Algae Biorefinery – Promise and Potential

High oil prices, competing demands between foods and other biofuel sources, and the world food crisis, have ignited interest in algaculture (farming of algae) for making vegetable oil, biodiesel, bioethanol, biogasoline, biomethanol, biobutanol and other biofuels. Algae can be efficienctly grown on land that is not suitable for agriculture and hold huge potential to provide a non-food, high-yield source of biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen fuels. 

Several recent studies have pointed out that biofuel from microalgae has the potential to become a renewable, cost-effective alternative for fossil fuel with reduced impact on the environment and the world supply of staple foods, such as wheat, maize and sugar.

What are Algae?

Algae are unicellular microorganisms, capable of photosynthesis. They are one of the world’s oldest forms of life, and it is strongly believed that fossil oil was largely formed by ancient microalgae. Microalgae (or microscopic algae) are considered as a potential oleo-feedstock, as they produce lipids through photosynthesis, i.e. using only carbon , water, sunlight, phosphates, nitrates and other (oligo) elements that can be found in residual waters. Oils produced by diverse algae strains range in composition. For the most part are like vegetable oils, though some are chemically similar to the hydrocarbons in petroleum.

Advantages of Algae

Apart from lipids, algae also produce proteins, isoprenoids and polysaccharides. Some strains of algae ferment sugars to produce alcohols, under the right growing conditions. Their biomass can be processed to different sorts of chemicals and polymers (Polysaccharides, enzymes, pigments and minerals), biofuels (e.g. biodiesel, alkanes and alcohols), food and animal feed (PUFA, vitamins, etc.) as well as bioactive compounds (antibiotics, antioxidant and metabolites) through down-processing technology such as transesterification, pyrolysis and continuous catalysis using microspheres.

Algae can be grown on non-arable land (including deserts), most of them do not require fresh water, and their nutritional value is high. Extensive R&D underway on algae as raw material worldwide, especially in North America and Europe with a high number of start-up companies developing different options.

Most scientific literature suggests an oil production potential of around 25-50 ton per hectare per year for relevant algae species. Microalgae contain, amongst other biochemical, neutral lipids (tri-, di-, monoglycerides free fatty acids), polar lipids (glycolipids, phospholipids), wax esters, sterols and pigments. The total lipid content in microalgae varies from 1 to 90 % of dry weight, depending on species, strain and growth conditions.

Algae-based Biorefinery

In order to develop a more sustainable and economically feasible process, all biomass components (e.g. proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) should be used and therefore biorefining of microalgae is very important for the selective separation and use of the functional biomass components.

The term biorefinery was coined to describe the production of a wide range of chemicals and bio-fuels from biomasses by the integration of bio-processing and appropriate low environmental impact chemical technologies in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. If biorefining of microalgae is applied, lipids should be fractionated into lipids for biodiesel, lipids as a feedstock for the chemical industry and essential fatty acids, proteins and carbohydrates for food, feed and bulk chemicals, and the oxygen produced should be recovered also.

The potential for commercial algae production is expected to come from growth in translucent tubes or containers called photo bioreactors or in open systems (e.g. raceways) particularly for industrial mass cultivation or more recently through a hybrid approach combining closed-system precultivation with a subsequent open-system. Major advantages of a algal biorefinery include:

  • Use of industrial refusals as inputs ( CO2,wastewater and desalination plant rejects)
  • Large product basket with energy-derived (biodiesel, methane, ethanol and hydrogen) and non-energy derived (nutraceutical, fertilizers, animal feed and other bulk chemicals) products.
  • Not competing with food production (non-arable land and no freshwater requirements)
  • Better growth yield and lipid content than crops.

Indeed, after oil extraction the resulting algal biomass can be processed into ethanol, methane, livestock feed, used as organic fertilizer due to its high N:P ratio, or simply burned for energy cogeneration (electricity and heat). If, in addition, production of algae is done on residual nutrient feedstocks and CO2, and production of microalgae is done on large scale in order to lower production costs, production of bulk chemicals and fuels from microalgae will become economically, environmentally and ethically extremely attractive.

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مستقبل تحلية المياة لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا

تحلية المياه هي عملية معالجة للمياه يتم فيها فصل الأملاح من المياه المالحة لانتاج مياه صالحة للشرب. عملية التحلية تستهلك كمية كبيرة من الطاقة لانتاج الماء العذب من مصادر المياة المالحة. يتم ضخ الماء المالح في عملية التحلية وتكون المخرجات عبارة عن خط ماء عذب بالاضافة لخط أخر من المياة عالية الملوحه جداً.

يوجد أكثر من 15000 وحدة تنقية مياه على المستوى الصناعي في العالم، بطاقة اجمالية تزيد على 8.5 مليار جالون يومياً. يتفوق أسلوب الترشيح بالأغشية في هذا المجال حيث تبلغ نسبته حوالي 44% من اجمالي الطاقة الاجمالية، يليه التحلية بالتسخين MSF بنسبة حوالي 40 %. وبالنسبة للمصادر، تمثل مياة البحار حوالي 58 % والمياه الجوفية المالحة نسبة 23 % والباقي من مصادر أخرى كالانهار والبحيرات المالحة.

مشاكل المياة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا

الحصول على الماء العذب يعد من أكبر مجالات الاهتمامات الصحية اليوم. فمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا من أكثر مناطق العالم جفافا. وتؤدي معدلات زيادة السكان العالية بالاضافة للتمدن والزيادة الصناعية مع ندرة المصادر الطبيعيه للماء العذب الي عجز حقيقي في الماء العذب في هذه المنطقة. مصادر المياه العذبه في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا يساء استغلالها دائماً مما يؤدي حتما الي زيادة الطلب على المياه المحلاه للحفاظ على مستوى مقبول من امدادات المياه.

ان محطات التحلية التقليديه كبيرة الحجم عالية التكلفة وشديدة الاستهلاك للطاقة، وليست مناسبة للبلدان الفقيرة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا للزيادة في تكاليف الوقود الأحفوري. بالاضافة لذلك، التأثير البيئي لهذه المحطات يعد خطراً على مستوى الانبعاثات الناتجة من استهلاك الطاقة وصرف المحلول الملحي في البحر. المحلول الملحي الناتج له كثافة ملح عالية جدا ويحتوي ايضاً على بقايا لكيماويات ومعادن ناتجه من عملية التحلية مما يهدد الحياة البحرية.

التأثير السلبي لعمليات التحلية يمكن تقليله الي حد ما عن طريق استخدام الطاقة المتجددة لتغذية المحطات بالطاقة. فالمحطات المداره بالطاقة المتجددة تقدم طريقة مستدامة لزيادة توريد المياه العذبة لدول المنطقة، فدول المنطقة لديها امكانيات كبيرة في طاقة الرياح والطاقة الشمسية، والتي يمكن استخدامها بكفاءة في عمليات التحلية مثل التناضح العكسي، والفصل الكهربي وعمليات الفلتره. ان المحطات المداره بالطاقة المتجددة ستزداد جاذبيتها مع تقدم التكنلوجيات وزيادة اسعار الماء العذب والوقود الأحفوري.

محطات التحلية المدارة بالطاقة الشمسية

يمكن استخدام الطاقة الشمسية مباشرة او بشكل غير مباشر في عملية التحلية. أنظمة التجميع التي تستخدم الطاقة الشمسية للتجميع مباشرة في المجمعات الشمسيه تسمى نظم مباشرة، بينما العمليات التي تستخدم مزيج من الطاقة الشمسية مع الطاقة التقليدية  للتحلية تسمى نظم غير مباشرة. العقبة الرئيسية في استخدام الطاقة الحرارية الشمسية على نطاق محطات التحلية الكبيرة هي قلة معدل الانتاجية، وقلة الكفاءة الحرارية واحتياجها لمساحات واسعة. محطات التحلية المعتمدة على الطاقة الحرارية الشمسية تناسب الاحتياجات الصغيره خصوصا في المناطق البعيده والقاحلة والجزر التي تعاني فقرا في مصادر الطاقة التقليدية.

تقدم الطاقة الشمسية المركزة (CSP) خياراً جذاباً لتزويد مجال التحلية على المستوى الصناعي بالطاقة اللازمة والتي تحتاج الي سوائل عالية الحرارة وطاقة كهربائية. وتوفر الطاقة الشمسية المركزة طاقة مستقرة للاستخدام المستمر لعمليات محطات التحلية المعتمدة على التسخين او الأغشية في عمليتها. في الواقع، بدأت دول كثيرة في المنطقة كالأردن ومصر والمملكة العربية في تطوير مشاريع تحلية ضخمه معتمدة على الطاقة الشمسية المركزة تبشر بعهد جديد في منطقة الشرق الأوسط.

ان منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا لديها امكانيات ضخمة في مجال الطاقة الشمسية والتي تسهل عملية توليد الطاقة اللازمة لتعويض العجز الظاهر في الماء الصالح للشرب. قد تتعرض المنطقة لأزمة مياه شديدة مع عدد السكان الذي من المتوقع ان يتضاعف بحلول عام 2050. يمكن لمحطات التحلية التي تعمل بالطاقة الشمسية مع الاستعمال السليم لمخزون المياه واعادة استعمال مياه الصرف ان تساعد في التقليل من الأزمة المائية في المنطقة. وسوف تقلل ايضاً من الاعباء المادية على حكومات المنطقة من قطاع المياه والكهرباء، ومن ثم توجيه هذه المخصصات المالية في قطاعات أهم كالتعليم والصحة والقطاع الصناعي.

ترجمة: طه واكد – مهندس مدني مهتم بشؤون البيئة – مصر

شريك مؤسس في مشروع دقيقة خضراء  –  معد وكاتب حلقات دقيقة خضراء عاليوتيوب

للتواصل عبر taha.waked@gmail.com   أو admin@green-min.com

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Solar Energy Prospects in Tunisia

Tunisia is an energy-dependent country with modest oil and gas reserves. Around 97 percent of the total energy is produced by natural gas and oil, while renewables contribute merely 3% of the energy mix. The installed electricity capacity at the end of 2015 was 5,695 MW which is expected to sharply increase to 7,500 MW by 2021 to meet the rising power demands of the industrial and domestic sectors. Needless to say, Tunisia is building additional conventional power plants and developing its solar and wind capacities to sustain economic development.

Wind Energy Outlook

Wind power represents the main source of renewable energy in Tunisia. Since 2008, wind energy is leading the energy transition of Tunisia with a growth of the production up to 245 MW of power installed in 2016. Two main wind farms have been developed until now: Sidi-Daoud and Bizerte. 

The first wind power project of Tunisia started in 2000, with the installation of the Sidi-Daoud’s wind farm in the gulf of Tunis. The station has been developed in three steps before reaching its current power capacity of 54 MW. The operation of two wind power facilities in Bizerte – Metline and Kchabta Station – was launched in 2012. The development of those stations has conducted to a significant increase of electricity generated by wind power, totalizing a production of 94 MW for Kchabta and 95MW in Metline in 2016

 

Solar Energy Potential

Tunisia has good renewable energy potential, especially solar and wind, which the government is trying to tap to ensure a safe energy future. The country has very good solar radiation potential which ranges from 1800 kWh/m² per year in the North to 2600kWh/m² per year in the South. The total installed capacity of grid-connected renewable power plant was around 342 MW in 2016 (245 MW of wind energy, 68 MW of hydropower and 15 MW of PV), which is hardly 6% of the total capacity. 

In 2009, the Tunisian government adopted “Plan Solaire Tunisien” or Tunisia Solar Plan to achieve 4.7 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 which includes the use of solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating systems and solar concentrated power units. The Tunisian solar plan is being implemented by STEG Énergies Renouvelables (STEG RE) which is a subsidiary of state-utility STEG and responsible for the development of alternative energy sector in the country. 

The total investment required to implement the Tunisian Solar Program plan have been estimated at $2.5 billion, including $175 million from the National Fund, $530 million from the public sector, $1,660 million from private sector funds, and $24 million from international cooperation, all of which will be spent over the period of 2012 – 2016. Around 40 percent of the resources will be devoted to the development of energy export infrastructure.

Tunisian Solar Program (PROSOL)

Tunisian Solar Programme, launched in 2005, is a joint initiative of UNEP, Tunisian National Agency for Energy Conservation, state-utility STEG and Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea. The program aims to promote the development of the solar energy sector through financial and fiscal support. PROSOL includes a loan mechanism for domestic customers to purchase Solar Water Heaters and a capital cost subsidy provided by the Tunisian government of 20% of system costs. The major benefits of PROSOL are:

  • More than 50,000 Tunisian families get their hot water from the sun based on loans
  • Generation of employment opportunities in the form of technology suppliers and installation companies.
  • Reduced dependence on imported energy carriers
  • Reduction of GHGs emissions.

The Tunisian Solar Plan contains 40 projects aimed at promoting solar thermal and photovoltaic energies, wind energy, as well as energy efficiency measures. The plan also incorporates the ELMED project; a 400KV submarine cable interconnecting Tunisia and Italy.

In Tunisia, the totol solar PV total capacity at the end of 2014 was 15 MW which comprised of mostly small-scale private installations (residential as well as commercial) with capacity ranging from 1 kW and 30 kW. As of early 2015, there were only three operational PV installations with a capacity of at least 100 kW: a 149 kWp installation in Sfax, a 211 kWp installation operated by the Tunisian potable water supply company SONEDE and a 100 kWp installation in the region of Korba, both connected to the medium voltage, and realized by Tunisian installer companies. The first large scale solar power plant of a 10MW capacity, co-financed by KfW and NIF (Neighbourhood Investment Facility) and implemented by STEG, is due 2018 in Tozeur.

TuNur Concentrated Solar Power Project

TuNur CSP project is Tunisia's most ambitious renewable energy project yet. The project consists of a 2,250 MW solar CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) plant in Sahara desert and a 2 GW HVDC (High-Voltage Direct Current) submarine cable from Tunisia to Italy. TuNur plans to use Concentrated Solar Power to generate a potential 2.5GW of electricity on 100km2 of desert in South West Tunisia by 2018. At present the project is at the fund-raising stage.

Future Perspectives

The Tunisian government has recetly announced plans to invest US $1 billion towards renewable energy projects including the installation of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy this year. According to the Energy General Direction of the Tunisian Ministry of Energy and Mines, 650 MW will come from solar photovoltaic, while the residual 350 MW will be supplied by wind energy.

At the same time, the private sector plans to invest an additional US $600 million into the development of renewable energy capacity in 2017. Under new plans, Tunisia has dedicated itself to generating 30 per cent of its electrical energy from renewable energy sources in 2030.

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سوق الطاقة المتجدد في منطقة الشرق الأوسط

تعد منطقة الشرق الأوسط من أفضل المناطق حول العالم للإستفادة من موارد الطاقة الشمسية وطاقة الرياح. إذ وفقا لتقرير (إيرينا) الأخير، فإن منطقة الشرق الأوسط ستحظى بإستثمارات في مشاريع الطاقة المتجددة ب 35مليار دولار وذلك مع حلول عام 2020م. ومؤخرا حظي قطاع الطاقة المتجددة بأسعار تنافسية لتركيب الألواح الشمسية الكهروضوئية ومراوح الرياح.

التطورات الإقليمية

وعلى صعيد منطقة الشرق الأوسط، تبرز المملكة المغربية كمثل رائد يحتدى به في تطوير المشاريع الشمسية لتوليد الطاقة الكهربائية. حيث جعلت الحكومة المغرية تحقيق 2 جيجا من الطاقة الشمسية و 2 جيجا واط من طاقة الرياح هدفا لها بحلول العام 2020م. ويطلق على مشروع الطاقة الشمسية في المغرب إسم (نور). ويأتي بعد المغرب دول عربية أخرى شهدت تقدما واضحا في مشاريع الطاقة الشمسية مثل الأردن ومصر. وفي دول منطقة الخليج العربي، نجد هناك إهتمام جاد لتطوير مشاريع للطاقة الشمسية. ففي الإمارات العربية المتحدة، في العاصمة ابوظبي، محطة (شمس) للطاقة الشمسية المركزة التي تم تدشينها عام 2014م، بقدرة 100 ميغاواط. وفي مدينة دبي تم الإنتهاء من 13 ميغاواط كمرحلة أولى من المحطة الشمسية. أما في المملكة العربية السعودية، فقد أخذت الطاقة الشمسية وطاقة الرياح حصتها من إهتمام رؤية السعودية 2030م، التي أكدت على ضرورة إعتماد خيار الطاقة المتجددة لتنويع مصادر الطاقة في السعودية.

نعمة الطاقة المتجددة

تتعدد مزايا الطاقة المتجددة التي يمكن لدول منطقة الشرق الأوسط الإستفادة منها في أشكال عديدة منها: أمن الطاقة، تحسين نوعية الهواء، والمساهمة في الحد من إنبعاثات الغازات الدفيئة الملوثة في الهواء، فرص العمل و تحقيق للأمن المائي الغذائي.

ويعزز وفرة مصادر الطاقة المتجددة على مدار العام من جدوى نشرها في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، وأيضا ساعد إنخفاض أسعار تكنلوجيا الطاقة الشمسية الكهروضوئية إلى زيادة الإعتماد عليها فمثلا: سجل إنخفاض تكاليف توليد الطاقة المتجددة في مشروع دبي الشمسي لمحمد بن راشد آل مكتوم إلى 5,85 سنت أمريكي لكل كيلوواط ساعة، حيث تعتبر من أدنى المعدلات في الكلفة حول العالم.

تأثير الإنخفاض في الأسعار

سيكون للإنخفاض المتسارع الأثر الكبير في حياة عشرات الملايين من الناس الذين مازلوا يفتقرون إلى إمدادات رخيصة وحديثة للطاقة. حيث سيكون لخفض التكاليف الدور الكبير في مساعدة دول الشرق الأوسط ودول مجلس التعون الخليجي خاصة، لتحقيق هدف التحول نحو مصادر الطاقة المتجددة وبالتالي الحد من الإعتماد على الوقود الأحفوري لتوليد الكهرباء وتحلية مياه البحر. وسيساعد الإنخفاض السعري كذلك، الأسواق الناشئة في الدول النامية لتلبية الطلب على المتزايد للطاقة في دولها.

الاتجاهات الجديدة

توفر تقنيات خارج الشبكة للطاقة الشمسية فرصة ممتازة لنشر الطاقة النظيفة خصوصا في المناطق النائية والبعيدة عن الشبكة الرئيسة. حيث ستضمن التغطية خارج الشبكة للمناطق النائية من الحصول على طاقة نظيفة وموثوقة ورخيصة وستساعد في تغيير حياة الملايين في الدول النامية حول العالم.

وسيساهم المضي في تطوير بطاريات تخزين الطاقة من التوسع في إعتماد مشاريع الطاقة الشمسية، والتوسع في غعتمادها كمصدر متجدد وذو كلفة معقولة. وتتصدر شركات عالمية في البحث والتطوير في مجال تقنيات تخزين الطاقة مثل شركتي تسلا و نيسان، حيث سيساعد تخزين الطاقة إلى التغلب على تحدي التقطع في مصادر الكاقة المتجددة بكافة أشكالها.

وتعد تقنية الطاقة الشمسية المركزة إحدى التقنيات الشمسية المناسبة لدول منطقة الشرق الأوسط، خصوصا فيما يتعلق بتحلية مياه البحر التي ستقلل من هدر إحراق الوقود الأحفوري في عمليات التحلية. حيث توفر هذه التقنية إمدادات مستقرة للطاقة بشكل مستمر من محطات تحلية المياه وستساهم التطورات التقني السريع من إزدياد الإهتمام بخيار الطاقة الشمسية المركزة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط.


مصاعب تواجه إعتماد الطاقة الشمسية

تواجه الطاقة الشمسية في منطقة الشرق الأوسط عدد من التحديات منها: غياب الإطار التنظيمي القوي و إرتفاع الرسوم الجمركية وغياب الدعم المؤسسي للطاقة الشمسية و إنخفاض المردود الإقتصادي نتيجة لعدد من العوامل مثل الدعم الكبير للنفط والغاز.
والجدير بالذكر أن قطاع الطاقة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، يقبع تحت سيطرة الدولة والحكومة المركزية التي تحد من تنافسية منتجي الطاقة المستقلين و دخول القطاع الخاص من المستثمرين ومطوري المشاريع إلى الأسواق المحلية. وتتصدر الأردن والمغرب دول المنطقة في وجود الإطار التشريعي لدعم مشاريع الطاقة المتجددة تليها المملكة العربية السعودية ودولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة.

نصائح للمستثمرين الجدد في مشاريع الطاقة الشمسية

إن سوق الطاقة الشمسية في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، يعد معقدا نظرا لطبيعة هيكلة سوق الكهرباء ولذلك تنشأ تحديات لاتعد ولا تحصى في كل بلد. لذلك ينبغي على الدول التي تطمح بالتوسع في الإسستفادة من مصدر الطاقة الشمسية، أن تعمل على البنية التحتية و سهولة الوصول إلى الشبكة و إعتماد خطط التراخيص بشكل واضح وشفاف و إعتماد بيانات الأرصاد الجوية ذات الجودة العالية وقضايا أخرى تتعلق بتحسين تقنيات الألواح الشمسية.

ترجمة

إيمان أمان
متخصصة وباحثة في شؤون الطاقة وتغير المناخ

Bioenergy Resources in Jordan

 

With high population growth rate, increase in industrial and commercial activities, high cost of imported energy fuels and higher GHGs emissions, supply of cheap and clean energy resources has become a challenge for the Jordanian Government. Consequently, the need for implementing renewable energy projects, especially solar, wind and biomass, has emerged as a national priority in recent years.

Jordan has substantial biomass resources in the form of municipal solid wastes, sewage, industrial wastes and animal manure. Municipal solid wastes represent the best source of biomass in Jordan. Solid waste generation in the country is approximately 2 million tons per annum, with per capita of almost 1 kg per day. The daily waste generation exceeds 6,000 tons which is characterized by high organic content (more than 50 percent). Food waste constitutes almost 60% of the total waste at most disposal sites. In addition, more than 2 million cubic meter of sewage sludge is generated every year from treatment of sewage water in Greater Amman area which could be a very good source for biogas generation.

Apart from MSW, the other potential biomass resources in the country are as follows:

  • Organic wastes from slaughterhouse, vegetable market, hotels and restaurants.
  • Organic waste from agro-industries
  • Animal manure, mainly from cows and chickens.
  • Olive mills.
  • Organic industrial waste

Organic industrial wastes, either liquid or solid, are a good substrate for biogas generation by making use of anaerobic digestion process. Anaerobic digestion of organic industrial waste is fast gaining popularity worldwide as one of the best waste management method. The utilization of anaerobic digestion technology for industrial waste management would be a significant step in Jordan’s emergence as a renewable energy hub in the MENA region. Jordan is planning to implement 40-50 MW of waste-to-energy projects by 2020.

Biogas Plant at Rusaifeh Landfill

The Government of Jordan, in collaboration with UNDP, GEF and the Danish Government, established 1MW biogas plant at Rusaifeh landfill near Amman in 1999.  The plant has been successfully operating since its commissioning and has recently been increased to 4MW. The project consists of a system of twelve landfill gas wells and an anaerobic digestion plant based on 60 tons per day of organic wastes from hotels, restaurants and slaughterhouses in Amman. The successful installation of the biogas project has made it a role model in the entire region and several big cities are striving to replicate the model.

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Renewable Energy in GCC: Need for a Holistic Approach

The importance of renewable energy sources in the energy portfolio of any country is well known, especially in the context of energy security and impacts on climate change. The growing quest for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has been seen by many as both – a compulsion to complement the rising energy demand, and as an economic strength that helps them in carrying forward the clean energy initiatives from technology development to large scale deployment of projects from Abu Dhabi to Riyadh.

Current Scenario

The promotion of renewable energy (RE) is becoming an integral part in the policy statements of governments in GCC countries. Particular attention is being paid to the development and deployment of solar energy for various applications. Masdar is a shining example of a government’s commitment towards addressing sustainability issues through education, R&D, investment, and commercialization of RE technologies. It not only has emerged as the hub of renewable energy development and innovation but is also acting as a catalyst for many others to take up this challenge.

With the ongoing developments in the clean energy sphere in the region, the growing appetite for establishing clean energy market and addressing domestic sustainability issues arising out of the spiralling energy demand and subsidized hydrocarbon fuels is clearly visible. Saudi Arabia is also contemplating huge investments to develop its solar industry, which can meet one-third of its electricity demand by the year 2032. Other countries are also trying to reciprocate similar moves. While rationalizing subsidies quickly may be a daunting task for the governments (as for any other country, for that matter, including India as well), efforts are being made by UAE to push RE in the supply mix and create the market.

Accelerating Renewable Energy Growth

However, renewable energy initiatives are almost exclusively government-led projects. There is nothing wrong in capitalizing hydrocarbon revenue for a noble cause but unless strong policies and regulatory frameworks are put in place, the sector may not see viable actions from private players and investors. The present set of such instruments are either still weak or absent, and, therefore, are unable to provide greater comfort to market players. This situation may, in turn, limit the capacity/flexibility to reduce carbon footprints in times to come as government on its own cannot set up projects everywhere, it can only demonstrate and facilitate.

In this backdrop, it is time to soon bring in reforms that would pave way for successful RE deployment in all spheres. Some of the initiatives that need to be introduced or strengthened include:

  • Enabling policies for grid connected RE that should cover interconnection issues between RE power and utilities, incentives, facilitation and clearances for land, water, and environment (wherever relevant); and
  • Regulatory provisions relating to – setting of minimum Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) to be met, principles of tariff determination for different technologies, provisions for trading in RE, plant operation including scheduling (wherever relevant), and evacuation of power.
  • Creation of ancillary market for effectively meeting the grid management challenges arising from intermittent power like that from solar and wind, metering and energy accounting, protection, connectivity code, safety, etc.

For creating demand and establishing a thriving market, concerted efforts are required by all the stakeholders to address various kinds of issues pertaining to policy, technical, regulatory, and institutional mechanisms in the larger perspective. In the absence of a strong framework, even the world’s most visionary and ambitious project Desertec which  envision channeling of solar and wind power to parts of Europe by linking of renewable energy generation sites in MENA region may also face hurdles as one has to deal with pricing, interconnection, grid stability and access issues first. This also necessitates the need for harmonization in approach among all participating countries to the extent possible.

Conclusions

It is difficult to ignore the benefits of renewable energy be it social, economic, environmental, local or global. Policy statements are essential starting steps for accelerating adoption of clean energy sources including smaller size capacity, where there lies a significant potential. In GCC countries with affluent society, the biggest challenge would be to create energy consciousness and encourage smarter use of energy among common people like anywhere else, and the same calls for wider application of behavioural science in addressing a wide range of sustainability issues.

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الطاقة الشمسية في سلطنة عُمان: الإمكانيات والتقدم

solar-project-omanالطاقة الشمسية هي الحل الحيوي والاستراتيجي لتوفير الطاقة الكهربائية في سلطنة عمان. وبالنظر إلى الأراضي الواسعة الغير مستغلة وموارد الطاقة الشمسية المتاحة, عمان لديها إمكانات ممتازة لتطوير الطاقة الشمسية والتوسع فيها. الطاقة الشمسية خيارا قابلا للتطبيق في عمان ولا يمكن فقط أن تلبي الحاجة المتزايدة لتنويع مصادر الطاقة ولكن أيضا من شأنه أن يساعد في التنويع الاقتصادي.

مع الاعتماد الكلي على الوقود الأحفوري وزيادة عدد السكان جنبا إلى جنب مع المناطق الصناعية في المدن مثل الدقم وصحار وصلالة والبنية التحتية للطاقة والنفط والغاز احتياطيات عمان تشكل تحديا على النمو الاقتصادي. الأهمية الاستراتيجية والموقع الجغرافي لعمان يجعلها قابلة لتطبيق و لتسخير تكنولوجيات الطاقة المتجددة على حد سواء، لزيادة تطوير اقتصادها. أنها تساعد ليس فقط في الحد من الاعتماد على الوقود الأحفوري ولكن يساعد في خلق بيئة أنظف ومستدامة أيضا. خدمات الأبحاث والتطوير والتكنولوجيا العالية المتعلقة بالطاقة المتجددة يمكن أن تخلق الأعمال الجديدة والتوظيف في سلطنة عمان، ويمكن أن تجلب تغييرا جذريا في تنويع الاقتصاد العماني.
وضع الطاقة الشمسية في سلطنة عمان
عمان تستقبل كميات هائلة من الإشعاع الشمسي على مدار العام والتي هي من بين أعلى المعدلات في العالم، و هناك مجالا كبيرا لتسخير وتطوير موارد الطاقة الشمسية في جميع أنحاء السلطنة. قيم متوسط ​​مدة سطوع الشمس اليومية والإشعاع الشمسي  في 25 موقعا في عمان كبيرة، إذ أن أعلى إشعاع شمسي في السلطنة يوجد في منطقة مرمول تليها فهود وصحار و قيرون حيريتي. وكذلك أعلى تشمس للطاقة الشمسية لوحظ في المناطق الصحراوية بالمقارنة مع المناطق الساحلية حيث أنها الأقل.

وقد قام إيرينا إعداد تقرير تقييم جاهزية مصادر الطاقة المتجددة و في تعاون وثيق مع حكومة سلطنة عمان ممثلة في الهيئة العامة للكهرباء والمياه (PAEW)، لدراسة إمكانات استخدام الطاقة المتجددة. وتسعى الحكومة إلى استخدام كمية كبيرة من الطاقة الشمسية لتلبية الاحتياجات من الكهرباء الداخلية للبلاد، ووضع بعض منه للتصدير. وقد بدأت شركة تنمية نفط عمان (PDO) في الحفاظ على موارد الغاز الطبيعي في سلطنة عمان في إنتاج النفط الثقيل من خلال تسخير الطاقة الشمسية لإنتاج البخارلتعزيز النفط المستخرج (EOR).

كشفت دراسة بتكليف من الهيئة العامة للكهرباء والمياه (PAEW) أن ضوئية (PV) أنظمة مثبتة على المباني السكنية في السلطنة يمكن أن توفر ما يقدر ب 1.4 جيجاوات من الكهرباء. وتشير التقديرات إلى أن محافظة مسقط وحدها يمكن أن تولد 450 ميجاوات، على غرار محطة لتوليد الطاقة متوسطة الحجم التي تعتمد على الغاز.

التطورات الرئيسية
السلطة للكهرباء اللائحة عمان (آي إي آر) – منظم قطاع الطاقة في سلطنة عمان تتخذ خطوات لتمهيد الطريق لأصحاب المنازل لتثبيت الألواح الشمسية على السطح مع أي الكهرباء فائض أرسلت مرة أخرى إلى الشبكة الوطنية. بعض الشركات البارزة، بما في ذلك شركة كهرباء مجان، واحة المعرفة مسقط (واحة المعرفة مسقط) وجامعة السلطان قابوس قد اعتمدت بالفعل خطط تجريبها لتوليد الطاقة الشمسية.

نظرا لانخفاض تكاليف الضوئية (PV) لوحات، وأصبح إنتاج الطاقة الشمسية خيارا جذابا لعملية تحلية المياه. ويجري حاليا اختبار عمليات التحلية الحرارية الشمسية باستخدام تجميع الطاقة الشمسية في مشاريع رائدة، ومن المتوقع أن تصبح متوفرة مع الحلول التجارية قريبا.

مرآه مشروع للطاقة الشمسية الحرارية  يسعى لتسخير الطاقة الشمس لانتاج بخار يستخدم في إنتاج النفط. ومن المرجح أن يتم نشرها للتنمية في محافظة المنطقة الداخلية التي تعد واحدة من أكبر مشاريع الطاقة الشمسية في الاستراتيجية الوطنية للطاقة في سلطنة عمان عام 2040.

وقد توجت عمان بالفعل في جذب المستثمرين من القطاع الخاص إلى السلطنة وإنتاج المياه من خلال تقديم اتفاقيات شراء الطاقة. وقد شرعت الحكومة في مهمة فتح سوق أقوى والمستدام و إعطاء شركات النفط فرصة لتعزيز موطئ قدم لها في البلاد لمواجهة خطر استنفاد موارد النفط.

و مع ذلك، هناك تحديات ناشئة عن عدم إشراك أصحاب المصلحة في سياسات تأطير وفي صنع القرار؛ وعدم وجود سياسات التنظيمية في قطاع الطاقة المتجددة و الذي يعيق وتيرة التنمية. هناك حاجة لتقييم الموارد المحددة من أجل تحديد إمكانيات السوق وينبغي أن تكون مجالاً من مجالات البحث الرئيسية.

الآفاق المستقبلية 

ومن المتوقع أن تصبح الطاقة الشمسية في سلطنة عمان أرخص تدريجيا في المستقبل القريب، ويمكن أن يكون أفضل عائد للاستثمارات. ويتحدد نجاحها بمجرد السياسات التنظيمية والحوافز الحكومة المالية والتمويل العام. التحديات التي تواجهها صناعة الطاقة الشمسية تدخل إلى السوق التي كانت أساسا تهيمن عليها صناعة النفط. وينبغي توفير الإعانات والحوافز من قبل الحكومة في شكل تغذية في التعريفات وذلك لطمأنة سعر سند للكهرباء بيعها إلى الشبكة الوطنية خلال دمج تقنيات الطاقة الشمسية في توليد الطاقة.

miraah-solar-project

هناك حاجة ماسة للدعم السياسي للطاقة المتجددة لتأخذ المنافسة في السوق الحرة. يجب أن تكون القوانين التي تحكم تنظيم توليد الطاقة أن توفر المزيد من المرونة لمصادر الطاقة المتجددة ويجب أن تكون وجهة حافزة لجذب أصحاب المصلحة. البيئة الإيجابية للاستثمار وحقوق الملكية قوية وأنظمة ضريبية منخفضة و مشاركة الشركات العالمية الرائدة المختصة في قطاع الطاقة كل هذه بالتأكيد تساعد في تعزيز تطبيقات الطاقة الشمسية. وتحتاج البلاد إلى وضع خطط استراتيجية واضحة للمستقبل في مجال تطوير الطاقة الشمسية.

مع موارد الطاقة الشمسية القوية والجامعات القائمة، عمان لديها فرصة مهنية ظاهرة وقدرة على الرصد باعتبارها مزود تكنولوجي دولي و قيامها بدور نشط في إقامة قاعدة المهارات المهنية متقدمة في مجال العلوم والهندسة وتوسيع مناطقها بالعمارة الحديثة مستخدمة الطاقة الشمسية وإدارة الطاقة.
ولكن يبقى السؤال: هل يمكن للطاقة الشمسية إحداث ثورة التغييرفي سلطنة عمان؟

 

ترجمة:

بدرية الكيومي- بكالوريوس علوم بيئية

Renewable Energy Investment in Jordan

Jordan has tremendous wind, solar and biomass energy potential which can only be realized by large-scale investments. In 2007, the Government of Jordan developed an integrated and comprehensive Energy Master Plan. Renewable energy accounted for only 1% of the energy consumption in Jordan in 2007. However, ambitious targets have been set in the Master Plan to raise the share to 7% in 2015 and 10% in 2020. 

This transition from conventional fuels to renewable energy resources will require capital investments, technology transfer and human resources development, through a package of investments estimated at US $ 1.4 – 2.2 billion. The investment package includes Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) deals for wind energy with a total capacity of 660 MW and solar energy plants of 600 MW. This will be paralleled with the reduction of energy produced from oil from 58% currently to 40% in 2020.

As most of the clean energy technologies require high capital cost, investments in wind, solar and waste-to-energy plants will be possible only with appropriate support from the Government. Notably, the Government has expressed its readiness to provide necessary support within the framework of available resources. The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC), is responsible for coordinating and directing developmental efforts in coordination with the public and private sectors, and civil society organizations. MOPIC is actively seeking support for renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives through continuous cooperation with international partners and donors.

Jordan has significant strengths in the form of renewable energy resources, a developed electricity grid, strong legal and intellectual property protections, a market-friendly economy and a skilled workforce. So it is well positioned to participate in the expanding cleantech industry. The best prospects for electricity generation in Jordan are as Independent Power Producers (IPPs).  This creates tremendous opportunities for foreign investors interested in investing in electricity generation ventures.

Jordan enacted a Renewable Energy Law in 2010 which provides for legislative framework for the cleantech sector. The main aim of the law is to facilitate domestic and international projects and streamline the investment process.  The Law permits and encourages the exploitation of renewable energy sources at any geographical location in the Kingdom. In April 2012, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources announced that it has qualified 34 international and local companies for investment in renewable energy projects, with an overall capacity reaching 1000 MW. Of the qualified companies, 22 companies will invest in solar power projects and the rest in wind energy.

Keeping in view the renewed interest in renewable energy, there is a huge potential for international technology companies to enter the Jordan market.  There is very good demand for wind energy equipments, solar power units and waste-to-energy systems which can be capitalized by technology providers and investment groups from around the world.

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Solar Energy in Oman: Potential and Progress

Oman-renewable-energySolar 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 growth. The strategic importance and geographical location of Oman makes it viable to harness renewable energy technologies on both, smaller and larger scales, for further development of its economy. It not only helps in reducing dependence in fossil fuels but also helps in creating a cleaner and sustainable environment.  Research and development and high-technology services related to renewable energy could create new business and employment in Oman and could bring about a paradigm change in diversification of Oman’s economy.

Solar Power Potential in Oman

Oman receives a tremendous amount of solar radiation throughout the year which is among the highest in the world, and there is significant scope for harnessing and developing solar energy resources throughout the Sultanate.  The global average daily sunshine duration and solar radiation values for 25 locations in Oman are tremendous, with Marmul having the highest solar radiation followed by Fahud, Sohar and Qairoon Hairiti. The highest insolation of solar energy is observed is in the desert areas as compared to the coastal areas where it is least.

A Renewables Readiness Assessment report was prepared by IRENA in close collaboration with the Government of Oman, represented by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), to study potential usage of renewable energy. The government seeks to utilize a sizeable amount of solar energy to meet the country’s domestic electricity requirements and develop some of it for export. The Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO) has initiated to conserve Oman’s natural gas resources in the production of heavy oil by harnessing solar energy to produce steam for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).

A study commissioned by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) revealed that Photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on residential buildings in the Sultanate could offer an estimated 1.4 gigawatts of electricity. It is estimated that Muscat Governorate alone could generate a whopping 450 megawatts, similar to a mid-sized gas-based power plant.

Major Developments

The Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman (AER) – Oman’s power sector regulator is taking steps to pave the way for homeowners to install rooftop solar panels with any surplus electricity sent back into the national grid. Some prominent companies, including Majan Electricity Company, Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) and Sultan Qaboos University have already adopted piloted schemes to generate solar power.

Due to declining costs of photovoltaic (PV) panels, production of solar energy has become an attractive option for the process of water desalination. Solar thermal desalination processes using solar collectors are being tested in pilot projects and expected to soon become available as commercial solutions.

Miraah solar thermal project will harness the sun’s energy to produce steam used in oil production.

Miraah solar thermal project will harness the sun’s energy to produce steam used in oil production.

A combination of concentrated solar power and photovolatic technologies are likely to be deployed for the development in Dakhiliyah Governorate which is one of the largest solar energy projects in Oman's National Energy Strategy 2040 with a plant capacity of 200MW.

Oman has already geared up in attracting private investors to power and water production by offering Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).  The government has embarked on a mission of opening a stronger and sustainable market giving oil companies a chance to strengthen their footing in the country to tackle with the jeopardy posed by depleting oil resources.

However, there  are challenges arising out of the lack of involvement from stakeholders in framing polices and in decision making; and lack of regulatory policies, in the sector of renewable energy, is hindering its pace of development. Specific resource assessments are needed in order to determine the market potential and should be the key research areas.

Future Perspectives

Solar energy in Oman is expected to become progressively cheaper in the near future and could be a best return for investments.  Its success is merely determined by the government’s regulatory policies, fiscal incentives and public financing.  The challenges that the solar industry faces are entering into a market that has essentially been dominated by oil industry. Subsidies and incentives should be provided by the government in the form of feed in tariffs so as to reassure a guaranteed price for electricity sold to the national grid by merging solar power technologies in power generation.

There is a dire need for political support for renewable energy to take its competition, economically, in the free market. Laws governing power generation regulation should provide more flexibility for renewables and should be incentive-oriented to attract the stake holders.  

A positive investment environment, strong property rights and low tax regimes, with established participation in the power sector from leading international firms, will certainly boost solar energy applications. The country needs to develop clear strategic plans for future in the development of solar energy. If a quick and appropriate regulatory framework is not accelerated, neighboring countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), would take the benefits of becoming regional revolutionary leaders in the use of solar energy.

Parting Shot

With its strong solar resources and existing universities, Oman has an opportunity to pioneer professional demonstration and monitoring capability as an international technology provider and take an active role to establish advanced professional skills base in science and engineering and expand its arenas in modern solar-efficient architecture and energy management.

But the question still remains: Can the solar power bring about a revolutionary change to power most of Oman?

References

http://esatjournals.net/ijret/2013v02/i07/IJRET20130207029.pdf – Volume: 02 Issue: 07 | Jul-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org

https://www.y-oman.com/2016/04/watts-up/

Renewable Energy Prospects in Kuwait

shagaya-renewable-energy-parkRenewable energy is in nascent stages in Kuwait, however there has been heightened activity in recent years mainly on account of the need for diversification of energy resources, climate change concerns and greater public awareness. The oil-rich State of Kuwait has embarked on a highly ambitious journey to meet 15 per cent of its energy requirements (approximately 2000 MW) from renewable resources by 2030. One of the most promising developments is the kick-starting of the initial phase of 2GW Shagaya Renewable Energy Park in 2015. Al-Abdaliyah integrated solar project is another promising solar venture currently at pre-qualification stage, which will have a total capacity of 280 MW, out of which 60 MW will be contributed by solar thermal systems.

Potential of Renewables

In Kuwait, the predominant renewable energy resource is available in the form of solar and wind. The country has one of the highest solar irradiation levels in the world, estimated at 2100 – 2200 kW/m2 per year. The average insolation of 5.2 kWh/m2/day and maximum annual sun hours of around 9.2 hours daily makes Kuwait a very good destination for solar power plant developers.

Wind energy also has good potential in the country as the average wind speed is relatively good at around 5m/s in regions like Al-Wafra and Al-Taweel. Infact, Kuwait already has an existing 2.4MW Salmi Mini-windfarm, completed in 2013, which mainly serves telecommunication towers in remote areas and the fire brigade station in Salmi. As far as biomass energy is concerned, it has very limited scope in Kuwait due to arid climate and lack of water resources.

Kuwait's Renewable Energy Program

Interestingly, Kuwait has been one of the earliest advocates of renewable energy in the Middle East with its involvement dating back to mid-1970s; however the sector is still in its early stages. The good news is that renewable energy has now started to move into development agenda and political discourse in Kuwait. The Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) and the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) are playing an important role in Kuwait’s push towards low-carbon economy. KISR, in particular, has been mandated by the government to develop large-scale alternative energy systems in collaboration with international institutions and technology companies.

Kuwait’s renewable energy program, with the aim to generate 2GW renewable energy by 2030, has been divided into three stages. The first phase involves the construction of 70 MW integrated renewable energy park (solar PV, solar thermal and wind) at Shagaya which was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. The second and third phases are projected to produce 930 MW and 1,000 MW, respectively.

The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), founded in 1967, is one of the earliest research institutions in GCC to undertake commercial-scale research on potential applications and socio-economic benefits of renewable energy systems in Kuwait as well as GCC.

Shagaya Renewable Energy Park

Shagaya Renewable Energy Park comprises of solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and wind power systems, being built on a 100 km2 area in Shagaya, in a desert zone near Kuwait’s border with Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The $385 million first phase, scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016, will include 10MW of wind power, 10MW of solar PV, and 50MW of solar thermal systems. The project’s thermal energy storage system, based on molten salt, will have nine hours of storage capacity, one of the few projects worldwide with such a large capacity.

Shagaya is to Kuwait as Masdar is to Abu Dhabi.

Shagaya is to Kuwait as Masdar is to Abu Dhabi.

Future Perspectives

The major driving force behind Kuwait’s renewables program is energy security and diversification of energy mix. The country has one of the world’s highest per capita consumption of energy which is growing with each passing year. In recent years, the Middle East has received some of the lowest renewable-energy prices awarded globally for both photovoltaic and wind power which seems to have convinced Kuwait to seriously explore the option of large-scale power generation from renewable resources. However, Kuwait has a long way to go before renewable energy can make a real impact in its national energy mix.

Another key driver for Kuwait’s transition to low-carbon economy is its carbon and ecological footprints, which is among the highest worldwide. Widespread use of renewable power will definitely help Kuwait in putting forward a ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ image in the region and beyond. The business case for green energy proliferation in Kuwait is strengthened by widespread availability of solar and wind resources and tumbling costs of alternative energy systems.

Airports: Viable Places for Green Initiatives

Bahrain-airportCan 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 attributed to the aviation industry, never the less, airport infrastructure could ensure a lowering of emissions, especially nitrogen oxide levels [1]. The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has statistical evidence of improved fuel efficiency and better CO2 performance over the past 15 years[1]. It is viable for airports to reduce the nitrogen oxide levels around airports by developing ground transportation infrastructure for transferring passengers and deploying employees across the airport terminals, ground handling of personal baggage and commercial cargo, as well as the catering services, in a more eco-friendly mode of transportation.

Scope for Green Airports

Airports are viable places for adoption of green initiatives. A significant portion of the emissions are from vehicle transportation onsite at the airport is from moving employees and passengers between terminals and aircraft carriers. Plus all the freight movement, personal baggage and inflight catering and servicing. To secure adequate food products for Bahrain, the greater part of all food produce that is available on the market (93%) is flown in on a daily basis. The dependency on aviation is long-term but the ground handling is an option for energy efficient initiatives.

There is an opportunity to move from fossil fuel vehicles to those running on clean such as hybrid, electric, bioethanol, biogas or hydrogen-fueled vehicles. As road transportation is a major contributor of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, greener, cleaner vehicles are a desirable consideration for protecting a fragile environment.

Role of Environmental Awareness

Greater awareness of renewable energy sources is necessary before developers can even start to appeal to the business sector to adopt viable alternatives of transportation energy. New airport development and expansion projects need to assess the feasibility of alternative mode of transportation which in turn will require electrical charging locations as well as hydrogen filling stations [2]. This can also be marketed to eco-friendly rental companies to avail themselves of green initiatives.

Freight and delivery corporation could also avail themselves of alternative power sources as petrol subsides are reduced over the coming years. Ultimately, sustainable energy sources will become more attractive. Together, a sustainable transportation model along with other sustainable life-cycle models will all help reduce the carbon footprint of the airport industry.

Airports are considered ideal sites for promoting electricity-powered vehicles because one has a captive audience. If the options are already determined for the clients, the clients experience the use of electric cars in a win-win situation.

Rapid Increase in Passenger Flow

During the month of November, 2016, almost 674,000 passengers passed through the Bahrain airport [3]. There was over 8,500 total aircraft movement and almost 20,000 pieces of cargo and mail in the 30 day period. (Data source: Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications). Based on the November data, the numbers could be extrapolated out for a 12-month period with over 8 million passengers per year, over 100,000 total aircraft movement and 240,000 pieces of cargo and mail.

Similar information based on the official Airport Councils International (ACI) statistics from the World Airport Traffic Reports for the 10-year period from 2005 to 2015 [3]. The reports indicate a yearly average of 7.8 million passengers with over 95,350  total aircraft movements and over 304,000 metric tons of cargo. The steady increase in usage of airport facilities [4] is driving the modernization plans for the Bahrain International Airport to be designed for an annual passenger flow of 14 million persons [5].

Heathrow Airport – An Upcoming Role Model

Heathrow Airport in London handles more than 76 million passengers each year. Heathrow is already conducting trials for electric buses and personal electric cars, as part of a sustainable model, which requires a major input for developing recharging infrastructure. Such a large airport in the heart of a metropolitan centre has the advantage of a well developed public transportation infrastructure.

Electric vehicles at Heathrow Aiport

Electric vehicles at Heathrow Aiport

Both travelers and employees use the public transport systems which allows the advanced planning in other sustainable green technology for other transportation systems. Passenger car parks as well as company car parks have charging points for electric cars. The airport strategic plan is to have all cars and vans electric rather than fossil fuel powered by 2020.

Perspectives for Bahrain

Aviation transportation is vital for Bahrain’s survival and daily operations. Therefore, a eco-friendly infrastructure is a viable option for implementing green technology in the form of onsite transportation. However, the modernization of the Bahrain International Airport has limited its eco-friendly inclusion to ground service equipment such as the transformer substations, pre-conditioned air systems and pop-up units and the 400Hz power supply system all contracted to Cavotec Middle East [5].

This is one step towards achieving the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) decision to implement a global carbon offset for the aviation industry. It would be great to see the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications reach out to other green initiatives for the modernization of the national airport.

 

References

1. Can airports be green? http://www.airport-technology.com/features/feature100283/

2. How airports uniquely placed to boost the adoption of electric cars. https://www.theguardian.com/heathrow-sustainable-mobility-zone/2016/nov/21/airports-uniquely-placed-boost-adoption-electric-cars-emissions-reduction?CMP=ema-1706&CMP=

3. Airports Council International, World Airport Traffic Reports, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2020, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. Traffic by Calendar Year, Official ACI Statistics. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahrain_International_Airport

4. Bahrain International Airport witnesses a 25% increase in passenger movement http://www.mtt.gov.bh//press-centre/press-releases/210914

5. New Passenger Terminal Building, Bahrain International Airport, Manama, Bahrain http://www.airport-technology.com/projects/new-passenger-terminal-building-bahrain-international-airport-manama/

Energy Perspectives for Jordan

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an emerging and stable economy in the Middle East. Jordan has almost no indigenous energy resources as domestic natural gas covers merely 3% of the Kingdom’s energy needs. The country is dependent on oil imports from neighbouring countries to meet its energy requirements. Energy import costs create a financial burden on the national economy and Jordan had to spend almost 20% of its GDP on the purchase of energy in 2008.

In Jordan, electricity is mainly generated by burning imported natural gas and oil. The price of electricity for Jordanians is dependent on price of oil in the world market, and this has been responsible for the continuous increase in electricity cost due to volatile oil prices in recent years. Due to fast economic growth, rapid industrial development and increasing population, energy demand is expected to increase by at least 50 percent over the next 20 years.

Therefore, the provision of reliable and cheap energy supply will play a vital role in Jordan’s economic growth. Electricity demand is growing rapidly, and the Jordanian government has been seeking ways to attract foreign investment to fund additional capacity. In 2008, the demand for electricity in Jordan was 2260 MW, which is expected to rise to 5770 MW by 2020.

In 2007, the Government unveiled an Energy Master Plan for the development of the energy sector requiring an investment of more than $3 billion during 2007 – 2020. Some ambitious objectives were fixed: heating half of the required hot water on solar energy by the year 2020; increasing energy efficiency and savings by 20% by the year 2020, while 7% of the energy mix should originate from renewable sources by 2015, and should rise to 10% by 2020. 

Concerted efforts are underway to remove barriers to exploitation of renewable energy, particularly wind, solar and biomass. There has been significant progress in the implementation of sustainable energy systems in the last few years to the active support from the government and increasing awareness among the local population.

With high population growth rate, increase in industrial and commercial activities, high cost of imported energy fuels and higher GHGs emissions, supply of cheap and clean energy resources has become a challenge for the Government. Consequently, the need for implementing energy efficiency measures and exploring renewable energy technologies has emerged as a national priority.  In the recent past, Jordan has witnessed a surge in initiatives to generate power from renewable resources with financial and technical backing from the government, international agencies and foreign donors. 

The best prospects for electricity generation in Jordan are as Independent Power Producers (IPPs).  This creates tremendous opportunities for foreign investors interested in investing in electricity generation ventures. Keeping in view the renewed interest in renewable energy, there is a huge potential for international technology companies to enter the Jordan market.  There is very good demand for wind energy equipments, solar power units and waste-to-energy systems which can be capitalized by technology providers and investment groups.

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