UL and GGC Lab: joint venture to strengthen Middle East’s renewable energy market
UL, a global safety science company, and GCC Lab, a closed joint stock company that test and certify electrical equipment, will operate as a joint venture based in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
The partnership is in order to strengthen and boost the quality of the Middle East’s renewable energy market, and will combine the two companies’ resources, knowledge, and expertise.
Although previously based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UL will be joining GCC in Damman, Saudi Arabia, so they can cater to customers throughout the Middle East, including Egypt.
The joint venture company will update the certification requirements to improve the region’s renewable energy infrastructure.
They will also offer new services, such as pre-commissioning tests, construction monitoring services, and product testing of solar photovoltaic modules, including accessories that comply with applicable, UL and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards.
Through the joint venture, the two firms plan to capitalise on UL’s reputation as the region’s leading safety science company and GCC’s strength and mandate as part of the Kingdom’s vision 2030.
“This agreement represents each organization’s strong commitment to provide customers with all services related to renewables to meet the varied climate of the region,” said Hamid Syed, Vice President and General Manager of UL Middle East.
“We are delighted to be able to be part of its aggressive renewable targets by offering a complete range of services via the new joint venture company and excited about developing new relationships through the extended client base.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.