Success of COP21 talks to boost energy conservation, Saeed Alabbar says
The green building and energy efficiency market in the GCC is set for a boost following the recent climate change agreement signed in Paris, a leading sustainability expert says.
Saeed Alabbar, director at the consultancy Alabbar Energy and Sustainability Group (AESG), said there is a new global push for sustainability following the success of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21.
The Dubai-based AESG specialises in services that help reduce the ecological footprint of the built environment.
Given the UAE’s efforts to position itself as a global leader in green economy and sustainable development, Alabbar expects to see the energy conservation market strengthen in 2016 as more and more companies look at the benefits it offers.
“I think it’ll continue to grow. Globally, every country has to be on board now,” he told MEConstructionNews.com.
“The leadership in the UAE has been remarkable in that sense. All the initiatives that are being pushed forward are sustainability focused, and I think that in 2016, we’ll continue to see that take hold.”
Alabbar added that almost every building that AESG is working on currently, especially the government projects, have very high sustainability aspirations.
“They’re not just looking to comply, they’re looking to see how far they can push the boundaries. I think that will continue in 2016, and I think for all companies that have sustainability ingrained in what they do, I think it’ll be beneficial for them and for the region.”
As a result of this changing mindset, a number of energy service companies (ESCO) are looking to tap into the energy conservation market, Alabbar said. With AESG having expanded its operations in 2015, the sustainability expert predicted that a number of firms would be following its lead and look to participate in a rapidly growing market.
“The ESCO framework only really came into play within the last two years or so. In that sense, it’s only a two year old established industry, so it’s still in its early stages, but it’s developing very quickly. There’s a lot of ESCO companies setting up shop, and I’ve personally been in touch with a few to provide some guidance in terms of how they work in the market here,” he explained.
“There’s also a lot of international ESCO companies that are setting up operations in Dubai to get involved in the market, so it’s definitely growing and we’re starting to see the first projects implemented, and clients and ESCOs are starting to see the financial savings from these projects, and that really does accelerate the market.”