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Minister Mirza inaugurates the second solar PV systems installation training course for contractors and consultants

H.E. Dr. Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza, Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, today inaugurated the second Solar PV Installers Certification Training Course for Contractors and Consultants which was held in EWA’s training center in Sitra. The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. Amin El Sharkawi, UNDP Resident Representative, a number of officials and about 60 participants, including a number of staff from the Electricity & Water Authority. The training course is organized by the Sustainable Energy Unit (SEU) in cooperation with the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) and with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The course aims to qualify contractors and consultants specializing in the installation of solar PV systems, to later become certified installers by the Electricity & Water Authority. The SEU is delegated by the government of Bahrain to contribute towards the institutional capacity building of the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector as part of its mandate, and an important part of the Kingdom’s strategy to implement and promote renewable energy development in the country.

In his welcome address to the attending officials, participating contractors and consultants, H.E. Minister Mirza commended the success of the first training course back in January 2018, and the positive results that reflected on the investment market in the field of renewable energy. H.E. also shared that EWA has thus far received around 20 applications to install solar PV systems since the endorsement of the Net Metering Policy in December 2017 and the first training course in January 2018. Ten solar PV systems installed over residential units have already been connected to the grid and around ten more will shortly follow. The Minister added that the Kingdom’s remarkable achievements in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency also included: the adoption of the Net Metering Policy, the start of the implementation of the utility scale solar plant with the capacity of 100 megawatts. There are also plans to implement decentralized solar PV installations on the roofs of government buildings through the adaptation of the Tender Based Feed in Tariff Policy being developed by the Sustainable Energy Unit in collaboration with the Ministry of works, Municipal Affairs & Urban Planning.

These recent developments have positively contributed towards increasing the kingdom’s attraction for foreign and domestic investments in renewable energy sector and were reported in the first national voluntary report for the Kingdom of Bahrain on the implementation of the sustainable development goals 2030. The report will be presented by a high-level delegation at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in July 2018.

H.E. Dr. Mirza also highlighted that the launch of the second session of the training course reconfirms the government’s commitment to encourage the use of clean energy in the country, promote sustainable development, and deliver on the national and international related obligations, such as the sustainable development goals, particularly the SDG7.

Dr Mirza added that the second training course is offered through two renewable energy specialized companies, J Lanka Technologies and CESI, and aims to provide a high-level training and diversify experiences and lessons learned offered for the trainees.

At the end of his speech, the Minister thanked the Sustainable Energy Unit, the officials of the Electricity and Water Authority, and the two consulting companies for their cooperation and efforts, which contributed to the continuation of this course and wished the participants success in the training program and in their future endeavors.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) H.E. Amin Al-Sharkawi also extended his congratulations to Minister Mirza on the record achievements of the Kingdom. H.E. Amin also added that the first national voluntary report of the Kingdom of Bahrain has a significant impact on the Kingdom’s achievements and commitment to achieving the sustainable development goals, especially the seventh goal related to clean energy.

This training course was run for five consecutive days for contractors and consultants. Passing consultants and contractors will then be awarded a certificate that allows them to complete accreditation procedures with the Electricity & Water Authority.
The next batch for the training course will be announced for in the SEU website and social media accounts in due time. Announcements will also be featured in the local newspapers and on the UNDP website and EWA website.

Second Solar PV Systems Installation Course

The Sustainable Energy Unit (SEU) in cooperation with the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) and with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has successfully completed the second Solar PV Systems Installation training course. The course aimed to qualify contractors and consultants specializing in the installation of solar PV systems to become certified installers by the Electricity & Water Authority.  H.E. Dr. Abdul Hussain bin Ali Mirza, Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs inaugurated the launch of the second training course and commended the success of the first training course held back in January 2018. The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. Amin El Sharkawi, UNDP Resident Representative, a number of officials and about 60 participants, including Electricity & Water Authority staff.  This training course was run for five consecutive days from June 24th to June 28th at the EWA Training Center in Sitra. The course was offered through two renewable energy specialized companies, J Lanka Technologies and CESI, and aimed to provide a high-level training and diversify experiences and lessons learned that were on offer for the trainees. Upon successful completion of the course and passing the qualification exam, the consultants and contractors will be awarded a certificate that allows them to complete accreditation procedures with the Electricity & Water Authority.

The next batch for the training course will be announced on the SEU website and SEU social media accounts in due time. Announcements will also be featured in the local newspapers and on the UNDP website and EWA website.

SEU’s New Acting Executive Director

Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain H.E. Dr. Abdulhussain bin Ali Mirza appointed Mr. Alexander Al Samahiji, SEU’s Solar Energy Expert, as the new Acting Executive Director of the Unit. Mr. Al Samahiji has taken over the management of the Unit from Ms. Nurzat Myrsalieva, Renewable Energy Expert, who has taken a new job role abroad. Mr. Al Samahiji has over 20 years’ experience in management, sustainable construction and information technology. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kent, a MBA degree from the University of Warwick and a Master’s degree in Solar Energy Engineering from Dalarna University in Sweden.

On this occasion, H.E. the Minister stated that we are very pleased to welcome Mr. Al Samahiji in his new position and look forward that under his leadership SEU will build a path towards a sustainable future in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We would also like to thank the old Acting Executive Director Ms.  Nurzat Myrsalieva for her invaluable contribution to the Unit’s work and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. Ms. Myrsalieva joined the SEU in 2016 and played an instrumental role in the development of the Unit over the past two years. Ms. Myrsalieva has also made valuable contributions to the development of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the National Renewable Energy Action Plan of the Kingdom of Bahrain and actively participated in the development and promotion of key SEU initiatives.

SEU at St. Christopher’s School

Rami at St. Chris

Rami Osman, the Sustainable Energy Unit’s Energy Efficiency Specialist, met with a group of enthusiastic students at St. Christopher’s School to discuss Bahrain’s work in the area of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Year 8 and IB students engaged in a lively discussion of what we can do to save energy and promote sustainability. SEU is delighted to engage with young generation in Bahrain, who are open-minded, caring about the planet and each other, and are very bright and intelligent.

St. Christopher’s School commits to other initiatives to promote sustainability as well. For example, St. Chris Primary School celebrated the World Earth Day on April 22nd by organizing waste free lunch.

SEU at the R20 World Summit

On May 15th, 2018, the Sustainable Energy Unit delegation led by H.E. the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs Dr. Mirza and supported by H.E. Amin El Sharkawi, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, participated in the R20 Austrian World Summit in Vienna. The R20 Summit is a network platform that aims to help regions, states and cities implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and meet the global climate protection targets set by the Paris Agreement. The event is organized with the support of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s R20 Regions of Climate Change, an initiative to bring together sub-national authorities, public-private investors and experts to work together on sub-national green infrastructure projects. Please see more at the R20 website: https://regions20.org

SEU participated in Vienna Energy Forum

The Sustainable Energy Unit led by H.E. Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza, Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, and supported by the United Nations Development Program and the UNDP Resident Representative and the United Nations Resident Coordinator H.E. Amin El Sharkawi, participated in the Vienna Energy Forum on May 14th-16th, 2018. The annual global event was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO). The Vienna Energy Forum is a high-profile gathering of key decision-makers in the area of renewable energy from all over the world.
H.E. Dr. Mirza spoke about the Kingdom of Bahrain’s achievements in renewable energy and its progress towards achieving the sustainable development goals. H.E. Dr. Mirza was also discussing the steps taken by the government of Bahrain towards encouraging investment in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency and the comprehensive development of the energy sector in Bahrain.
This participation was particularly important as part of SEU’s delivery on its commitment to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as this year’s event will focus on reviewing the global progress of SDGs and will offer an opportunity to exchange experiences on sustainable energy and successful and innovative business models to encourage the uptake of renewable energy initiatives and improve energy efficiency.

The UoB launches MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Energy Unit welcomes the official launch of the first Master program in Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD) in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development is a joint program between University of Bahrain and Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, UK. It is designed to attract students, who combine postgraduate study with their professional practice, thus boosting professional skills and upgrading their career prospects.

The program features interdisciplinary courses and uses a range of teaching and learning materials and methods. Prospective students can choose between two streams: Stream I: Environmental Science and Development, or Stream II: Sustainable Urbanism.

The SEU is delighted to see the increasing interest of youth in sustainability and environment as young people are the key stakeholders and drivers to sustainable future.

For more information on the program please visit the UoB website.

SEU discusses collaboration with local and international institutions

The Sustainable Energy Unit (SEU) meets with representatives from the Prince’s Foundation (UK) and Ministry of Housing (Kingdom of Bahrain) to explore opportunities of collaboration. During the meeting, SEU briefed the representatives on the SEU mandate and both the National Renewable Energy Action Plan and the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan. This meeting serves as an integral part of the Unit’s efforts to consolidate national efforts in the field of sustainable energy and encourage the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout all the strategic actions of the concerned ministries and authorities. Representing the Prince’s Foundation were: Mr. Kim Hitch, Director of Projects, and Mr. Simon Sadinsky, Deputy Director of Projects. Representing the Ministry of Housing were: Eng. Wala Badow, Project Manager – Strategic Projects, and Mr. Hamdi Gabari, Architect.

SEU at the Gateway Gulf Investor Forum

The Sustainable Energy Unit delegation led by H.E. the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs Dr. Abdul Hussein Bin Ali Mirza participated in Gateway Gulf, the largest investor forum in Bahrain on May 8-10, 2018. Gateway Gulf was held under the patronage of H.R.H. Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board. This year, the forum’s motto was “Unlocking the GCC puzzle”. The forum participants focused on the wide range of development, innovation and investment opportunities unleashed by the ongoing economic transition and unprecedented private-sector led development in the region.

H.E. the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs Dr. Mirza highlighted the wealth of opportunities in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency as he spoke about the current state of affairs in Bahrain’s energy sector: “Our high-growth projection for energy consumption in Bahrain will rise from 3.9 GW today to 7.8 GW in 2030, requiring not only more supply but also more efficiency on the demand side.”

The event served as an excellent platform to discuss sustainable development in the region and beyond. Please see more information on Gateway Gulf here.

JLanka Technologies meets UNDP

On May 6th, 2018, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative His Excellency Mr. Amin El Sharkawi received a delegation from JLanka Technologies Company, led by Dr. Mayura Jayasoma, Chief Executive Officer. As the leading renewable energy company in Sri Lanka, JLanka Technologies has a solid experience and a significant technological and know-how capacity to develop tailored solar energy solutions at home and abroad.

JLanka Technologies’ representatives debriefed His Excellency Mr. El Sharkawi on their current engagement in the Kingdom of Bahrain’s sustainable energy activities. His Excellency Mr. El Sharkawi highlighted the importance of South-South development cooperation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and discussed the role JLanka Technologies could play in promoting SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy for All. The scope of potential expertise exchange and cooperation between public and private sectors, as well as between local and international stakeholders in Bahrain is vast and should be utilized to its full extent.

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