a series of driverless electric vehicles that ferry around residents from site to site.
Even the design of buildings are such that cushions of air limit heat radiation which has resulted in reduced demand for air conditioning by as much as 55%. Light switches and taps have been replaced by movement sensors, which again have reduced electricity consumption by a whopping 51% and the usage of water by 55%.
Ban Ki-moon was thankful to UAE’s efforts in the renewable energy sector and commended it for its monumental investments in the renewable energy sector.