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Empowered to cool

by Baset Asaba on Apr 27, 2017


Ahmad Bin Shafar, Empower CEO
Ahmad Bin Shafar, Empower CEO

The surge in construction developments within the GCC is already driving the district cooling industry to newer heights, with conspicuous growth in cooling capacity over the past decade. But as new players enter the industry and competition widens, efficiency is increasing being seen as the key to business survival.

Companies are now exploring the integration of renewable energies into the day-to-day operations of district cooling plants in a bid to minimise operational costs while at the same time wishing to be perceived as sustainable by their clients.

Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass are gradually being introduced at various stages of plant operations, a move that could eventually scale down end-user costs, according to industry players.

“Solar thermal systems (STS) for residential applications are a mature technology that have been successfully deployed in a number of countries for more than thirty years,” says Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower).

“District energy schemes are one of the most effective means for integrating renewable energy sources into heating and cooling sectors. Solar thermal, geothermal, bioenergy, waste heat and natural, free, cooling systems can benefit from the economies of scale that district energy provides.”

In countries like Barbados, Cyprus and Israel, 80%-90% of residential homes have domestic solar water heating systems on their roofs. Globally, however, only 1.2% of space and water heating in the buildings sector is covered by STS.


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