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Dubai 2016 | ENERGY & INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO & Managing Director of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), on mitigating excess energy demand, new initiatives, and conserving water resources.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer
BIOGRAPHY
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer has been the CEO & Managing Director of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) since 1991. He is also a member of the prestigious Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Vice Chairman of Emirates Global Aluminum (EGA), Vice Chairman of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), and is a member of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee. His Excellency is a chairman, vice chairman, or member in higher leading councils and various committees in Dubai. At the World Green Economy Summit 2015, Al Tayer was recognized by the UNDP as a “Middle East Champion of Energy.”

DEWA is working to achieve the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 goal to reduce energy demand by 30%. What strategy are you following in order to achieve this?

The Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 had initially set the percentage of renewable energy in Dubai's energy mix at 1% by 2020 and 5% by 2030. With the success of the solar park, DEWA has raised the target to 7% by 2020 and 15% by 2030. Dubai recognizes the importance of developing the renewable and alternative energy sectors, as well as the need to form innovative means and methods to improve efficiency, reduce consumption of natural resources, and find alternative solutions to conventional energy. DEWA leads by example internationally by implementing pioneering methods of sustainability, ensuring quality services in the Emirate of Dubai and advocating the conservation of natural resources through innovative projects and initiatives. In addition to all of the projects mentioned, DEWA and Etihad Energy Service Company (Etihad ESCO) have signed two comprehensive energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) at a combined value of AED37 million to improve and enhance overall energy efficiency in the lighting infrastructure at the power plants at Jebel Ali, Al Awir, and seven DEWA-owned buildings, including its headquarters.

DEWA recently invited residential and building owners to use Shams Dubai's photovoltaic (PV) panels as part of Smart Dubai. What other initiatives are you promoting as part of this?

Through this initiative, DEWA's customers can install PV panels on houses and buildings to produce electricity. This contributes to the diversification of energy sources by using renewable energy and exporting any surplus to DEWA's grid. We are launching outreach campaigns for tenants and building owners, explaining how to install photovoltaic solar panels to generate electricity. One of the other initiatives we are launching is the smart meter initiative that focuses on using applications through smart meters and grids and provides many smart features and applications for customers. We have currently installed 200,000 smart meters and will be replacing all mechanical and electromechanical meters over the coming years. DEWA has adopted a strategy and roadmap for the Smart Networks project valued at AED7 billion. The project aims to enhance the infrastructure that supports the demand side management program and the initiative to connect all renewable energy sources. Smart meters will speed up service connection, improve response times, provide instant reconnection of electricity, and rationalize consumption to enhance the happiness and wellbeing of citizens and residents while supporting resource sustainability. The Green Charger initiative aims to establish the infrastructure to build 100 electric vehicle-charging stations this year. DEWA has already completed its first phase and built 16 Green Charger stations, and installed a further 84 stations by the end of 2015. DEWA is establishing the necessary infrastructure in collaboration with several stakeholders, including car manufacturers, airports, the Dubai Municipality, shopping malls, petrol stations, the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), hotels, car parking operators, and other facilities.

What do you think should be done in order to reduce water wastage?

We are making significant efforts to reduce water wastage. We have recently launched a new awareness campaign with the theme “Every Drop Matters" to raise awareness among Dubai's residents about the need to rationalize water use. This is done through the adoption of environmentally friendly practices and behavior to reduce water wastage and ensure sustainability for generations to come. The campaign coincided with World Water Week held in Stockholm under the theme “Water for Development." The Every Drop Matters campaign is part of the awareness initiatives and programs that DEWA launches periodically to encourage all of society to use natural resources responsibly. On a separate note, with regard to distribution of water, we have achieved outstanding results in service efficiency, reliability, and availability. The results have surpassed even the private sector. Water network losses decreased to 9.1%, compared to 15% in North America, achieving leading global results in reducing water wastage.