SHARJAH 23 July 2017: Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa), is working to make its July 1st ‘Peak Hour’ observance – a global initiative.
It is observed from 2.30pm to 3.30pm and was launched in the emirate in 2015.
In an exclusive interview with Emirates News 24|7 on the sideline of the 2nd Partners Meet 2017, held at Radisson Blu, Chairman of Sewa, Dr Rashid Alleem, said that the initiative which has received high recognition from the General Secretariat of GCC counties.
The initiative was also proposed to the Arab League General Secretary and was highly welcomed.
In 2018, Sewa will propose the initiative to the United Nations to have it implemented globally, Alleem said.
In September 2015, the United Nations urged all countries to collaborate efforts to conserve water and electricity resources. The UN warned that the world would face challenges to meet needs of water and electricity during the next 15 years. The organization launched sustainable development programme 2030 with 17 objectives to help countries work effectively to preserve resources, noted Dr Alleem explaining why the initiative was launched.
The Sharjah government responded to the UN call by setting up a special department for consumption rationalization in May 2015. It followed the directions of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to rationalize water and electricity consumption by 30 per cent.
“We prepared a vision that aimed to increase public awareness about the importance of conserving resources. We also launched the ‘one hour peak’ initiative calling on the general public to stop using electricity on July 1 between 2.30pm and 3.30pm every year,” he said.
Surveys conducted by Sewa on consumption trends on July 1 witnessed the highest demand for power in conjunction with high temperatures and humidity in the UAE.
Sewa helped reduced electricity consumption during this hour by 40 per cent and is looking to reach a 100 per cent rate.
The initiative was supported by the UAE Ministry of Power and Climate Change.
“The success prompted us to spread it among Gulf States. We proposed it to the General Secretariat of GCC countries last year. This year we visited other Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco. Officials in these countries welcomed the initiative and expressed interest in implementing it. The initiative was suggested to the Arab league which also welcomed it.
Next year we will suggest it to European and Asian countries and the United Nations to reach global adoption, said Dr Alleem stressing that Sharjah is keen pioneer in saving electricity and water and to set an example worldwide by witnessing July 1st Peak Hour initiative globally.
To help save power resources, Sewa during the last two years started implementing solar energy.
“We started a very successful project of solar energy in industrial cities such as Al Sajaa. Solar energy technology was used in lighting 5Kms of streets at Al Sajaa, in farms and manors,” he said.
The cost of the technology is considered very minimal and it is efficient. Environment-friendly and highly-quality facilities were used. The good thing about solar energy is that after 6 hours from finishing fixing posts, the light would be there,” he said.
The project encouraged a considerable number of private companies and individuals to switch to solar energy.
Sewa encourages everyone to implement solar energy to save resources and the environment. The technology does not only save resources and find solution to future challenge but it also help saves the environment by curbing the emission of greenhouse gases, noted Dr Alleem.
Every year, Sewa awards those who adopt solar energy in appreciation of saving resources and the environment, he added.
Dr Alleem noted that although Sewa revenues would be less should larger segment of the public transferred to solar energy, its expenses to produce electricity would also reduce.
Those would change to solar energy have to buy the facilities on their own expenses and to encourage use, Sewa does not charge any fees.
Sewa does not impose surcharges even if the price of fuel to power its stations goes up. It is committed to the services and consumption fees that are implemented by the Federal Electricity and Water authority (Fewa) stressed Dr Alleem.
“If there was any increase or amendment in the fees, it should first be imposed by Fewa and then we would follow,” he added.