Managing Water-Energy Nexus For Better Tomorrow

Water is an essential part of human existence, green source of energy production and input for thermal power generation. The world’s 7 billion people are dependent on just 3% (called freshwater) of the total volume of water on earth. The MENA region is home to 6.3 percent of world’s population but has access to measly 1.4 percent of the world’s renewable fresh water. Due to burgeoning population and rapid economic growth, the per capita water availability is expected to reduce to alarming proportions in the coming decades. The demand for water is expected to increase significantly in future, which is also … Continue reading

Fracking – A Risk Analysis

Recent events in the Europe and the United States have propelled fracking up the public and political agenda. Is the case for drilling full of holes? Despite apparent economic benefits, fracking has got entangled in a good deal of controversies with some countries outrightly banning or suspending it. Public health concerns, environmental issues, geomechanical risks, groundwater contamination, air pollution and waste management are some of the issues are coming under increasing public scrutiny.   No Sense of Well-being The oil and gas industry does not inspire huge public confidence, as attention focuses on major incidents like the Deepwater Horizon blowout, which have cost lives, caused … Continue reading

استخراج الوقود من النفايات – وسيلة لتحويل القمامة إلى كنز

لقد أدى ارتفاع معدل النمو السكاني والتوسع العمراني والازدهار الاقتصادي في الشرق الأوسط إلى تسريع معدلات الاستهلاك وزيادة معدل إنتاج النفايات بجميع أنواع؛ حيث تحتل كل من البحرين والسعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة وقطر والكويت المراتب العشر الأولى في العالم من حيث نصيب الفرد من توليد النفايات الصلبة. وقد تعدت كمية توليد النفايات الصلبة الإجمالية في دول الشرق الأوسط 150 مليون طن سنوياً. أصبح خفض حجم وكتلة النفايات قضية حاسمة نظراً لمحدودية توفر مواقع التخلص من النفايات. هنالك، ولا شك، حاجة واضحة للحد وإعادة استخدام وإعادة تدوير النفايات، ولكن في اللآونة الأخيرة، بدأت عملية تحويل النفايات إلى وقود تكتسب أهمية كوسيلة … Continue reading

التكسير الهيدروليكي لطبقات التربة وآثارها

عملية التكسير الهيدروليكي, هي وسيله لتحفيز استخراج الغاز من الطبقات الغير مسامية عن طريق تدفق سائل بين الصخور في باطن الارض. وقد تمكنت التقنيات الحديثة في الحفر والتنقيب للوصول الي استخراج الغاز الطبيعي من طبقات ارضية كان يتعذر الوصول اليها سابقا باستخدام التقنيات التقليدية في الحفر والتنقيب. وتشمل هذه التقنيات ضخ سوائل غنية بالماء في بئر حتي يسبب ضغط السائل في عمق معين من التربة الي كسر وتشقق هذه الصخور. السائل الذي يتم ضخه يحتوي علي جزيئات صغيرة, مثل الرمال الغنية بالكوارتيز او مواد كيميائية التي تعمل علي خلق الشقوق والكسور في طبقات التربة الغير مسامية. عمليات التكسير الهيدروليكي في … Continue reading

An Adaptive Refugee Camp Model for the Middle East

Natural disasters and wars are two main reasons that force populations to leave their homes, which consequently push for an urgent need to provide temporary shelters or settlements as a disaster management plan. For many years, governments and aid agencies have worked on offering emergency relief camps. Solutions have ranged from short term to long-term shelters. Tents are the most common shelter structure used. However, studies show that the majority of current tent shelters do not satisfy comfort conditions for occupants and hardly satisfy privacy, hygiene and other social needs. They are also expensive to fabricate and deteriorate quickly. Several … Continue reading

Solar Energy in Saudi Arabia: Perspectives

Saudi Arabia, the epicenter of global oil industry, has been showing keen interest in solar energy in recent years. Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest solar irradiation in the world, estimated at approximately 2,200 thermal kWh of solar radiation per m2. The country is strategically located near the Sun Belt, in addition to plentiful availability of empty stretches of desert that may accommodate infrastructure for solar power projects. Vast deposits of sand can be used in the manufacture of silicon PV cells which makes Saudi Arabia an attractive location for solar industry. “The resource is stunning; land is … Continue reading

An Introduction to Smart Grid

A smart grid is an electrical grid that uses information and communications technology to gather and act on information, such as information about the behaviors of suppliers and consumers, in an automated fashion to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity. Smart grids are now being used in electricity networks, from the power plants all the way to the consumers of electricity in homes and businesses. The “grid” amounts to the networks that carry electricity from the plants where it is generated to consumers. The grid includes wires, substations, transformers, switches etc. The major benefits are significant improvement in … Continue reading

Peak Oil: Perspectives for Saudi Arabia

The term ‘peak oil’ is ominous to the Middle East, as most of the countries in the region are heavily dependent on oil and natural gas for industrial, economic and social development. Petroleum is considered one of the world’s most important sources of energy generation, after uranium, of course. Many other substances have been tested in order to be used as alternatives to petroleum, but none have hitherto been successful. Scientific research illustrates how the world is facing catastrophe if it doesn’t find an alternative to oil, as it is currently impossible for the global economy to grow without sufficient amounts … Continue reading

Desertec: What Went Wrong?

A plan to power Europe from solar power plants in Sahara desert, popularly known as Desertec, seems to have stalled, but several large North African solar projects are still going ahead despite local concerns. Where did the Desertec project go wrong, and can desert solar power yet play a role in a democratic and sustainable future? If you use social media, you may well have seen a graphic going around, showing a tiny square in the Sahara desert with the caption: ‘This much solar power in the Sahara would provide enough energy for the whole world!’ Can this really be true? It is … Continue reading

Solar Energy in Oman: Potential and Progress

Solar energy is a vital and strategic solution for the provision of electric power in the Sultanate of Oman. Given the vast unused land and available solar energy resources, Oman has an excellent potential for solar energy development and deployment. Solar energy is a viable option in Oman and could not only cater to the growing need for energy diversification but also would help in economic diversification. With a total dependence on fossil fuels and increasing population combined with rapid industrialization in cities such as Duqm, Sohar and Salalah, Oman’s power infrastructure and hydrocarbon reserves pose a challenge on the economic … Continue reading

Airports: Viable Places for Green Initiatives

Can airports ever be green? This is an overwhelming concept in a carbon-driven, and carbon-intensive industry. The reality is that air travel is often the only realistic option for the movement of both people and cargo in the current lifestyle and demands encompassed with time constraints. This is especially critical for the island nation of Bahrain that is so heavily dependent on air travel in terms of food security. With over 90% of all goods: perishable and manufactured, imported into the nation, this carbon-intensive industry is not going to disappear. Airports themselves, may only contribute 5% to the carbon emissions … Continue reading

Saudi Arabia’s Road to Fuel Economy

Saudi Arabia is a private car-oriented society, and has one of the world’s highest per capita fuel consumption in the transportation sector. This is primarily due to lack of efficient public transportation and current fuel subsidy policy. The country is witnessing an escalating demand on its domestic energy needs and it is imperative on policymakers to devise policies for conservation of energy resources and reduction of GHGs emissions in the transportation sector. Adapting energy-efficient fuel standards will help Saudi Arabia country to bridge the gap with the developed countries. The enforcement mechanism for the establishment of Saudi fuel economy standards will … Continue reading

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