Renewable Energy Prospects in GCC


See on Scoop.itRenewables

The clamor for renewable energy has increased significantly in the GCC in recent years due to concerns regarding global warming and depletion of fossil fuels. Regional countries whose environments are extremely intensive in terms of the carbon emissions and energy usage, like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have taken concrete steps and developed strategies to produce clean energy on large-scale to lower carbon footprint and foster sustainable development.

Salman Zafar‘s insight:

Large-scale investments and new sustainable development projects are expected to transform GCC  into the ultimate destination for clean energy technologies which will not only lower carbon footprint of the region but also reduce the cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy systems. 

See on www.cleantechloops.com

I’ve seen the future and it looks like Masdar


Originally posted on energy-media-society:

My apologies to my readers that EnergyMediaSociety has been slow this last month. I’ve been swamped, among other things, with a trip to Abu Dhabi as the guest of Masdar for the inauguration of the Shams 1 CSP plant – which was amazing.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about Shams 1. I hear a lot of plans for big projects in the Middle East and North Africa, and many of them take an inordinately long time to actually get built. Shams 1 took three years – but it is also the largest operational CSP plant in the world, in a region with little CSP development, and incorporating novel technology. I’m trying not to give too much away here, because there is an upcoming Solar Energy System of the Month that I am writing for Solar Server (my day job) that will go into more detail.

Shams…

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CDM Market in the MENA Region


Illustration: Different types of renewable energy.

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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is highly susceptible to climate change, on account of its water scarcity, high dependence on climate-sensitive agriculture, concentration of population and economic activity in urban coastal zones, and the presence of conflict-affected areas. Moreover, the region is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions on account of its thriving oil and gas industry.

The world’s dependence on Middle East energy resources has caused the region to have some of the largest carbon footprints per capita worldwide. Not surprisingly, the carbon emissions from UAE are approximately 55 tons per capita, which is more than double the US per capita footprint of 22 tons per year. The MENA region is now gearing up to meet the challenge of global warming, as with the rapid growth of the carbon market. During the last few years, many MENA countries, like UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have unveiled multi-billion dollar investment plans in the cleantech sector to portray a ‘green’ image.

There is an urgent need to foster sustainable energy systems, diversify energy sources, and implement energy efficiency measures. The clean development mechanism (CDM), under the Kyoto Protocol, is one of the most important tools to support renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives in the MENA countries. Some MENA countries have already launched ambitious sustainable energy programs while others are beginning to recognize the need to adopt improved standards of energy efficiency.

 The UAE, cognizant of its role as a major contributor to climate change, has launched several ambitious governmental initiatives aimed at reducing emissions by approximately 40 percent. Masdar, a $15 billion future energy company, will leverage the funds to produce a clean energy portfolio, which will then invest in clean energy technology across the Middle East and North African region. Egypt is the regional CDM leader with twelve projects in the UNFCCC pipeline and many more in the conceptualization phase.

The MENA region is an attractive CDM destination as it is rich in renewable energy resources and has a robust oil and gas industry. Surprisingly, very few CDM projects are taking place in MENA countries with only 22 CDM projects have been registered to date. The region accounts for only 1.5 percent of global CDM projects and only two percent of emission reduction credits. The two main challenges facing many of these projects are: weak capacity in most MENA countries for identifying, developing and implementing carbon finance projects and securing underlying finance.

Currently, there are several CDM projects in progress in Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia. Many companies and consulting firms have begun to explore this now fast-developing field. One of them, the UK-based EcoSecurities, opened a regional office in Dubai. The company has offices in Bahrain and Lebanon and is planning for branches in Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as intermediates in Egypt and Libya next year. The Masdar Company of Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, is the first local company in the region to pursue a CDM project.

The Al-Shaheen project is the first of its kind in the region and third CDM project in the petroleum industry worldwide. The Al-Shaheen oilfield has flared the associated gas since the oilfield began operations in 1994. Prior to the project activity, the facilities used 125 tons per day (tpd) of associated gas for power and heat generation, and the remaining 4,100 tpd was flared. Under the current project, total gas production after the completion of the project activity is 5,000 tpd with 2,800-3,400 tpd to be exported to Qatar Petroleum (QP); 680 tpd for on-site consumption, and only 900 tpd still to be flared. The project activity will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 2.5 million tCO2 per year and approximately 17 million tCO2 during the initial seven-year crediting period.

Potential CDM projects that can be implemented in the region may come from varied areas like sustainable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, landfill gas capture, industrial processes, biogas technology and carbon flaring. For example, the energy efficiency CDM projects in the oil and gas industry, can save millions of dollars and reduce tons of CO2 emissions. In addition, renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, holds great potential for the region, similar to biomass in Asia.

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