Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), attended the 5th Annual Partners’ Forum, organized by the United Nations Environment (UN Environment) for its ‘District Energy in Cities’ initiative. The meeting was held from 11-14 June 2019 at Copenhagen, Denmark. The session commenced with highlighting the role of the initiative in promoting district cooling solutions around the world, and the importance of its implementation and effectiveness in preserving the environment.
As the Special Advisor on District Cooling, Bin Shafar discussed about the latest developments in the district cooling industry and advancements in district cooling solutions. He also participated in a panel discussion with the President and CEO of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), on the importance of global communication between countries to promote the transition towards district cooling technologies as an alternative to conventional cooling systems. The meeting discussed the future prospects for energy market in the region and opportunities for the expansion of district cooling sector.
Bin Shafar highlighted Empower's role in supporting the efforts of UN Environment to implement district-cooling systems in cities, revitalizing the district cooling industry globally, as well as expansion and increasing awareness on district cooling around the world.
Bin Shafar stated that Empower supports the UN Environment for all its efforts to help countries in implementing energy efficient district energy solutions. He also shed light on the importance of investing efforts and competencies to adopt district cooling solutions worldwide. Empower has taken part in a study on the expansion of district cooling systems in a number of cities where increased temperature is leading to a dramatic rise in cooling demand.
Since the launch of ‘District Energy in Cities’ initiative by the UN Environment, it has been widely accepted at locally and internationally. Representatives from Argentina, Colombia, and Malaysia reviewed their challenges, needs and motivations to develop district energy in their respective regions.
Empower has contributed to supporting in line with the objectives and strategies of the initiative, by organising training workshops and deploying its expert team in rapid assessments of some cities for conducting a potential evaluation study for District Energy. The meeting, which was held with the participation of India, Chile, Serbia and representatives from Italy, Belgrade, Turkey, and Korea, reviewed last year’s results of the initiative, followed up on the implementation of the recommendations, discussed the main challenges and lessons learned, and reviewed next year's work plans. In addition, the participants attended a training workshop as well on marketing of district cooling projects in the region.
Participants also received training on implementing energy projects in their cities based on the best global standards and practices, as well as basic guidance on how to market district cooling systems in modern cities.