Harnessing the Invisible Fuel | WWF

Harnessing the Invisible Fuel

Posted on
31 May 2016

Download the report here

Energy and water efficiency, also referred to as ‘the invisible fuel’, are key drivers of the global move towards a low-carbon future. In the UAE, a country with four times the world average carbon dioxide rates per capita, the private sector has a major role to play in bringing about a more sustainable future.

Our latest report, Harnessing the Invisible Fuel: How to unlock the energy and water efficiency potential of the UAE private sector, outlines concrete, actionable recommendations and delves deep into the major barriers hampering the uptake of energy and water efficiency in the UAE private sector.

Five reasons you should read this report

  1. Find out about the top three factors holding back the UAE private sector from becoming more energy and water efficient;
  2. Learn what steps UAE policymakers can take to address the barriers faced by the private sector;
  3. Discover that widely held assumptions about energy and water efficiency – for example, that more efficient products are more expensive – are often not based on facts;
  4. Gain insights into the way UAE energy and water tariffs and subsidies affect the uptake of efficiency measures in different emirates;
  5. Get an independent, science-based perspective on these crucial issues.  

Why is it important to boost energy and water efficiency in the private sector?

  • The private sector accounts for 38% of all electricity and 19% of all water consumption in the UAE (EWS-WWF, 2016);
  • In 2014, the energy sector accounted for 80% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with 35% directly coming from the power sector (Ministry of Energy, 2016), notably for electricity and water production;
  • Energy demand is expected to nearly double by 2030 and water use to increase 44% by 2025 (United Nations Environment Program, 2013).

Exploring the top barriers

Harnessing the Invisible Fuel: How to unlock the energy and water efficiency potential of the UAE private sector investigates the top three barriers, as identified by the first statistically representative survey of energy and water efficiency in the private sector:
  1. High cost of energy and water efficient technologies;
  2. Low availability of products and lack of market accessibility;
  3. Limited understanding of electricity and water subsidies.

What can be done? 

Countries will need to set ambitious, science-based emissions targets and roll out a national climate action plan in order to contribute their fair share to global efforts against climate change. In the UAE, energy and water efficiency measures represent powerful policy levers to kick-start the country’s journey towards sustainable development and an economy that is resilient to climate change.  

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What is next?

Following the publication of the survey results and the associated issue papers and summary for policymakers, EWS-WWF will take the insights from this in-depth investigation to high-level policymakers and business leaders to achieve positive change. Further down the line, we will explore new and innovative financing solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy, aimed at making sustainable practices more attractive and accessible for businesses and consumers. 

For more information, contact Sultan Mollov, Climate and Energy Coordinator, on smollov@ewswwf.ae.