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 … Continue reading

How Renewable Energy Benefits Rural Areas

Several years ago, it was coal that brought a great deal of the progress needed in the rural areas. Much have changed over the years. With the advancement of energy technologies, going back to mining and processing coal no longer makes much sense. Politicians who promise to bring back coal-related jobs simply don’t have a grasp of reality. Advanced economies are already turning to renewable sources of energy and it makes sense for developing economies to do the same, unless they’re limited by urgency that they have nothing but cheaper fossil fuels to exploit. Of course, it’s not enough to … Continue reading

Biomass Energy and its Promise

Biomass is the material derived from plants that use sunlight to grow which include plant and animal material such as wood from forests, material left over from agricultural and forestry processes, and organic industrial, human and animal wastes. Biomass comes from a variety of sources including wood from natural forests, agricultural residues, agro-industrial wastes, animal manure, organic industrial wastes, municipal solid wastes, sewage sludge etc. When biomass is left lying around on the ground it breaks down over a long period of time, releasing carbon dioxide and its store of energy slowly. By burning biomass its store of energy is released … Continue reading

Alternative Energy Prospects in Morocco

Morocco, being the largest energy importer in North Africa, is making concerted efforts to reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels. The country currently imports 95% of its energy needs which creates strong dependence on foreign energy imports. Renewable energy is an attractive proposition as Morocco has almost complete dependence on imported energy carriers. Morocco is already spending over US$3 billion a year on fuel and electricity imports and is experiencing power demand growth of 6.5 per cent a year. Morocco is investing heavily in the power sector by building new power plants such as expansion of coal power plant in JorfLasfer and establishment … Continue reading

Sustainability in the MENA Cement Industry: Perspectives

The population in the MENA countries has doubled during the last 30 years (from ca. 110m in 1980 to almost 484m in 2018). As per conservative estimates, the rate of urbanisation in the MENA countries will exceed 70% five years from today (average for all developing countries: 54%). The proceeding urbanisation and the population increase involve several problems and challenges for the national governments and also for the cement industry. The cement production of countries in the MENA region has almost tripled during the last 15 years up to approximately 500m tons. Since the start of national revolts and demonstrations … Continue reading

Biofuels in Jordan: Perspectives

Jordan has good biofuels production potential in the form of crop residues, agro-industrial wastes and urban wastes. Biomass energy sector in Jordan is slowly, but steadily, developing. As per a recent World Bank report, the country is currently generating 3.5MW of power from biomass resources which represent 0.1% of the total energy demand in the country. However there is no available data on the amount of biofuels produced in Jordan. Jordan produces significant amount of biofuel feedstock in the form of lignocellulosic biomass, used cooking oil, animal tallow, agro-industrial wastes, industrial effluents etc.  In Jordan, transportation sector alone is responsible of 51% of final … Continue reading

Algae-Powered Buildings: A Futuristic Invention

In an environment where the carbon footprint is becoming increasingly large, we need to start developing sustainable solutions which can keep greenhouse gases at bay. It is estimated that the building industry contributes to almost 40% of all of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions! To put this into perspective, this consists to a whopping 90 megatons of emissions that are emitted annually in constructing new buildings and maintaining the infrastructure of pre-developed ones. It is time for us to take action! At EcoMENA, we believe in creating a sustainable future so that the building industry can thrive and support our future … Continue reading

How Agricultural Sector Can Help the Renewable Energy Sector?

The continuous rise in fossil energy prices, combined with climate change concerns and progress in renewable energy sector, has catalyzed interest in clean energy systems across the MENA region, especially in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean region has abundant renewable resources, such as wind, solar, and biomass, which makes it a fertile zone for renewable energy developments. The agricultural sector has played a key role in the progress of renewable energy sector around the world as it provides large areas where renewable energy projects are built and is also the predominant feedstock source for biomass energy projects. For example, agricultural sector … Continue reading

Environmental Best Practices in the Cement Industry

Worldwide, cement production  has almost tripled during the last 15 years, mainly on account of high population growth rate, rapid urbanization, increasing industrialization and large-scale infrastructural development. The growth of cement industry in MENA is marked by factors that are directly connected with sustainability, energy efficiency and raw material supply. Although the factors differ from country to country and cannot be generalized, there are major concerns regarding shortage of raw materials, GHG emissions, dependence on fossil fuels and lack of investment in technological innovations. For the cement sector, key points for an environment-friendly industry are use of alternative raw materials … Continue reading

Combined Heat and Power Systems

Combined Heat and Power (CHP), or Cogeneration, is the sequential or simultaneous generation of multiple forms of useful energy (usually mechanical and thermal) in a single, integrated system. In conventional electricity generation systems, about 35% of the energy potential contained in the fuel is converted on average into electricity, whilst the rest is lost as waste heat. CHP systems uses both electricity and heat and therefore can achieve an efficiency of up to 90%, giving energy savings between 15-40% when compared with the separate production of electricity from conventional power stations and of heat from boilers. CHP systems consist of … Continue reading

Biomass 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, biomass and energy-from-waste, 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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading