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Driving Low-Carbon Innovations in the MENA Built Environment: Takeaways from COP28

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AlWasl Tower -Dubai Façade architectural engineering deployed Ai enabled modeling for maximum energy savings and cooling efficiency. ICBEC 

The urgency of our global climate challenge has never been clearer, as highlighted by the International Energy Agency’s recent assessment, indicating the arduous path to achieve the 1.5-degree cap. Yet, within this reality, a beacon of hope shines through—the remarkable endeavors and insights shared by four distinguished cleantech industry leaders in the MENA region. 

As part of the Clean Energy Business Counsel initiative to promote cleantech for the future of the MENA region, a group of industry experts took a deep dive into world-class solutions in low-carbon technologies, that have proven their positive impact on the carbon footprint in the UAE and the MENA region.

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Green PV Park 18 MW Cyprus, BFCC

We examined the increasing investments in the region for electricity production from solar, as well as hydrogen introduction into a number of the emerging markets in the region. An example was the 18MW green park in cypress which was completely managed from project start to handover by BFCC in record time.

The panel discussed driving the adoption of innovative low-carbon technologies in the hot water via thermodynamic solar technology, a niche solution by Enernouva that proved its viability by more than 300 projects across the MENA region. 

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Thermodynamic solar panels – Jumeirah Al Qasr Up to 5m3 /day of Hot Water, Miramar Fujairah 128 panels Up to 48m3/day of Hot Water. By Enernouva UAE.

Sustainability in the built environment was a core topic via discussing practical models for enhancing energy efficiency in building designs using digital project modeling coupled with Ai in the façade design segments “sustainable façade technology”, where artificial intelligence is used to assist architectural and mechanical engineering to produce energy efficient high rise facades. 

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The Iconic Al Wasl Tower, Dubai. Façade architectural engineering deployed Ai enabled modelling for maximum energy savings and cooling efficiency. ICEBC

An example is the work of ICBEC on the “SABIC Headquarters” in KSA, The project’s scope involved designing an 85,000 m2 energy-efficient facade, that contributes to annual energy savings of 2.5 GW.H, translating to yearly bill savings of 645,000 SAR and a reduction in CO2 emissions by 1500 tons per year. 

Beyond economic and environmental gains, the efficient facade has notably enhanced indoor life quality, improved thermal comfort, and lowered levels of condensation-induced humidity.

The integration of digital technologies coupled with Ai for low-carbon solutions is a rapidly evolving and expanding practice, and companies in the MENA region are among the early movers to embrace these technologies. The time for change is now, and these discussions not only shed light on the hurdles but also sparked the flame of hope, guiding us towards a world where sustainability isn’t a choice but a fundamental aspect of our existence.

Ayad Chammas

Ayad Chammas is an Engineering and Construction professional. He advises cleantech startups Over the last decade, Ayad has been active as an investor and promoter of clean energy, in sectors such as EV and PV and energy storage systems. He is a Partner in Nirman Ventures, a construction technology VC firm that invests in cleantech for construction.

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