Tag Archive | "Morocco"

Clean Energy Business Council set to host Annual Event

This year’s Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) Annual Event is to be held under the theme ‘MENA – The Clean Energy Upstart? Challenges, Innovation, Unlimited Potential,’ reflective of the growing interest shown by national governments and investors, developers and manufacturers in the currently under-realised clean energy potential of the wider MENA region.

“There is great excitement among clean energy players about the MENA region’s potential to become a world leader in clean energy development and adoption,” said Dr Nasser H. Saidi, Chairman of CEBC.

“Of all the global regions, MENA is the one that has the greatest potential for growth. We are seeing increased investment, favourable policy creation and implementation and enhanced development. It is an exciting time to be involved in the MENA clean energy industry.”

The event will convene industry leaders and policy makers, providing a platform for discussion on the state of the clean energy industry across the MENA region, their achievements this far, and the next steps required for further development of the sector. There will be a focus on energy and water efficiency, financing mechanisms and the social impacts of clean energy in the region, with key public and private sector stakeholders from across the region in attendance.

According to Nimer Abu Ali, MENA Head of Cleantech, EY, Governments in MENA have recognised that the long term sustainability of their economies and their resources can be improved by diversifying the sources of energy and include alternative energies and investment in energy efficiency. Saudi Arabia and UAE have been leading the renewables agenda in the region. Morocco has also, in the last year, seen significant progress in this direction. However, the inadequacy of policy frameworks and regulations in the region as a whole continue to be the main obstacles to the development of the industry.”

With over 100 projects under development across the MENA region, and with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt looking to generate 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2020, and Morocco aiming for the even more ambitious 42% figure by 2020, the region’s clean energy future looks bright.


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DSCE honours winners at the Emirates Energy Award

Emirates Energy Award (EEA), was held on October 27 organised by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy at Grand Hyatt hotel in Dubai. HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy said: “The Award highlights best global experiences and practices that enhance the rational use of energy, promote the sustainable use of alternative clean resources, reduce dependence on traditional resources to mitigate environmental pollution, strengthen the role of institutions and individuals, and raise awareness on the importance of rationalised use of energy and environmental protection.

“The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy is striving to put these directives, initiatives and ambitious strategies into action; an example of which is the launch of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. This aims to diversify our energy sources to comprise a mix of 71% from natural gas, 12% from nuclear power, 12% from clean coal and 5% from solar energy by 2030,”.

The Award, distributed every two years, honoured the winners of the different categories as follows:

  • Large Energy Project: The Gold Award was presented to the Morocco-based NAREVA Holding; the Shams Power Company (United Arab Emirates) was honoured with the Silver Award, while the Bronze award was given to the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA).
  • Small Energy Project: The Gold Award was given to the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company ‘du’ (United Arab Emirates); the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry was honoured with the Silver Award, while the Bronze award was given to Empower Company (United Arab Emirates).
  • Energy Efficiency for Public Sector: The Gold Award was given to Masdar (United Arab Emirates); RTA was honoured with the Silver Award (United Arab Emirates), while the Bronze award was given to RasGas (State of Qatar).
  • Energy Efficiency for Private Sector: The Gold Award was given to Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate (United Arab Emirates); the Arab Contractors Company was honoured with the Silver Award (Egypt), while the Bronze award was given to ABB/ Al-Khaleej Sugar Company (United Arab Emirates).
  • Education Energy Award: The Gold Award was given to the Friends of Environment Society (Jordan); Dr. Hanan Talib was honoured with the Silver Award (United Arab Emirates), while the Bronze award was given to HSBC Bank (United Arab Emirates).
  • Research & Development Award: The Gold Award was given to Ayman Adnan Almaitah (Jordan); the University of Bahrain was honoured with the Silver Award (Kingdom of Bahrain), while the Bronze award was given to the Nitrate Production System (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan).
  • Young Professional Energy Award: The Gold Award was given to Abdul Aziz Al Obaidli (United Arab Emirates); Mahmoud Shatel (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) was honoured with the Silver Award, while the Bronze award was given to Aisha Ali, Aya Abu Hani and Noora Rashed Al Kaizi (United Arab Emirates).
  • A Special Recognition Award was awarded to the organisations that succeeded in reducing energy consumption, including: Saudi Aramco (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia); Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex; Dubai Investment Park (United Arab Emirates); Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme; Emirates Transport, for the use of clean transportation fuels; Dubai Silicon Oasis; and Drydocks World (United Arab Emirates).



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Water scarcity increasingly threatens global security

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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Windy Frontier

Wind power has taken a backseat to solar across the Middle East and North Africa, but there are still some ambitious projects underway across the region

The major advocates of wind power are Egypt and Morocco, who have forged ahead for alternative energy despite domestic political instability.
Recent research from Stanford University indicates that harnessing wind energy can prove profitable, being enough to supply at least half of the world’s total energy needs within the next twenty years.

Tarfaya Wind Farm, Morocco
Morocco’s state utility Office National d’Electricite (ONE) awarded a US$350 million, 20-year PPA contract to a consortium made up of Nareva, the UAE-based Karabel Fez/International Power, a subsidiary of GDF Suez Energy International, and International Power from the UK, for the 300 megawatt (MW) Tarfaya wind power plant. The plant, which will be financed by Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE) and France’s Banque Populaire, will be built along the Atlantic ocean in southern Morocco. The plant is to be constructed on a build, operate and transfer basis, originally planned to be completed in 50MW phases each, with the first 200MW to be up and running by year-end. As of this month, Morocco has already installed 147MW of wind power with another 975MW in the pipeline. Morocco’s active solar energy plan is another element helping bridge the country’s energy mix as it strives to derive 42% of its energy demand from renewable sources by 2020.

Zaafarana and Elsewedy Towers, Egypt
Strategically located near Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea, which allows easy transportation to the Zaafarana farm, and to the Suez Canal for global exportation, Egypt aims to break a record in having the largest wind turbines in MENA.
The Zaafarana plant, located in an area with favourable wind conditions, has an expected capacity factor of 43%, has a minimum plant operating life is 21 years.
The Zaafarana wind farm is by far the largest in Egypt, and one of the ten largest wind farms in the world.
Staggered construction phases since 2000 meant that the 120 square kilometre site is now finally complete, housing 700 wind turbines producing a total capacity of 550 megawatts (MW). Though this is less than 3% of Egypt’s total capacity of just under 25 gigawatts (GW) or 25,000MW, it is a substantial development for the region.
Zaafarana saves Egypt 332,000 tonnes of fuel a year, and reduces annual carbon emissions by approximately 834,000 tonnes, according to the New and Renewable Energy Authority. In the initial 7-year crediting period, the Project is expected to reduce approximately 1.75million tCO2e (tonnes of Carbon dioxide equivalent), generating the equivalent amount of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs).
Though the initial vision was to produce 7,200 MW of renewable energy by 2020, it is expected that without significant economic and political change, development will increase at the current rate of about 150MW every two years.

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$500m Morocco solar project to be led by ACWA

Saudi-based developer, owner and operator of utility-scale water and power projects company, ACWA Power International, is set to lead the consortium with Morocco’s solar energy agency MASEN in a $500m project.

The energy contract is set to include the building of a 160MW CSP plant in the south of Morocco, which will include a team-up with Spanish engineering firm Aries Ingenieria Y Sistemas and TSK Electronica y Electricidad to construct, design, finance, operate and maintain the facility.

Originally, a fossil energy company, ACWA has emerged as a global leader in CSP projects driven by steam to create solar power, specifically gaining from the company’s background in fossil energy expertise to adapt to this form of renewable energy.

This bid follows last month’s success in winning a contract to build the Bokpoort CSP project in South Africa.

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Current Issue October 2013