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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Ras Al Khaimah set to add 20 per cent renewables to energy mix

The emirate, which is home to several energy-intensive industries will commence a voluntary adoption of its energy efficiency programme

Andrea di Gregorio, director of RAK Municipality's energy efficiency and renewables office. Satish Kumar/ The National
Andrea di Gregorio, director of RAK Municipality's energy efficiency and renewables office. Satish Kumar/ The National

Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE’s northernmost emirate, aims to generate 20 per cent of its power requirements from renewables and make 30 per cent energy savings as it plans roll-out of an energy efficiency programme.

The new programme, named Barjeel, is designed to “moderate the energy and water consumption of new constructions by approximately 30 per cent versus the current construction standards, while improving occupant comfort and reducing environmental impact”, said Munther Mohammed bin Shekar, director general, RAK Municipality Department.

RAK is a relative newcomer to the clean energy drive in the region, having set up its renewables and energy efficiency office under a year ago.

The UAE, which currently meets 98 per cent of its power generation needs from gas, targets increasing clean energy use by 50 per cent and improving energy efficiency by 40 per cent by the middle of the century, deploying a total capacity of 44 gigawatts from renewable sources by 2050.

The Barjeel programme, which is expected to receive 2,000 to 2,500 applications annually, in line with current volumes of building permits issued in RAK, will kick-off with voluntary adoptions, Andrea di Gregorio, director of the newly set up energy efficiency and renewables office in the RAK Municipality told The National.

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An awareness campaign is set to begin in a few months, with the municipality urging private entities to cut energy and water wastage, he added.

The renewables and efficiency programme will become mandatory in two years.

Barjeel, which also targets 20 per cent water savings, will help reduce energy and water bills for residents, Mr bin Shekar said.

While Ras Al Khaimah’s population is about 300,000, small compared with Dubai’s nearly 3 million residents, the UAE’s fourth-largest emirate is home to highly energy-intensive industries, including one of the world’s largest ceramic tile manufacturing facilities as well as a sizeable cement industry.

The industrial sector, which accounted for 40 to 45 per cent of the 5.3 Terrawatt hours the emirate consumed last year, is also set to be a main target of RAK's energy management initiatives.

The emirate currently meets its energy requirements entirely through gas sourced from the Dolphin pipeline that delivers 2 billion cubic feet a day of the fuel to the UAE from Qatar’s North Dome field, one of the largest in the world.

RAK Gas, the emirate’s gas company, is in the middle of a licensing round as Ras Al Khaimah looks to drive investment to diversify sources of the fuel, particularly for industrial use.