Advancement in renewable energy solutions and the need for legislation surrounding sustainable building design in the Middle East is set to be a hot topic for discussion at the launch of the Green Middle East 2011 exhibition and conference, taking place at Expo Centre Sharjah from 17-19 October 2011.
The quest for accessible and cost-effective energy alternatives is being fuelled by Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, which is spearheading research and development into renewable energy and cleantech solutions to mitigate the region’s reliance on traditional oil and gas derivatives, as well as address water consumption issues.
“Governments, public sector authorities and the private sector are actively demonstrating commitment to the development of new technologies and communities that will serve as a test bed for the future regional rollout of sustainable solutions. For example, in addition to the US$22 billion Masdar City project, similar carbon neutral initiatives are under development in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General, Expo Centre Sharjah.
The growing number of groundbreaking initiatives includes Dubai’s eight-million-square-foot Enpark development, the Qatar Energy Park, Jordan’s Shams Maan project, and a zero emissions city in Saudi Arabia.
According to the UAE Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, UAE citizens are among the highest per capita consumers of water globally, and use an average of 700 litres per day, versus a world average of 180 to 200 litres. According to the event organiser, ongoing growth in demand for energy by Middle East consumers and industries is currently at 5.5 per cent, against a global average of just 1.2 per cent.
In addition to addressing fundamental environmental issues related to resource efficiency - with the focus on energy and water - Green Middle East 2011’s line-up of exhibitors and conference speakers will look at site selection, construction materials, indoor environmental quality and waste management.
“With the region’s leading industry innovators and thinkers all coming together under one roof, the exhibition provides an interactive platform for manufacturers and suppliers of equipment and services to tap into the renewable energy and green building sector in the region, as well as gain invaluable insight into sustainable development and green architecture,” remarked Neil Hickman, Sales & Marketing Director, Sharjah Expo Centre.
The Gulf region is also leading the way with regards to the implementation of new legislation and building codes designed to minimise the environmental impact of construction. “Rather than simply adopt international codes for sustainable design, government agencies have spent a considerable amount of time and resources to develop their own tailored programmes including the introduction of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s Estidama guidelines, as well as Qatar’s Sustainability Assessment System, and the 2010 launch of Dubai Water & Electricity Authority’s stage II Green Building Regulations document,” said Al Midfa.
The three-day event, held in conjunction with Bee’ah, one of the region’s leading integrated environmental and waste management organisations, will feature representatives from specialised industry sub-sectors such as solar energy, wind power, hydropower, geothermal energy, solid biofuels, liquid biofuels, and other energy-efficient technologies.