Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza inaugurated the Bahrain Future Energy Conference at the Gulf Hotel. Nearly nearly 200 representatives from government and private sector organizations involved in energy sustainability are taking part in the event organized by the Bahrain Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). International experts from the Regional Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are also taking part.
In his speech, Dr Mirza thanked the leadership and the government for their keen interest in encouraging investment in clean energy in pursuit of sustainable development. One of the important steps taken by the government in this endeavour, he said, is the establishment of the Sustainable Energy Unit in cooperation with the UNDP. He said this unit is concerned with encouraging investment in renewable energy such as solar energy and increasing energy efficiency.
It will also ensure that five per cent of the total energy consumed in Bahrain by 2025 would be renewable energy, a figure that would increase to 10 per cent by 2035. It would also increase energy efficiency by 6 per cent by 2025. The minister said the cabinet approved earlier this year the adoption of the National Energy Efficiency Plan (NEEAP) and the National Renewable Energy Plan (NREAP). A national committee has been set up to implement the plans’ initiatives.
He said it is expected that the implementation of the two plans would lead to the making available about BD260 by 2025. The minister also explained how the Net Metering system allows people to install solar systems at their homes and facilities at their own expense, and to benefit from the energy produced to meet part of their electricity consumption. This part would not be invoiced by the Electricity and Water Authority and the excess solar energy can be sold to the government.
He expressed confidence that the panel discussions with participating international experts would enrich the sessions of the conference and would provide opportunities for participants to learn how to integrate successful experiences at the global level with existing initiatives and studies at the local level to ensure sustainability. The conference will be held under the patronage of Tamkeen as a strategic partner and the golden sponsor, as well as supporting bodies such as UNDP Regional Office, Economic Development Board, Jafariya Endowments Authority and knowledge Partners such as Bahrain Polytechnic.