Energy efficiency companies flock to the UAE

Billions of dollars are spent each year around the world on low-cost energy saving techniques in buildings, and companies catering to this sector are setting up shop in the UAE as demand spikes throughout the region.

For Dubai’s Fast Solutions, partnering with Ferroli of Italy will help the company expand its business by 20 per cent annually.

The Italian multinational company, which manufactures a range of solar panels and green energy products, announced Tuesday that it would enter into the region using the UAE as a base to reach markets in India, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Marco Ippoliti, Ferroli’s head of exports, said that this entry would strengthen the company’s global reach.

“We see a great opportunity here as renewable energy has been our focus over the years and we constantly reach out with these products to a larger consumer segment across the globe,” he said.

The global energy efficiency investment in buildings is expected to jump nearly 40 per cent by 2020 to US$125 billion, up from about $90bn in 2014, according to the International Energy Agency.

Fast Solutions has already been seeing this shift, saying that energy efficient items are becoming a greater part of its business portfolio. This is pushing the company to further expand throughout the GCC.

Krishnan Mohana Chandran, the director of Fast Solutions, said that the company planned for 20 to 25 per cent cumulative growth over the next five to 10 years.

Others are seeing more energy efficiency players stepping into the UAE.

Jesus Gutierrez, the co-managing director of the Dubai energy efficiency company Smart4Power, used the company’s experience to provide a pulse of the dynamics of the local market.

Smart4Power conducted nine energy audits – assessments of a building to find the best areas to save energy – three years ago. At that time, the company modified six companies to save energy, providing them with Dh2.8 million in total annual savings.

“Two years later, we completed 39 energy audits and implemented solutions in 21 projects with a combined annual savings of Dh14.5m,” Mr Gutierrez said.

Energy audits and contracts to carry out these guaranteed energy savings are definitely accelerating in the UAE, said Francisco Silverio Marques, the director of business development and marketing at Enova, a joint venture between Majid Al Futtaim and Veolia.

“The market didn’t exist before in a structured way before Dubai started it last year with Etihad Esco,” he said.

Enova has expanded its work into Sharjah, retrofitting contracts worth several million dirhams. “We are investigating other emirates, but nothing has been signed just yet,” he said.

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