Energy Conservation in Kuwait: An Enviromental and Economic Perspective

D. Al-Ajmi, N. Al-Awadhi, and G.P. Maheshwari (Kuwait)


Fossil fuel, renewable energy


Kuwait, a major oil-exporting country with substantial reserves, adopted an energy policy to reduce consumption of fossil fuels well before a worldwide awareness of global warming. Between the mid-70s and mid-80s, Kuwait invested heavily in financial and manpower resources for harnessing solar energy. However, efforts to use solar energy on a commercial scale were discontinued as none of their applications were found to be cost effective and accordingly, due to relevance and benefit to the national environment and economy, energy conservation became of prime interest. Research in the field of energy conservation has been pursued by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research since 1980. Most of its' efforts have been directed towards energy conservation in air-conditioned (A/C) buildings, the largest consumers of electricity and primary source of energy. This paper presents an analysis of energy conservation measures in A/C buildings that have been in practice in Kuwait since 1983. During the past 17 years and by the end of 2001, the code achieved a total saving of over 1.5 billion KD and reduced CO2 emissions by nearly 13% in 2001. Also, energy audit in A/C buildings, another successful story of the energy conservation program, promises to achieve reduction of nearly 25% in annual electricity consumption in part-day occupancy buildings by implementation of energy-efficient operation and maintenance strategies. The paper concludes that efforts should be continued for further promotion of the energy conservation program.

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