Bahrain to face 50pc fewer summer power cuts
Manama, June 16, 2009
Baharin will face half the power cuts this summer than it has in the last few years, says the minister in charge of the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA).
Fahmi Al Jowder, who is also the Works Minister, said the cuts would be "at least 50 per cent less" than last summer because of proactive steps that had been taken in the last few months.
"The efforts of the staff at the EWA have borne fruit and we see no reason why these should not continue," he said on the sidelines of the Electricity and Water Conservation Expo 2009, which is running in Bahrain from June 15 to 17.
Al Jowder said although there were contingency plans to tackle the heavy summer load on Bahrain's power system, he urged people to ensure they did not waste electricity.
"We have an abundance of this precious commodity as compared with many other developing nations so it should be used wisely" he said.
Al Jowder said Bahrain was also fortunate that it has an abundance of gas and oil but the country was fully aware that these resources will run out one day.
"Therefore, it is our duty to preserve them by all means," he said.
Al Jowder said the exhibition and seminar had been organised to promote energy and water conservation through legislation, regulation, improving utilisation efficiency and exchanging of expertise on alternative resources.
"This also comes as part of a comprehensive Bahrain campaign for conservation of water and electricity and proper promotion of awareness of use by various consumer sectors," he said.
"We soon plan a major expansion of the existing water and electricity network and development of additional electricity production and water desalination plants."
Al Jowder said the per capita electricity and water consumption in the GCC states was considered one of the highest at international levels.
"It is a well known fact in the Gulf region that air conditioners, which consume 60 per cent or more of the total consumption during the hot summer months, are indispensable as far as people are concerned," he said.
"For this very reason, efforts must be intensified to minimise the energy used by air conditioners by resorting to all conservation ways and means such as thermal insulation of the buildings, use of highly efficient energy saving electrical and mechanical appliances or district cooling besides other methods and factors which affect the architectural designs and building materials that suite our climate."
Al Jowder said Bahrain's strategy called for reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by about 70 per cent by 2014.
"As is known, air conditioners and the power generation plants play directly or indirectly a great role in carbon dioxide emissions which makes it imperative to exert greater effort as institutions and individuals to reduce the pollution and emissions," he said.
Al Jowder said energy conservation principles also applied to conservation of water since Gulf States rely primarily on natural resources.
"It is widely believed that the water resources will be the cause of future wars, one more reason that compels us to work together to the maximum extent possible to conserve with all the power and knowledge that we can muster," he said.
BSE president Majeed Al Ghassab said most renewable energy sources might not be commercially viable at the moment, but if the country invested now it could benefit in the future.
He said energy conservation required serious management.
"Its purpose is to make profit for the company. It should not be a hobby or a social programme or a public relations activity," he said.
Al Ghassab said the age of petroleum would end sometime during the next 50 years.
"Our range of energy supply choices will be similar to those that existed in the mid-19th century," he said. "It is far from certain that any major new sources will be available."<