Regulations for the district cooling sector will be in place by the end of 2018, said Faisal Rashid, director, Demand Side Management, Supreme Council of Energy.
Talking exclusively to MEP Middle East on the sidelines of the Big 5 show taking place from 26 to 29 November 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Rashid said: "The market will be regulated by Regulatory & Supervisory Bureau for electricity and water in Dubai (RSB) in terms of licensing, district cooling providers, billing etc. RSB will have a certain responsibility, even in disputes. The mandate is expected to be in effect by end of the year."
Rashid added that every big project in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is going to adopt district cooling. He said: "Developers have realised that this is the way forward. In addition, whenever there is an chance to connect existing buildings to district cooling, I think it is another opportunity for Dubai to consider it."
Talking about the cooling demands in the region and the importance of saving energy, Rashid said that cooling accounted for around 75% of building energy consumption, especially during summer. He said: "We should make an effort to ensure that we use it in a sustainable way. If you look at buildings it consumes 80% of power generation and cooling is 70%. So there are ways of looking for more efficient cooling methods like district cooling, especially for a place like Dubai. There is an increase in growth of the real estate footprint."
On issues related to the district cooling sector, particularly with respect to billing, Rashid says that when district cooling providers supply to cooling to developers, they end up over designing. "You need to ensure that the district cooling capacity is within the design. The cost of billing will be reasonable for the tenant and consumer. I think this is important."
Rashid, however, said that district cooling has its advantances in term of less capital, lower energy consumption, maintainance and reliability.