Dubai saves 200k Kilowatts of electricity on “Earth Hour 2009”

Dubai residents helped save at least 200,000 kilowatts of electricity, equivalent to 120,000 kilos of carbon dioxide (CO2), by switching off lights and appliances for the Earth Hour Saturday night.

Dubai joined 80 major cities across the world from Sydney and Shanghai to Santiago and San Francisco in a symbolic solidarity with the planet threatened by global warming. At exactly 8.30pm, street and retail shop lights were switched off as Dubai joined cities around the world in the Earth Hour 2009, a global climate event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Hundreds of people lit up candles and lanterns. Children and adults gathered around Dewa-provided 5,000 battery powered lanterns that was formed into “Earth Hour” in Arabic and English. Young and old folks strolled as a slight drizzle came, putting on blinkers made of light-emitting diodes. Arabic songs played in the background.

Amal Koshak, Senior Manager for Demand and Tariff Management at Dewa, said, “We’re glad that more people joined the Earth Hour this year. Fifty-seven schools, numerous hotels and government institutions joined us. We think that we’ll achieve at least double this year’s energy savings compared to last year’s Earth Hour,”

It has also replaced Abra (water taxi) engines with others powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) and rolled out a fleet of new public buses with environment friendly engines compatible with the highest environmental specifications applicable in Europe (Euro IV).

The buses are also fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology as well as Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology; both aimed to curb bus exhaust emissions.

Last year, Dubai ranked 13th among the global cities in terms of participation in the event – where about 100,000 kw of energy were saved, curbing emissions of about 60,000 kg of CO2.

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