Gavin Davids says that with photovoltaic prices falling, it’s time the MEP industry starts making sure clients take advantage of the benefits it can offer
The recently concluded World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi was an interesting event to cover, especially as a journalist in the MEP industry.
While primarily aimed at the energy and utilities sector, what was interesting to note was how many solar product manufacturers were present. Should that be taken as a sign that industry decision-makers are finally beginning to regard the technology as viable alternative to the carbon based energy sources we’ve been guzzling over the last few decades? Dare we hope for so much?
I honestly think that we’re on the cusp of an energy revolution now, given the investment and attention that has been lavished on start up solar projects in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
There’s certainly a lot of attention being paid to the technology, but what remains to be seen if that is matched by the commitment and dedication necessary.
While these are obviously large scale utility projects, the fact that the GCC is embracing them is a huge step forward, especially when just a few years ago, attitudes towards energy efficiency ranged from indifference to ignorance.
However, while implementing this technology on a large scale is all well and good, I believe that the MEP industry can do more good by actually utilising the technology on their projects and prove their suitability to the region.
What better way to convince end-users of the viability of the technology than by providing them with first hand proof of its functionality and success?
There’s constant talk about how we’ve ‘started’ implementing green technology in the marketplace, and how we’re taking baby steps in introducing it to end users. Commendable as this may be, I’d argue that given we’re years behind the likes of Europe and North American, more needs to be done, so that the industry can keep pace before the region gets left behind.
I feel that the time has come for MEP consultants and contractors to take on that responsibility and begin showing the initiative to convince their clients that sustainable energy usage is the way forwards.
Perhaps now that the price of photovoltaic has dropped to a level where it is competitive with regular energy, we’ll finally see more and more clients embrace the technology.
If global events are any indication, that could be about to happen sooner than we think, with industry reports finding as much as 60GW of electricity have been generated by solar energy over the last year, fuelled (if you’ll pardon the pun), by the fall in price and the forward thinking of European governments, who have introduced rebates and other such initiatives to encourage users to adopt the technology.
I think I’ve rambled on enough now, but before I go, I’d like to point readers in the direction of a new regular column that MEP Middle East is beginning from this month.
We’ve decided to start a new opinion-based feature that allows readers to mail in queries and discussion points to the author.
It is my hope that this feature develops into a regular forum that discusses the myriad issues that the MEP industry faces out in the field. In time, I hope this becomes something that benefits the people working in and around the industry.
Gavin Davids is deputy editor of MEP.