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An Evaluation of High Energy Performance Residential Buildings in Bahrain

About the Project

Increasing energy productivity holds some of the greatest possibilities for enhancing the welfare countries get out of their energy systems. It also recasts energy efficiency in terms of boosting competitiveness and wealth, more powerfully conveying its profound benefits to society. KAPSARC and UNESCWA have initiated this project to explore the energy productivity potential of the Arab region, starting with the six GCC countries and later extending to other countries. Aimed at policymakers, this project highlights the social gains from energy productivity investments, where countries are currently at, and pathways to achieving improved performance in this area.

Key Points

This paper describes our analysis of the cost-effectiveness of designing and retrofitting residential buildings in Bahrain and outlines our analytical approach. The study focuses on residential buildings since households consume more than 48 percent of electricity used in the country. As expected, residential buildings constitute the vast majority of Bahrain’s building stock, with about 76 percent of the total and projected annual growth in energy consumption of around 3 percent in the next few years.

The optimization analysis outlined in this paper assesses the potential benefits from retrofitting both individual buildings and the entire national building stock, as well as the benefits of applying proven measures and technologies to improve the energy efficiency of the building sector. Our conclusions are:

The development and enforcement of a more stringent energy efficiency code can potentially improve the energy efficiency of the new building stock with a reduction of more than 320 GWh in annual electricity consumption and 87 MW in peak demand.

Retrofitting the existing building stock in Bahrain has the potential to cost-effectively reduce energy consumption in the building sector by 62 percent, with a 55 percent reduction in peak electricity demand compared with the business as usual scenario. The avoided costs of building new power plants would be sufficient to offset the implementation costs for a basic level of energy retrofitting of existing residential buildings.

We estimate that as much as 31,700 job-years of employment can be created when retrofitting the existing building stock. More than 3,000 jobs would be needed annually in order to retrofit existing buildings over a 10-year period.

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