A panel of energy industry experts has underscored the importance of green buildings and smart cities in reducing energy consumption during the Middle East Energy’s (MEE) Energy Consumption & Management sector focus week.
The stellar line up of clean and smart city experts included Benoit Lebot, a senior policy adviser in the French government’s Ministry for the Energy Transition; Amr Salah, Senior Director – Head of Utilities, Emaar – The Economic City; and Ahmed Samer Elbermbali, Managing Director, MENA Clean Energy Business Council.
They were participating in the opening session Reducing consumption through green buildings and smart cities by addressing hot topics within the industry. These included managing energy demand and carbon emissions, developing renewables in buildings and infrastructure, and integrating sustainable planning and technology to deliver smart cities.
Challenges within the energy sector can be overcome by adopting a series of initiatives related to decoupling, decarbonizing, decentralizing, digitalization and disruption through innovation
According to Lebot, challenges within the energy sector can be overcome by adopting a series of initiatives related to decoupling, decarbonizing, decentralizing, digitalization, disruption through innovation and desirability to achieve the end goal.
“Frankly, I couldn’t dream of a better illustration than King Abdullah Economic City. It has demonstrated decoupling, decentralization of energy, has digitalization at the very heart of the design, it is innovative, and there is clearly a desire to achieve this beautiful case study,” said Lebot.
He also highlighted the four steps of a decarbonized economy, including energy efficiency, net-zero energy solution, lifestyle and behavioral changes, motivation and education, while underscoring governments’ role in the process.
Elsewhere on the agenda were presentations by Andrea Di Gregorio, Executive Director, Energy Efficiency and Renewables Office (Reem), Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, who discussed the Emirate’s energy management program.
“Frankly, I couldn’t dream of a better illustration than King Abdullah Economic City”
The big debate on day one came courtesy of Stephane Le Gentil, COO, Abu Dhabi Energy Services (ADES); Vikas Kanungo, Senior Consultant, The World Bank; Aleksandar Dukovski, Energy Expert & Consultant, UNECE; and Akin Adamson, Director – Middle East, Ricardo Energy & Environment, who all provided insights into reducing the energy consumption of buildings in the region.
Other key highlights included a series of discussions and interviews that included Using Artificial Intelligence to streamline, optimize and innovate the functioning of buildings; Waste to Energy – The New Way Forward to Energy Efficiency and Conservation; and Introducing demand-side management programs to save energy.
KONČAR Group also showcased their latest smart consumption management system designed for more energy-efficient industrial companies.
An industry masterclass was presented by Mohammad Asfour, Head, MENA & Africa Regional Networks, World Green Building Council, outlining the role of green building councils in promoting smart cities. In association with Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy Forum (WISER), the final session of the second day addressed the role of young women in the energy sector, accelerating the sustainability agenda.
Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director, Middle East Energy, said: “The Consumption & Management sector week is geared towards connecting users with the expertise and solutions to manage energy demand, which is increasingly becoming more innovative and more efficient.
“A range of experts discussed a myriad of topics, including everything from smart buildings and automation, data and energy efficiency, and transformative lighting systems. There has been a distinct shift in recent years towards building smarter ecosystems and energy management systems, and we want to be able to provide a platform that showcases insights and promotes discussion.”