Original article is published by LeAnne Graves in The National, October 10, 2016.

Even as budgets for oil and gas producers took a beating last year, companies focusing on saving energy raked in US$24 billion as energy efficiency investment increased by 6 per cent to $221bn, a report showed yesterday.

Items such as LED lights helped to spur investments, making up 14 per cent of the $16 trillion spent globally on energy supply last year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The energy efficiency market reported two-thirds more investment than conventional power generation.

“The large emerging economies are moving to centre stage in the clean energy transition and the fight against air pollution, driven by energy efficiency and renewables,” said Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA.

This signals further mergers and acquisitions as utilities, technology providers and equipment manufacturers try to grab a piece of the market.

The IEA said lower energy demand in member countries has prompted a number of power utilities to adopt energy services in an attempt to expand revenues. “In addition, growth in remote monitoring, control and data analytics are enabling new business models and service solutions,” it said.

David Auriau, the chief executive of Corys Environment, a Dubai-based environment investment firm, said the market potential in the UAE and GCC was huge, with the UAE worth $2bn a year, and the GCC worth $20bn.

Corys and the technology energy services company Taka Solutions said yesterday it would partner to create a joint venture. Taka Energy Services will be based in the UAE and work to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions globally by 20 per cent by deploying its technology in buildings and homes.