Bahrain Unit for Sustainable EnergyNov 26, 2014
The Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs Dr. Abdul Hussain Ali Mirza and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Mr. Peter Grohmann signed on Wednesday 26th November 2014, the project agreement for establishing the “Bahrain Unit for Sustainable Energy”. The Unit will be responsible for establishing strategies and policies and legislations, and for stimulating initiatives and investment projects that promote energy efficiency and widening the share of the production of energy from renewable sources.
During the signing ceremony, Dr. Mirza reiterated the Government’s commitment and utmost attention to the issues of sustainability of the country’s natural resources for future generations as well as the protection of the environment emphasising on the fact that “There is a considerable potential for undertaking energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives in Bahrain which will extend the lifetime of oil and gas reserves and enable long-term sustainable development”. Minister Mirza also explained that the Bahrain 2030 economic vision puts special emphasis on Providing incentives for reducing and managing Bahrain’s Electricity demand and investing in clean “green” energies and technologies; promoting building standards to ensure sustainability and ensuring better energy and water demand management.
Dr. Mirza also clarified that the project that was signed is based on a study carried out with the UNDP that analysed gaps in the energy sector and the feasibility of establishing an entity that unifies and consolidates efforts on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The project aims to enhance the national capacity to formulate policies for Integrated Energy Planning, Conservation, Efficiency and renewable energy. It will also help to facilitate concrete initiatives that enhance energy efficiency in key sectors and end-users and expand the use of decentralized renewable energy solutions”.
On his part, the UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Grohmann highlighted the importance of the project for a country like Bahrain, explaining that with the limited national non-renewable resources, it is essential for Bahrain to diversify the energy mix with renewable sources and to develop innovative ways to ensure the most efficient use of energy. Mr. Grohmann said “Recognising both the need and potential, UNDP has been working with the Government experts in Bahrain for a number of years to respond to the important issues of sustainable energy.
Mr. Grohmann also mentioned: “The new Unit for Sustainable Development is also Bahrain’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals and the new international Sustainable Development Goals that will be declared next year. It will contribute to the worldwide reduction of Green House Gas emissions and help to slow down climate change which is particularly important for Bahrain as a small island nation.
The project fits in the framework of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative that supports the universal access to modern energy services, the acceleration in improving energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy in the energy mix. The project puts Bahrain on par with similar initiatives in other GCC countries and will help to promote the exchange of successful international experiences for the benefit of Bahrain’s ambitious development agenda. To achieve the project’s objectives, the UNDP will facilitate access to expertise from within the UN system and the international energy community, including through UNEP’s regional office in Bahrain. Most importantly, the project becomes a building block to achieve Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 that places top priority on the need for the more effective use of energy for development. Mr. Grohmann expressed UNDP’s delight to support the Office of the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs in establishing the Bahrain Unit for Sustainable Energy for the benefit of the people of Bahrain and the sustainable development of the country.”
Jehan Al Murbati
UNDP - Bahrain