Abu Dhabi's Department of Energy introduces new regulations to set up the region's first integrated system for district cooling
Abu Dhabi's Department of Energy (DoE) has introduced new regulations, recently approved by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to establish the Middle East's first integrated system for district cooling.
The DoE said the move reflects its commitment to taking the lead in the regional and global energy sector, highlighting its focus on developing infrastructure, ensuring energy efficiency, and promoting sustainable solutions.
District cooling is a centralised cooling production and distribution system that uses an insulated underground pipe network. The system is usually used for cooling commercial buildings, mixed-use buildings, and densely populated areas.
The new regulations aim to unify standards, integrate efforts to regulate the sector, ensure the highest quality and competitiveness for energy services, and protect consumer rights.
The regulations also include clauses to enhance energy efficiency, protect the environment, and encourage investments in the sector.
District cooling systems are the most environmentally friendly option when it comes to air conditioning - they reduce energy consumption up to 40 percent more than the best conventional cooling system available while having low CO2 emission levels.
The District Cooling Regulations provide a regulatory framework to offer investors, consumers, and the public safe, efficient, and economical cooling services, a DoE statement said.
DoE chairman Awaidha Murshed Al Marar said: “The Government of Abu Dhabi has clear strategic vision and directives to improve efficiency in the energy sector and promote more sustainable systems and infrastructure. This served as the starting point for us to develop these regulations for the district cooling sector, and we began developing an economic and ecological roadmap for this promising industry.
"Furthermore, it is our aim to encourage the adoption of advanced technologies to attract investment and increase the contribution of the district cooling sector to economic diversification.”
Al Marar added: “We are working to manage energy demand with procedures that rely on advanced technologies, such as district cooling. The new regulations allow us to better address the increasing demand for services, in addition to standardising the sector, guaranteeing consumer rights, and establishing a transparent and competitive investment environment.”