Sustainable Energy in National Plans
National studies have shown that the establishment of a National Energy Conservation and Planning Centre will be key to developing a cohesive and sustainable energy policy and to promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.
In pursuit of achieving MDG targets by 2015, the Kingdom of Bahrain recognizes the need for a balance between economic and social development to ensure sustainable development. Towards ensuring environmental stability, MDG Goal 7 is an important national priority for the Kingdom.
There is considerable potential for undertaking energy efficiency and alternative energy initiatives in Bahrain to extend the lifetime of oil and gas reserves and enable long-term planning and implementation. However this will require sufficient and centralized databanks on energy that provide complete and standardized information for different sectors of the economy.
The Kingdom of Bahrain remains highly reliant upon the petroleum and gas sector, despite successful Government initiatives to diversify the economy towards finance, tourism and industry. Fossil fuel production and processing account for greater than 60% of export revenues, more than 60% of Government revenues and around 20% of GDP. Meanwhile, Bahrain’s electricity demand is growing by approximately 7% per year and the country may have to start importing energy from neighboring countries as feedstock for its expanding petrochemical and aluminum industries. Energy intensity and energy consumption per capita are amongst the highest in the world. The energy sector produces CO2 emissions, followed by waste and effluents. Energy Conservation can contribute to reducing these emissions.
UNDP and the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) signed an agreement in 2011 towards Preparatory Assistance to further identify the need for a national energy centre. The National Oil and Gas Authority is the organization responsible for all petroleum and gas related issues in Bahrain, with the mission to maintain and develop the Kingdom’s oil and gas resources while optimizing their utilization in pursuit of generating the highest return.
This Preparatory Assistance document outlined technical support to NOGA to prepare a study on Energy Conservation potentiality, develop a feasibility study on the establishment of an Energy Conservation and Planning Centre in Bahrain, and to formulate a programme for NOGA and UNDP to support the establishment of the Centre. The completed Gap Analysis and Feasibility Study report serve as the country’s main reference for all energy data, providing analysis and planning for informed decision making. The results were presented to stakeholders from various concerned ministries and national institutions.
The findings of the study were favorable to the establishment of a national energy center. Accordingly, UNDP in partnership with Government of Bahrain, embarked on the formulation of a project towards the creation of a Sustainable Energy Unit.
This Unit will consolidate the institutions in the energy sector and institutionalize energy planning as well as promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Project aims to enhance the national capacity to manage energy efficiently and address current gaps in the energy sector. It will work on enhancing the formulation of policies for Integrated Energy Planning, Conservation, Efficiency and renewable energy.
The project will become part of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative of the Secretary General. Launched in September 2011, the initiative brings together governments, businesses and civil society groups to help make the world’s energy systems more accessible, efficient and cleaner. It aims to achieve three interlinked objectives by 2030 – ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement of energy efficiency, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
This national initiative is a large step towards reducing the risks of climate change, driving economic growth, and supporting inclusive development.