June 10, 2021 | finance & economy

King Abdullah Economic City wins praise at MEE meet


King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) has demonstrated decoupling, decentralisation of energy, has digitalisation at the very heart of the design, it is innovative, and there is clearly a desire to achieve this beautiful case study, said an industry expert.

Benoit Lebot, a senior policy adviser in the French government’s Ministry for the Energy Transition, was speaking during a panel discussion on day one of Middle East Energy’s (MEE) Energy Consumption & Management sector focus week, which is now live and online until June 9.

Lebot was joined by Amr Salah, Senior Director - Head of Utilities, Emaar - The Economic City; and Ahmed Samer Elbermbali, Managing Director, Mena Clean Energy Business Council in the panel discussion, which underscored the importance of green buildings and smart cities in reducing energy consumption

They were participating in the opening session Reducing consumption through green buildings and smart cities, by addressing hot topics within the industry, including managing energy demand and carbon emissions, developing renewables in buildings and infrastructure, and integrating sustainable planning and technology to deliver smart cities.

According to Lebot, challenges within the energy sector can be overcome by adopting a series of initiatives related to decoupling, decarbonising, decentralising, digitalisation, disruption through innovation and desirability to achieve the end goal.

Lebot also highlighted the four steps of a decarbonised economy, including energy efficiency, net-zero energy solution, lifestyle and behavioural changes, motivation and education, while underscoring governments' role in the process.

Elsewhere on the agenda on the opening day 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.

Other key highlights during the final virtual focus week come courtesy of a series of discussions and interviews taking place today, including topics covering Using Artificial Intelligence to streamline, optimise 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.

KONCAR Group will also showcase their latest smart consumption management system designed for more energy-efficient industrial companies.

An industry masterclass will be presented on June 9 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 day will address 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 will discuss 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.'

Concluding the week will be The Energy Startup Hub, run in partnership with Green Climate Ventures and sponsored by Schneider Electric. Throughout Middle East Energy's four virtual weeks, energy startups have utilised the hub as a platform to showcase their innovations to a panel of investors and industry experts. The winner will be announced on June 9.

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