Sharjah’s environment sector is expected to grow by 15 percent to almost AED 1 billion (US$ 0.27b) by 2016, according to a new study by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority ( Shurooq). The authority is currently seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) in solar energy generation plants and water desalination projects as part of an effort to grow new ventures in the sector.
The environment sector is one of the Emirate’s four key sectors identified for economic growth and is expected to contribute AED780 million (US$ 213m) to the economy this year. Shurooq identifies three sub-sectors: renewable energy, waste management and energy efficiency.
“The UAE has one of the highest per capita waste levels per person in the world, with environmental challenges very much on the federal government’s agenda, and Sharjah has carved out its niche as the UAE’s pioneer for renewable energy alternatives,” said Shurooq CEO HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal. Overall, Shurooq predicts the UAE market market potential for renewable energy to reach AED183 billion (US$ 50b)by 2020, with an annual growth of 15 percent.
Sharjah is home to award-winning fully integrated environment and waste management company Bee’ah, which is driving a zero-waste intiative to divert 100% of Sharjah’s generated waste from landfill for use as other resources by mid-2015. Earlier this year, Bee’ah awarded a GBP 300 million (AED1.8 billion) contract to UK firm Chinook Sciences to build the world’s largest advanced thermal energy-from-waste facility. The company also has a cryogenic tyre recycling plan, which processes three million tyres per year, turning the resulting crumb rubber into new commercial products, plus a range other waste management and recycling facilities.
According to Shurooq, the UAE is targeting alternative and sustainable energy projects for AED 367 billion (US$ 1b) of investment by 2020, including renewable energies, biofuel, urban development projects and wastewater recycling.
Shurooq’s own eco-friendly development projects include the Kalba Eco-tourism project; the Sir Bu Nuair Island project; Al Jabal Resort, The Chedi Khorfakkan; Al Majaz Waterfront; and the newly opened Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park.
Source: Shurooq, Bee’ah