The GCC’s annual average power consumption of nine per cent is triple the global figure, according to industry analysts who estimate the GCC will have to invest US $100 billion over the next decade to meet its energy needs.
Economic development, increasing industrial capacity and fast population growth is outstripping demand for electricity in the region and, according to the World Energy Council, an additional 100 gigawatts of power generation capacity is needed before 2020 at a cost of US$150 billion.
Global and regional digital leader LG Electronics recently organised a two-day forum in Dubai on commercial air conditioners for its partners in the Middle East and Africa region to explore measures to tackle efficient energy consumption in the region. Speakers at the seminar emphasised the need for efficient cooling devices and called for an upgrade in energy efficiency standards for all kinds of commercial equipment, including traditional air conditioners.
“Air-conditioning is a major factor in increasing power consumption in the region and immediate measures to ensure more efficient energy consumption in the region is the need of the hour,” said C H Lee, President, LG Electronics Gulf FZE. “This includes following simple conservation steps to implementing an energy design process that optimises the interaction between a building and its mechanical systems rather than relying on widely used construction and sourcing practices that are currently based on low material costs and low innovation levels. At LG, we are committed to playing an active role to conserving energy while satisfying the increasing cooling requirements of the region.”
The market value of the comfort and process cooling sector in the GCC is estimated to exceed US$ 1.2 billion per annum in products / parts and possibly double that in terms of associated products and services.
“Many property developers in the Gulf are voluntarily using the latest technology in air-conditioning products that consume less power. The LG MPS multi system, for instance, is very popular as it reduces energy consumption when compared to conventional air conditioners. Its capital cost is 45 per cent lower and operates on a one kilowatt per ton of air-conditioning while consumption allowed by regional regulation is higher. The maximum power that can be consumed needs to be lowered from its existing level.”
LG introduced its MPS air conditioning system for the first time in the Middle East. MPS is LG’s proprietary technology that combines multiple compressors in a single air conditioning system to reduce air conditioning energy consumption by a maximum of 70 per cent, compared to conventional air conditioners with a single compressor.
According to Lee, MPS is being used in more than 60 projects in the region. These include ten in the UAE, six each in Bahrain and Qatar, five in Kuwait, three in Oman and a total of 35 in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
LG is the world’s leading air conditioner supplier for the fifth consecutive year and sold more than ten million units in 2004, securing 20 percent market share globally. Leading Japanese market research consultancy Fuji-Keizai estimates that the Korean giant made one out of every five A/Cs sold around the world last year. Regional sales of LG air conditioners improved 26.9 per cent in 2004 and accounted for US $349 million in turnover.
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