Tag Archive | "energy"

SolarReserve opens office in Dubai, establishing hub in the MENA region

SolarReserve, developer of large-scale solar power projects and advanced solar thermal storage technology, today announced its expansion into the Middle East with the opening of a new office in Dubai, which will serve as a hub for development activities in the region.

Continuing its ongoing efforts to provide reliable, cost-effective, clean energy solutions worldwide, SolarReserve is pursuing both large-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) with thermal energy storage and photovoltaic (PV) projects that make optimal use of the region’s abundant solar energy resources. As SolarReserve develops projects in the region, the company will continue to open country-specific offices to meet the needs of an expanding customer base, support project construction and operation, as well as to support local economies and employment.

For oil-exporting countries, the move to solar energy is directly correlated with rising fossil fuel prices. With the goal of maximising the economic gain from their remaining oil reserves, many oil-rich nations are moving away from domestic oil and gas consumption so that they can export this finite resource for the highest return. Through heavy investment in solar development, these countries are moving boldly towards sustainable energy independence–ensuring that their growing populations will have an additional zero emission form of energy to meet their needs while creating a substantial industry and associated jobs and knowledge base within the region.

“In recent years, solar power generation has seen increasing growth in the MENA region. SolarReserve is committed to furthering support of its strong partnerships in MENA through the establishment of a regional hub that begins with an on-the-ground presence in Dubai,” said SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith. “SolarReserve’s world-leading solar thermal technology with integrated molten salt storage offers a cost-effective, reliable and most importantly, a baseload supply of electricity that is a game-changer for the region. Not only do we offer technology that can generate power on-demand, day and night, but our plants are dry-cooled which is critically important in a region with scarce water resources.”

SolarReserve’s industry-leading CSP technology features an integrated molten salt energy storage system that enables firm, reliable electricity to be generated on-demand and delivered to meet the client’s power needs. This energy storage capability provides a stable electricity product similar to that of conventional fossil fuel-burning power facilities, but without the associated harmful emissions and price volatility. SolarReserve’s CSP technology either alone or coupled with PV, can provide a cost effective and reliable alternative to fossil fuel generation with the reduction in emissions to near zero.

 

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NASA to launch 5 Earth science missions to space this year

Five NASA Earth science missions will fly into space this year, with two of them headed for the International Space Station. NASA says the new missions will open more technically advanced remote eyes to monitor the changing planet.

Two of the 2014 Earth science missions will be sent to the International Space Station to measure ocean winds, clouds, and aerosols, marking NASA’s first use of the orbiting laboratory as a 24/7 Earth-observing platform. The new instruments are the first of a series that will observe Earth routinely from the Space Station.

“As NASA prepares for future missions to an asteroid and Mars, we’re focussed on Earth right now,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “With five new missions set to launch in 2014, this really is shaping up to be the year of the Earth, and this focus on our home planet will make a significant difference in people’s lives around the world.”

The first new NASA Earth science mission of 2014 is the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory, a joint international project with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA. The GPM Core Observatory is scheduled to launch on February 27 from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center on a Japanese H-IIA rocket. The spacecraft was built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. This mission inaugurates an unprecedented international satellite constellation that will produce the first nearly global observations of rainfall and snowfall.
NASA says this new information will help answer questions about Earth’s life-sustaining water cycle, and improve water resource management and weather forecasting.

In July, NASA will launch a mission to advance understanding of carbon dioxide’s role in climate change. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, a replacement for a mission lost after a 2009 launch vehicle failure, will make precise, global measurements of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is the largest human-generated contributor to global warming. OCO-2 observations will be used to improve understanding of the natural and human-induced sources of carbon dioxide and how these emissions cycle through Earth’s oceans, land and atmosphere. OCO-2, managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will launch from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Delta II rocket.

With the November launch of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive mission, scientists will track Earth’s water into one of its last hiding places – the soil. SMAP will map Earth’s soil moisture, and provide precise indications of the soil’s freeze-thaw state to improve understanding of the cycling of water, energy, and carbon.
High-resolution global maps of soil moisture produced from SMAP data will inform water resource management decisions on water availability around the Earth. SMAP data also will aid in predictions of plant growth and agricultural productivity, weather and climate forecasts, and will help monitor floods and droughts. SMAP will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on board a Delta II rocket. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the mission.

“On our home planet Earth, water is an essential requirement for life and for most human activities. We must understand the details of how water moves within and between the atmosphere, the oceans, and the land if we are to predict changes to our climate and the availability of water resources,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division in Washington.

“Coupled with data from other ongoing NASA missions that measure sea-surface salinity and that detect changes in underground aquifer levels, with GPM and SMAP we will have unprecedented measurements of our planet’s vital water cycle,” Freilich said.

 

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Water shortages slow energy production worldwide

The World Bank is launching a new initiative at the World Future Energy Summit and International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi that will help developing countries better plan and manage scaling-up energy capacity to meet rising demand, in tandem with water resource management.

Producing energy requires a lot of water. Yet, the availability of and access to water is negatively impacting energy production around the world.

Last year alone, water shortages shut down thermal power plants in India, decreased energy production in power plants in the United States and threatened hydropower generation in many countries, including Sri Lanka, China and Brazil.

The problem is expected only to get worse. By 2035, the world’s energy consumption will increase by 35%, which in turn will increase water consumption by 85%, according to the International Energy Agency.

“The world’s energy and water are inextricably linked. With demand rising for both resources and increasing challenges from climate change, water scarcity can threaten the long-term viability of energy projects and hinder development,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change.

Part of the challenge for the energy sector is the competing demand for water. This demand will grow as the world’s population reaches 9 billion, requiring a 50% increase in agricultural production and a 15% increase in already-strained water withdrawals. With two-thirds of the world’s population – or 5 billion people – urbanised by 2030, cities in developing countries will be under tremendous pressure to meet the demand for food, energy, and water services. Yet today, some 780 million people lack access to improved water and 2.5 billion, more than one-third of the world’s people, do not have basic sanitation.

Thirsty Energy is a global initiative aimed to help governments prepare for an uncertain future by:

  • identifying synergies and quantifying trade-offs between energy development plans and water use
  • piloting cross-sectoral planning to ensure sustainability of energy and water investments
  • designing assessment tools and management frameworks to help governments coordinate decision-making

With the energy sector as an entry point, initial work has already started in South Africa and dialogue has been initiated in Bangladesh, Morocco, and Brazil where the challenges have already manifested and thus where demand exists for integrated approaches.

Failing to anticipate water constraints in energy investments can increase risks and costs for energy projects. In fact, the majority of energy and utility companies consider water a substantive risk and report water-related business impacts.

The issue is too large for any partner or sector to tackle alone.

“Water constraints on the energy sector can be overcome, but all stakeholders, public and private, must work together to develop innovative tools and use water as a guiding factor for assessing viability of projects,” said Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. “The absence of integrated planning is unsustainable.”

Solutions exist, but countries must continue to innovate and adapt policies and technology to address the complexity of the landscape. These solutions include technological development and adoption, improved operations to reduce water use and impacts in water quality, and strong integrated planning.

“We cannot meet our global energy goals of extending access to the poor, increasing efficiency and expanding renewables without water. The water energy interrelationship is critical to build resilient as well as efficient, clean energy systems. The time to act is now,” said Kyte.

 

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Public and private sector experts to share waste management best practice

The first edition of EcoWASTE, the dedicated waste management and recycling event in the Middle East, will gather the insights and practical experience of a host of leading companies, institutions and industry experts from January 20-22 in Abu Dhabi.

The inaugural event will organise a series of technical workshops and presentations from the exhibition floor on subjects spanning recycling, waste-to-energy and waste collection, with contributions from experts based as far afield as Finland and the UAE.

“Our first EcoWASTE sheds further light on the interrelated challenges of energy, water and waste,” said Naji El Haddad, EcoWASTE Show Director. “Through these sessions, attendees will not only network with more than 50 local and international suppliers as well as 2,000 buyers and professionals from across the waste management and recycling sector, they will also gain in-depth knowledge from technical experts at the forefront of sustainable waste management regionally and internationally.”

With several GCC states embarking on projects in waste-to-energy, the Swedish Waste Management Association will deliver its assessment of the potential to generate clean power from the substantial volumes of municipal solid waste currently dumped in desert landfills across the region. In Sweden, as much as 97% of all household waste is recycled or used to generate energy.

Eric Lindström of Capital Cooling will present on waste heat as a power source for cooling, based on insights from his native Sweden and the GCC.

Also at EcoWASTE, Dr Johan De Greef of Keppel Seghers, will consider waste-to-energy solutions tailored for the industrial sector. Keppel Seghers designed and built the GCC’s first domestic solid waste management centre, or DSWMC, in Qatar, which diverts up to 95% of waste from landfill. The DSWMC comprises a state-of-the-art waste sorting and recycling facility, an engineered landfill, a composting plant, and a waste-to- energy incineration plant with a capacity of 1,500 metric tons per day.

With more than 10 million metric tons of municipal waste produced each year in Abu Dhabi alone, advances in waste collection technologies and services will be top of the agenda. EcoWASTE will host a seminar on automatic solid waste collections systems by Jari Enontekiö of Marimatic Oy.

“The GCC has the potential to become a leader in the waste-to-energy sector as the DSWMC in Qatar illustrates,” said Dr Johan De Greef of Keppel Seghers. “With Abu Dhabi aiming to divert 85% of its solid waste from landfill by 2018 and other states in the region following its lead, the technology and insights presented at EcoWASTE provide a pathway towards a genuine sustainable waste management future.”

 

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Leaders from 150 countries arrive in Abu Dhabi for energy summit as WFES begins

Heads of State and Ministers from over 150 countries as well as representatives from 120 international organisations gathered in Abu Dhabi on Saturday for the opening of the Fourth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Assembly, the Agency’s ultimate decision-making authority, takes place today and tomorrow. Kicking-off Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2014, the event features IRENA’s flagship projects, its current and future work programmes, and several public and media events.

“IRENA’s focus is accelerating the deployment of renewables worldwide, and our Assembly gives us the opportunity to present our current and future work to our membership,” Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s Director-General, said. “We are now engaged with over 165 countries. As more and more countries join, IRENA’s role as the global hub for renewable energy is becoming ever more prominent.”

“IRENA is a global campaigner for the advancement of renewable energy, and a convener that creates a platform for international collaboration,” said H.E. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico Secretary of Energy and President of the Assembly. “It is through important international platforms like this that we will secure our clean energy future.”

Highlights during the Assembly include the launch of “REmap 2030”, the much anticipated roadmap for doubling the global renewable energy share by 2030; and the announcement of the first six renewable energy projects in developing countries receiving loans under the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility partnership from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 124 Members (123 States and the European Union). Over 43 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. Formally established in 2011, IRENA is the first global intergovernmental organisation to be headquartered in the Middle East.

IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.  IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

Picture caption: The President of IRENA’s Fourth Assembly,  H.E. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexico Secretary of Energy (third from left), is welcomed by Vice-President of the Third Assembly, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Mahdzir Khalid of Malaysia. IRENA’s Fourth Assembly welcomed official government delegations from over 151 countries.

For more information about IRENA’s Fourth Assembly visit www.irena.org.

 

 

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Cable giant tells WFES how it was an early energy saver

Ducab, a leading manufacturer of high-quality cables and cabling products in the Middle East, is a key participant at World Future Energy Summit, being held in Abu Dhabi between January 20 and 22.

WFES is the foremost gathering of organisations and professionals in the energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean technologies sector and Ducab is showcasing its market-leading range of cables and products, especially low and medium voltage power cables that ensure minimal wastage during power transmission.

Ducab was the first cable company to have its Environmental Management System certified by BASEC to ISO 14001 in 1997. In 2002, the company was also recognised with the GCC Award for Environmental Excellence, and since then, has made great strides in three environmental focus areas: rationalisation and reduction of waste; reduction of carbon footprint; and the policy of industrialisation, particularly around the purchase of equipment and raw materials.

Speaking about Ducab’s participation at WFES, Hassan Omar, GM Technical and Quality, Ducab (pictured above right), said: “Ducab has been a great example to the region about how a manufacturing company can achieve significant success in its field while at the same time monitoring and limiting its environmental impact. We have invested quite early in energy efficiency in our manufacturing process, and our cables too are designed to ensure minimal energy wastage and loss during transmission.”

With the nation heading resolutely towards leadership in developing sustainable energy sources, Ducab has cemented its relevance and suitability by working alongside two of the largest solar power-generation projects – Shams 1 by Masdar, Abu Dhabi, and Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park together with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

At WFES, Ducab’s stand will feature a cross-section of cables and cabling accessories, with pride of place going to the company’s range of lighting and low and medium voltage power cables, which have been qualified to international standards. The company has met – and in many cases, exceeded – all test requirements to date, and are ideally suited to meet both customer and regulatory expectations and requirements.

Ducab is equally owned by the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and Ducab’s presence at WFES is alongside Senaat of Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s largest industrial investment holding company and the representative of Abu Dhabi’s ownership stake in Ducab.

Ducab is a leading provider of copper cabling products and is the first choice for many prestigious contractors due to its record of quality and customer service. Ducab has supplied cables and wires to a number of landmark projects, including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Metro, Emirates Palace, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis the Palm and Yas Marina Circuit. Ducab achieved record sales of AED 4.9 billion for 2011, a 39% increase over the previous year.

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