Published Date: Nov 22, 2011
WHITE CITIES TO CUT ENERGY CONSUMPTION, SAY EXPERTS
Painting the roofs and building environment with white can reduce temperature in cities and drastically cut energy consumption by lowering the demand. The experts from alternative energy and environment unanimously agreed and urged the government to take necessary measures to create awareness among citizens for ‘cool roofs’ to address growing energy needs and combating climate change. They were speaking at a special seminar on “Cool Roofs: Solar Radiation Management (SRM) Techniques to Combat Climate Change and Energy Crisis” organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday. Abrar Malik, the assistant chief (Buildings) National Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON), said, “We need to cultivate a new energy culture focusing on achieving sustainable development through conservation and efficient use of energy resources. And Solar Radiation Management (SRM) Techniques such as Cool Roofs can be a viable alternate.” He said the Building Code of Pakistan (Energy Provisions 2011) had been approved by the steering committee would soon be finalised by the Task Force of Pakistan Engineering Council.
Tanveer Mehmud, former national programme coordinator Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), apprised the participants on clean development mechanism (CDM) in Pakistan. He explained that the CDM allowed industrialised countries to invest in emission reductions wherever it was cheapest globally. “So there is an opportunity for developing countries like Pakistan to take measure towards cleaner environment while earning valuable resources at the same time,” he added. He said Pakistan had initiated 12 projects in CDM while India launched over 700 projects in the subject. Amjad Hussain, the CDM advisor, said cool roofs could reduce summer air-conditioning energy use by 10 to 20 percent. He gave the example of Masdar City, as he talked about reducing carbon emission to combat climate change around the world. “Masdar City is a $ 15 billion initiative by the government of UAE, which has zero carbon emission where every thing is greener, cleaner, recycled and environmental-friendly.”
SDPI Project Associate Farzana Yasmin said Solar Radiation Management (SRM) techniques were used to make earth more reflective by diverting incoming solar radiation. “Cool roof is one of the SRM techniques that increase the reflectivity of the build environment by painting the roofs, roads and pavements with bright reflective white.” This, she said, provided a cooling effect as the white roofs in tropical regions absorbed about 70 percent less sunlight than an ordinary roof and hence counteracting the warming influence of increasing greenhouse gases.
She also cited a research which showed that widespread installations of cool roofs and pavements could decrease summer air temperatures in cities by two to three degrees Celsius.