GREEN ECONOMY

Kuwait 2019 | GREEN ECONOMY | B2B

Exciting and significant progress is being made in renewable energy in Kuwait, and companies expect only greater developments in the pipeline.

Hamad R. AlRadhan
HAMAD R. ALRADHAN
CEO
Life Energy
Dariusz K. Kolasinski
DARIUSZ K. KOLASINSKI
CEO
Gulf Renewable Energy Environment & Nature (GREEN)

What is the current progress of the local renewable energy sector?

HAMaD R. ALRADHAN In recent years, Kuwait has been implementing several renewable energy technologies, solar being the most significant one. Different pilot projects have demonstrated the reliability and effectiveness of this power source in Kuwait, and we now are at a stage where large projects are essential to achieve the country's renewable energy targets. The Shagaya renewable energy park was developed by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) in order to host a mix of technologies at utility scale. The park is expected to host more than 4GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Life Energy has played an important role in deploying many of the renewable energy projects in the past eight years. We have done more than 250 PV installations since our establishment and will continue to take an active role in the coming years to come.

DARIUSZ K. KOLASINSKI Energy efficiency is not much of a priority in Kuwait, and the country is only starting to take this issue seriously. Subsidies are given for electricity and water, so people lack substantial motivation for change. By establishing low-energy pilot projects, the government is showing the new generation of Kuwaitis that energy efficiency is a real tangible possibility. Instead of offering land and finance to build houses, the government can offer low-energy villas based on the model that we are now presenting. We are one of the participants in this project, and others are from industries such as energy-efficient building materials, LED lighting, home energy management systems, and modern air conditioning equipment. Given the cheap pricing of electricity compared to other countries, the private sector is not yet motivated to take action. As such, we can see that the government is leading the move toward the implementation of renewable energy sources, with the private sector waiting in the hope that it will possibly receive some form of subsidies.

How do you collaborate with existing buildings and infrastructure to limit energy consumption?

HRA Our company provides solutions to support the optimization of energy use in new and existing buildings. In Kuwait, the major part of the energy consumption is cooling, which reaches more than 80% of total peak demand in the residential sector. Efficient air conditioning systems while improving insulation will significantly reduce energy consumption. Lack of public awareness in energy conversation is a problem in Kuwait, and unfortunately, from a regulatory perspective, the building code does not promote the construction of efficient buildings. On the other hand, we have seen improvements where renewables are considered. For example, Kuwait's new airport is being built in an energy-efficient manner by implementing solar energy generation and using specific materials to help reduce energy wastage. The oil sector has been doing this for a while and cares about waste management and recycling and is now introducing renewables in several locations, including their operations. As an EPC contractor, we orientate our clients toward the right consultation depending on the needs. We can also help by offering our engineered solutions to apply the latest technology to support organizations and individuals in their green initiatives and interest in renewables.

What is your overall outlook on Kuwait's green potential?

DKK I was positively surprised after being invited to a presentation delivered by the Kuwait Green Building Council, which is a new initiative. The level of education delivered by this council and the sophistication of the message was impressive. Energy efficiency is a significant problem in this consumerist society that has a lot of waste and uneconomical consumption of resources. A number of Kuwaitis attended the event and got motivated by the message; these kinds of events and this type of education are crucial. At this stage, these initiatives are still in the developmental phase and not always backed by the government, however, universities and Kuwaitis who have returned after studying abroad are showing the majority of the enthusiasm. This is also in compliance with the Public Authority for Housing Welfare's programs. I am optimistic, which is why we are a part of the EU-GCC Clean Technology network, which started its activities last year in collaboration with Kuwait Society of Engineers. Such initiatives have educational merits and the ability to direct us toward the practical approaches to make decisive and influential decisions for a greener Kuwait.