BGreen Magazine » Energy and water The Middle East's only business magazine dedicated to environmental issues and sustainability Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:37:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ford’s new battery lab sparks innovation Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:00:23 +0000 Lorraine Ford Motor Co., US’s state of Michigan and the University of Michigan are teaming up to establish a unique $8m battery lab at the university’s Energy Institute. The new facility for prototyping, testing, and analysing batteries and the materials that go into them is expected to accelerate development of Michigan’s battery supply chain and enable rapid progress toward climate-friendly transportation.

The new lab will bring together materials scientists and engineers, as well as suppliers and manufacturers, to ease a bottleneck in battery development.

Ted Miller, who manages Ford’s battery research, said, “We need to be able to test hundreds of chemistries and cell designs, but they have to be tests that can translate from the lab to the production line.”

“Ford has battery labs that test and validate production-ready batteries, but nothing this far upstream,” said Miller. “This is sorely needed and no one else in the auto industry has anything like it.”

Energy storage is a limiting technology for vehicles powered by batteries. The new lab will enable the development of cost-effective, light-weight, high-energy-density batteries.

“This kind of collaboration is essential to addressing complex challenges like sustainable energy and efficient transportation. I want to thank our campus leaders, MEDC and Ford for having such a singular focus on developing solutions to such challenging energy issues,” said University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, announcing the establishment of the new lab on Monday.

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UAE collaborates with World Energy Council for ADSW Wed, 23 Oct 2013 09:00:41 +0000 Lorraine Last week, the UAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Energy Council (WEC) to be the capital host of the WEC Energy Leader Dialogue (WELD) during next January’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).
The dialogue will be held under the theme of ‘Energy Challenges to 2050: Balancing the need for Energy Security, Energy Access and Environmental Impact Mitigation’.

It will bring together global energy leaders to focus on critical and emerging energy issues such as the energy-water nexus, renewables and energy access, as well as the outlook and implications of the shale gas revolution.

Dr Al Zeyoudi, the director of the Climate Change and Energy Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: “Adding the WEC platform to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week enhances the discussion of how global energy options can be shaped and leveraged for the sustainability of the industry.”

UAE has announced its intention to bid for the 2019 World Energy Congress when the process begins in January next year.

ADSW which will take place from January 18 to 24, is one of the world’s largest annual sustainability events, drawing over 30,000 public and private sector delegates from some 160 countries. It includes the World Future Energy Summit, the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, the International Water Summit and the award ceremony of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the world’s leading sustainable energy honour.


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Liquid air technology to boost renewables Wed, 23 Oct 2013 06:20:11 +0000 Lorraine The report, “Liquid Air Technologies – a guide to the potential”, launched in the British Parliament yesterday shows how liquid air could help balance an electricity grid increasingly dominated by discontinuous renewables. Liquid air technology could also provide an energy storage, reduce CO2 and convert waste heat into usable energy.

The report was published by the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, Liquid Air Energy Network and the University of Birmingham.

The report explains how some renewable energy could be used to liquefy air as a means of storing energy, which could then be used to generate electricity when needed, and provide a convenient and low cost fuel for vehicles including buses and lorries.

A number of UK technologies are in development and demonstration with significant Government
support, including transport applications starting field trials next year. Transportation could be the first market with a secured a grant from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, to build and test a liquid air engine fitted in a commercial vehicle.

The report summarises the environmental and economic potential of each of the various liquid air technologies currently available or being developed, and then explores how these could integrate into the wider energy system to form a ‘liquid air economy’.

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World Energy Day marks the beginning of the solar park project in Dubai Tue, 22 Oct 2013 10:45:03 +0000 Lorraine His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai commissioned the first phase of Dubai’s mega solar park named after him today, on World Energy Day.

The first of its kind project in the region started feeding 13MW of energy to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) network through photovoltaic technology, generating 24 million KWh of electricity per year.

The next phase of the plant was also launched today, which will produce 100MW through public-private partnership. The second phase will be completed in three years.

Upon total completion of the plant by 2030, the solar plant will have a power production capacity of 1000MW.


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Dubai launches its first State of Energy Report 2014 Tue, 22 Oct 2013 07:41:48 +0000 Lorraine The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) has unveiled the first edition of the State of the Energy Report. Supporting the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the UAE Vision 2021, the report aims to build a collaborative platform to enable a knowledge economy to spur growth of both green and sustainable development.

This publication was unveiled yesterday for the World Energy Day falling on October 22.

HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, inaugurated the report on the occasion of the EXPO 2020 Theme Symposium, which is a major milestone in the bid to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

“We are pleased to launch the first edition of the State of Energy Report 2014, which describes our way forward to build a green future for generations to come. First and foremost, this report is a reference for all the necessary knowledge and best practices for the energy sector. It provides the basis for a knowledge economy, which will be one of the main factors for the successful achievement of the vision of our wise leadership to transform Dubai into a Smart City,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy.

By encouraging green investment and green growth, the UAE is becoming a leading green and sustainable economy in the region and the world.

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Water scarcity increasingly threatens global security Mon, 21 Oct 2013 11:00:55 +0000 Lorraine Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and an author, most recently, of Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis. 

According to his research, water shortages in the densely populated parts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa could create large numbers of “water refugees” and overwhelm some states’ institutional capacity to contain the effects. The struggle for water is already escalating political tensions in certain parts of the world.

Downstream Egypt, for example, uses the bulk of the Nile River’s water, yet it is now threatening unspecified reprisals against Ethiopia’s continuing construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam.

China, already the world’s most-dammed nation, has approved the construction of 54 new dams – many of them on rivers that are the lifeblood of neighbouring countries. Turkey is accelerating an ambitious dam-building programme, which threatens to diminish cross-border flows into Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, intrastate water-sharing disputes have become common. Water conflicts within culturally diverse nations, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Sudan, often assume ethnic dimensions, thereby accentuating internal-security challenges.

But as illustrated by the disputes within, for example, the United States, Spain and Australia, intra-country water conflict is not restricted to the developing world.

Water conflicts in America have spread from the arid west to the east. Violent water struggles, however, occur mostly in developing nations, with resource scarcity often promoting environmental degradation and perpetuating poverty. Adequate access to natural resources, historically, has been a key factor in peace and war.

Countries can import fossil fuels, mineral ores and resources originating in the biosphere, such as fish and timber. But they cannot import water, or at least not in a major or sustainable manner. Water is essentially local and very expensive to ship.

Potable water supplies will come under strain if oceans rise. Rapid economic and demographic expansion has already turned potable water into a major issue across large parts of the world. Lifestyle changes have increased per capita water consumption.

It is against this background that water wars (in a political and economic sense) are already being waged between competing states, including by building dams on international rivers or by resorting to coercive diplomacy to prevent such construction.

US intelligence has warned that such water disputes could turn violent.

According to a report reflecting the joint judgement of US intelligence agencies, the use of water as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism could become more likely in the next decade in some regions.

The InterAction Council, comprising more than 30 former heads of state or government, meanwhile, has called for urgent action, saying some countries battling severe water shortages risk failing. Water stress is adding to socio-economic costs.

The World Bank has estimated the economic cost of China’s water problems at 2.3% of its GDP. China, however, is not as yet under water stress – a term internationally defined as the availability of less than 1,700 cubic metres of water per person per year. By contrast, the already water-stressed economies, stretching from South Korea and India to Egypt and Morocco, are paying a higher price for their problems.

Nature’s fixed water-replenishment capacity limits the world’s freshwater resources to nearly 43 trillion cubic metres per year. But the human population has almost doubled since 1970.

Growth in consumption has become the single biggest driver of water stress. Rising incomes, for example, have promoted changing diets, especially a greater intake of meat, the production of which is notoriously water-intensive. It is about 10 times more water-intensive to produce meat than plant-based calories and proteins.

As a result, water could become the world’s next major security and economic challenge.

Bottled water at the supermarket is already more expensive than crude oil on the spot market. More people today own or use a mobile phone than have access to water-sanitation services. Unclean water is the greatest killer on the globe, yet a fifth of humankind still lacks easy access to potable water. More than half of the global population currently lives under water stress – a figure projected to increase dramatically during the next decade.

Although no modern war has been fought just over water, this resource has been an underlying factor in several armed conflicts.

With the era of cheap, bountiful water now gone, to be replaced by increasing constraints on supply and quality, the risks of overt water wars are increasing.

Avoiding conflict over water demands international cooperation. But there is still no international water law in force, and most regional water agreements are toothless, lacking monitoring and enforcement rules and provisions formally dividing water among users. Worse still, unilateralism is endemic in the parched world.

The international community thus confronts a problem more pressing than peak oil, economic slowdown and other oft-cited challenges.

Addressing this core problem holds the key to dealing with other challenges because of the nexus of water with global warming, energy shortages, stresses on food supply, population pressures, pollution, environmental degradation, global epidemics and natural disasters.


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ZTE provides green energy solutions in Africa Mon, 21 Oct 2013 05:52:20 +0000 Lorraine ZTE Corporation is launching five stories at GITEX Technology Week 2013, about advances the company has made in building business in South Africa, public safety systems worldwide, green energy, enterprise telecommunications devices, and networking.

ZTE is a global provider of telecommunications equipment, network solutions and mobile devices, is working with governments and enterprises across 15 African countries, including Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Niger, to deploy the use of renewable solar energy. The company is committed to corporate social responsibility and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

ZTE is providing governments and business with the means to meet local power needs for households, communication systems and mobile power sources, bringing light and telecoms to thousands of homes and businesses throughout the African continent. The projects involve a variety of ZTE’s green energy products and solutions, including solar lighting systems, mobile solar power systems, solar power for telecommunications base stations and solar power for household lighting systems.

“The solar street lighting project constructed by ZTE is one of the best renewable energy projects that exists in Niger,” said Mr. Oumarou Dogari Moumouni, the former mayor of Niamey, the capital of Niger.

Africa suffers from constant power shortages leaving more than 580 million people to light their homes with kerosene lamps that are harmful to both their health and the environment. Fortunately, Africa’s natural resources mean that it has a great source of renewable energy from the sun, and solar power is safe, reliable and low cost, making it an ideal alternative for countries suffering from energy shortages.

“ZTE’s cooperation with governments and businesses throughout Africa is providing both economic and social benefits across the region. We are helping African countries maximise the power of their local resources and use renewable energy in a number of innovative ways,” said Wang Yiwen, ZTE CTO of Government and Enterprise business in the Middle East and Africa region.

In recent years, ZTE has developed its enterprise business and increased its investment in the field of renewable energy. ZTE can provide a full range of products and solutions, including solar lighting, household solar power, solar-powered water supply systems, and solar power generation systems. It has become the most successful Chinese enterprise in the markets of energy and accessory products and an integrated-power solution provider with global service capabilities. The company has provided services for telecommunications operators and industrial customers in more than 160 countries and regions, and has provided renewable energy of over 300 megawatt through more than 75 operators and industrial customers in 52 countries.

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Groundwater conservation solutions to cope the rising water scarcity Sun, 20 Oct 2013 08:03:16 +0000 Lorraine With growing water scarcity in the MENA region, conserving groundwater resources is taking top priority in the region’s water security strategy.

A recent study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact and Research, concludes that an expected rise of 3.5°C in global mean temperature by the end of the century will expose 668 million people worldwide to new or aggravated water scarcity, on top of the 1.3 billion currently living in water-scarce regions.

The problem will be even more severe in arid regions such as the Middle East with these expected changes in climate delivering less rain and further diminishing the availability of scarce groundwater resources.

Conserving precious groundwater resources, which accounts for 63.3% of water resources in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, will be a key focus of the Sustainable Water Solutions Village at the International Water Summit 2014 (IWS).

Ara Fernezian, organiser of the second International Water Summit said: “A range of commercial opportunities, with over $300 billion of investment on water projects are being planned by governments in GCC countries by 2022. The Sustainable Water Solutions Village at IWS 2014 will provide many successful ideas for investing in and managing these projects to address the water scarcity challenges.”

IWS 2014 is a global platform that hosts world leaders, government organisations, policymakers, public and private sector investors, business leaders, consultants and water experts to interact, negotiate and finalise plans to develop diverse and sustainable water portfolios in the GCC and other regions.

The Sustainable Water Solutions Village in the exhibition area at IWS 2014 will feature technologies, projects and case studies that offer solutions to the challenges of water security, with a particular focus on water solutions for agriculture and groundwater conservation.


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Thermal desalination, the new spring Sun, 20 Oct 2013 07:08:13 +0000 Lorraine The Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences, along with the Tamil Nadu Government, will set up a 10 million litres per day (MLD) low temperature thermal desalination plant about 40 km from Chennai.

At Chemtech South 2013, a world expo organised in Chennai last week,  the Union Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Shailesh Nayak, said that a detailed project report is being prepared by Larsen and Toubro and the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) to set up this barge mounted desalination plant.
The main purpose of the plant is to meet the drinking water requirements of the city. He said the operating cost of producing per litre of water is 19 paise, which is less than $0.004.

He said it would take nearly 18 months to get the deep-pool reactor (DPR) ready. The move comes in the wake of four low temperature thermal desalination plants being commissioned in the country.

Usually, in this technology, warm water is flashed inside a vacuum flash chamber and the vapour produced is condensed using cold water. The temperature difference that exists between the warm surface sea water (28 to 30 degrees Celsius) and deep sea cold water (7 to 15 degrees Celsius) would be effectively utilised to produce potable water.

The thermal desalination plant does not affect the marine eco-system unlike the regular desalination plants, which let out brine. The thermal desalination plant in Tuticorin would be ready in the next two to three years, providing two MLD.

Four Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) plants have been successfully commissioned in the country at Kavaratti (2005), Minicoy (2011), Agatti (2011) islands of Lakshadweep and at North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS), Chennai (2008). The capacity of each of these LTTD plants is 100,000 litre of potable water per day. The approximate capital cost of the LTTD plant was $816,000 at Kavaratti, $2m at Minicoy, $3.4m at Agatti, and $816,000 at NCTPS.

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GE Lighting to showcase innovative LED solutions Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:50:23 +0000 Lorraine GE Lighting is drawing on the strong growth potential in indoor and outdoor lighting through its advanced range of innovative LED solutions, showcased at Light Middle East.

At the conferences being held as part of the event, Agostino Renna, President & CEO of GE Lighting Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Zoltan Koltai, EMEA Technology Leader, will share insights with industry stakeholders on the newest trends in sustainable lighting, and the latest technological breakthroughs by the company.

George Bou Mitri, GE Lighting’s General Manager of Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said: “The GCC is one of our fastest growing markets, and with our dedicated distribution center in Jebel Ali, we are bringing in cutting-edge solutions that enhance visibility, reduce environmental pollution and contribute to significant long-term savings in energy consumption of up to 75%.”

He added: “A key focus of our participation is the cutting-edge technologies that we will present at the Future Zone, the hub of lighting innovation at Light ME.”

At the Future Zone, GE Lighting will present its new LuminationTM LED Linear, which underlines all the innovative and exciting aspects of Lumination™. Suspended from the ceiling, this strikingly beautiful luminaire combines brilliant aesthetics with space-filling light, all contained within a premium-quality aluminium frame. When it’s switched off, its clear lens ensures there’s no visible light source. Also to be showcased is GE Lighting’s award-winning ERS LED Scalable Street Lighting range of luminaires that provide energy efficient roadway lighting.

This GE Lighting LED system meets a wide range of applications, including highways, streets, boulevards and walking areas, and had won a Best-in-Class designation in the “Roadway Lighting” category in the 2012 Next Generation Luminaires™ (NGL) Solid-State Lighting Design Competition.

Underlining the commitment of GE Lighting to promote innovation in the lighting industry, the company, as Platinum Sponsor, will also support the Light ME Awards to be presented in seven categories this year.


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