Technology costs as a barrier to energy and water efficiency in the commercial sector of the United Arab Emirates

By Richard Marinshaw, Michael Gallaher, Tanzeed Alam, Nadia Rouchdy

Studies have shown that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has some of the highest electricity and water consumption rates in the world. To understand the barriers to the adoption of energy and water efficiency, Emirates Wildlife Society in association with the World Wildlife Fund conducted 363 face-to-face interviews with representatives of companies tasked with energy and water management. The purpose was to understand the most important barriers hindering the UAE’s private sector from achieving wide-scale energy and water efficiency and to begin to identify solutions to mitigate these barriers. This paper focuses on technology costs as a barrier to energy and water efficiency in the commercial sector. Preliminary analysis indicates that, for the commercial sector, a contributing factor to the perception that efficient technologies are costly is the lack of accurate information on the full range and life cycle costs and benefits of efficient products. The most immediate solutions would be to address the financing and informational aspects of the technology cost barrier, as well as potentially provide incentives, such as rebates. In addition, attention must be given to barriers underlying many of the technology cost issues, such as subsidized tariffs and relatively few standards that would encourage adoption.

Bibliography

Marinshaw, R., Gallaher, M., Alam, T., & Rouchdy, N. (2017). Technology costs as a barrier to energy and water efficiency in the commercial sector of the United Arab Emirates. (RTI Press Publication No. PB-0013-1706). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. DOI: 10.3768/rtipress.2017.pb.0013.1706

© 2018 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Authors

Richard MarinshawRichard Marinshaw is a senior research environmental engineer in RTI International’s Sustainable Business Solutions Division.

Michael GallaherMichael P. Gallaher, PhD, is the senior director of RTI International’s Center for Environmental, Technology, and Energy Economics.

Tanzeed AlamTanzeed Alam, MSc, is the climate and energy director at EWS-WWF in the United Arab Emirates.

Nadia RouchdyNadia Rouchdy, BCom, is a manager for climate change and energy at EWS-WWF in the United Arab Emirates.

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