Tag: Energy

Eco-Friendly and Frugal Ways to Design Your Backyard

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Designing a beautiful, eco-friendly backyard oasis doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of budget-friendly ways to reinvent your backyard design while also protecting the environment. Therefore, before you start your backyard remodel, you should consider using some of these inspiring, eco-friendly ideas.

Pave it up

A lush green lawn stretching across your backyard is certainly appealing, but it’s not that eco-friendly. A lawn requires a lot of maintenance and water, so you should definitely consider paving your backyard.

You don’t have to replace your entire lawn, but simply cut back on its size. You can install lovely pavers or use gravel instead. These solutions will help you reduce your outdoor water consumption without affecting the visual appeal of your backyard haven.

Create a lush green wall

Installing a lovely green wall is one of the most inspiring ways to go green. This is a popular trend that will actually provide you with numerous benefits. If you turn one side of your house into a green wall, you’ll provide it with additional layer of insulation, which will help you reduce your energy consumption.

In addition, this is a space-saving solution if you have a small backyard – you can have a vertical garden that won’t take up too much space.

Reinvent your irrigation system

If you want to have a lush, healthy garden, you need to install a proper irrigation system. However, it’s important that you pick an appropriate solution that will help you save water and energy in your home.

Aside from collecting rainwater and using it for your plants, you can also install a smart sprinkler system that you’ll easily program and control. A drip irrigation system is also a great option because it doesn’t waste water on plant foliage, but targets the root.

Shade it properly

The only way to truly enjoy your backyard sanctuary is to create a lovely, comfortable seating area. You can bring out some cosy lounge chairs, set up a coffee table and decorate it with chic embellishments. However, you should ensure that your outdoor seating area has the key component – enough shade.

By shading your outdoor space, you’ll be able protect a side of your house from heat gain, keeping it more comfortable during summer, which will help reduce your energy consumption. In addition, you’ll also protect your materials and furniture, so you won’t have to replace them due to sun damage. For the best effect, you should go with durable custom shade sails made of recyclable materials.

This solution will cover more space than a sun umbrella and provide you with greater benefits. Shade sails can be easily installed and adjusted to meet your needs and the particular features of your outdoor area.

Light it the green way

Outdoor lighting is another simple, yet effective way to green up your backyard. Beautiful lighting solutions will not only set the mood and create an inviting look, but also elevate your outdoor décor. However, it’s important that you go with eco-friendly lighting options that will help you reduce your energy consumption.

For instance, you can install solar fixtures or use LED lights instead of regular incandescent ones. A smart outdoor lighting system can also help you save energy by allowing you to control it remotely and configure it to turn on and off depending on the time of day.

Choose salvaged and repurposed materials

Whether you’re planning to build a deck, pave your backyard or set up a lounge area, it’s important that you go with sustainable, salvaged and reusable materials. You have a range of stylish options, including bamboo, salvaged wood, cork, natural stone, brick, etc. These materials can be used for your furniture, decorations and landscaping, giving your backyard a beautiful, natural flair.

You can also buy vintage pieces instead of new ones, which is both budget- and eco-friendly. Finally, you can even repurpose some of your old items. For example, you can give your old indoor chairs a makeover and use them for your backyard seating area.

Conclusion

Designing a beautiful backyard can be both affordable and eco-friendly. You just need to focus on implementing solutions that will provide you with long-term benefits while also protecting the environment.

How to Care for the Environment When You Travel

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Are you concerned about your environmental impact while travelling? There are many simple things you can do to take care of the environment on your travels. Going green may take a little effort at first, but with every trip you take, it will soon become second nature. Remember, you will have a greater travel experience knowing you left a positive impact on the place you are visiting. Below are few golden tips to make your next vacation more eco-friendly:

Visit Eco-Friendly Countries

As tourists become more environmentally conscious, ecotourism has become a serious priority in many parts of the world. If you want to visit a new country or landscape, look for destinations that have a reputation for being kind to the environment. Countries such as Iceland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Samoa are paving the way with ecotourism.

For example, Samoa offers a wide range of responsible tour operators. These tours encourage tourists to participate in fun Samoa activities like biking events, running races, snorkelling, and scuba diving without compromising the environment.

Stay at Eco-Friendly Accommodation

Making informed choices about where you stay is a key step in becoming a sustainable traveller. Instead of opting for the most appealing tourist hotel, prioritise finding good-quality accommodation that also works to protect the environment.

A growing number of hotels have begun to adopt eco-friendly practices such as recycling programs, energy efficient lighting and water conservation schemes. These hotels are making a positive difference for the environment, so it’s important to support them whenever possible.

Support Green Tour Companies

Like green hotels, many tour companies are taking an eco-friendly approach to tourism. Green tour companies aim to give visitors a fun travel experience while still caring for the environment and economy. Before booking a tour, do your research about the company’s environmental practices and ethics.

Walk, Bike or Take Public Transport

When exploring a new destination, reduce your carbon footprint by travelling via bus, bike or foot instead of a private car to minimise your environmental impact. Participating in local running races and exploring bike trails will also provide further opportunities to experience the culture at a slower pace and mix with the locals.

Pack Reusable Items 

It’s your responsibility as a sustainable traveller to be conscious of the products you use and dispose of. Avoiding the use of plastic is essential. Bring reusable shopping bags with you on your trip so that you don’t have to rely on plastic bags.

Strive to leave a positive impact on the place you are visiting.

Similarly, bring your own reusable water bottles and containers to avoid going through tonnes of plastic ones. Some cafes even let you bring your own re-reusable mugs, so take these with you as often as you can.

Reduce Your Energy Use

Minimising your everyday energy use is one of the easiest things you can do to protect the environment, yet is something so many travellers don’t bother to do. Simple practices such as avoiding long showers, turning off lights and unplugging electronics whenever you leave the room, and minimising your use of heating or air-conditioning can ensure a more eco-friendly travel experience.

If you’re not staying at an eco-friendly hotel, be extra vigilant about this. Treat the hotel like you would treat your home. For instance, ask yourself if it is really necessary to use the laundry and cleaning service every day. Ask the hotel to only wash your linens and towels when necessary, as you would at home. Every traveller who follows these small changes is making a real difference to the planet.

About the Author

Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who enjoys traveling as much as she loves writing. She has produced articles for travel sites such as Active Asia after being captivated by the charm, color, and beauty of Cambodia last year. You can find more of her work here.

3 Green Packaging Methods to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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The consumer shift towards green living has awakened an increasing number of companies on the importance of green packaging This resulted to global brands – including the likes of McDonald’s, Walmart, Nike and Coca-Cola among many others – embracing green business practices to reduce their negative impact on the environment.

Although these eco-friendly initiatives are primarily focused in addressing the alarming environmental concerns, they also come with several benefits on the businesses’ end. These include helping the companies build a green reputation and as a result, earn the approval of like-minded consumers.

In the push towards a healthier environment, more and more companies continue integrating green practices in their functions. And as a business, what better step to take than to follow those initiatives? If you’re still clueless on how to make your business green, the easiest way would be to come up with more eco-friendly packaging alternatives. Fortunately, options abound for those seeking to implement more sustainable packaging practices.

If you are a business looking to embrace eco-friendly practices, these packaging methods will help reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

The environmental trifecta of the three Rs also applies to product packaging:

Reuse – look for opportunities, where it makes sense, to introduce reusable packaging. In 2010, KFC released its reusable sides containers that are promoted as being reusable and microwave-safe.

Reduce – eliminate, where possible, the layers of wrappings you use in your product.  Additionally, you can also revolutionize your products to accommodate sustainable packaging. A great example of this is the packaging-free shampoo bars from LUSH.

Recycle: increase the proportion of packaging from recycled and recyclable materials so it can be repurposed at the end of its use.

  1. Think Innovative and Sustainable Packaging

Although it may not work with all products, you can consider unique and innovative materials with your packaging. A prime example of this is the Clever Little Bag by Puma, a reusable shoe bag that helped them save as much as 65% of paper.

You can also factor in the use of sustainable materials such as recycled and virgin papers, plant-based packing peanuts and bio-plastics. Soy-based inks are also a greener alternative to petroleum-based inks, as they come from a renewable source and makes recycling paper easier as well.

  1. Cut Down on Energy

A significant amount of energy is spent from the packaging production down to the logistics. So, streamlining these processes is necessary to reduce energy consumption. One way to effectively do that is by incorporating a space-saving design in your packaging which may be useful for all businesses, for example house moving companies.

Eco-friendly product packaging can help in green branding

This initiative not only optimises the delivery of your products, it also helps drive like-minded consumers towards your product, considering it provides better value for their money.

Ensuring that your product packaging is eco-friendly not only shows your commitment to the environment, but also reflects consideration to your customers who are demanding for sustainable products and services. As a result, you can be confident that your initiatives will help build your green reputation as a brand.

Find out more ways on how you can switch to an eco-friendly business with Green Courier, a leading courier company in London, providing environment-conscious delivery services across the UK.

Green Courier is an environmentally friendly courier service in the United Kingdom. Being the leading Carbon Balanced supplier in the rapid dispatch industry, the company is committed in promoting sustainable solutions for the market and is always looking for ways to reduce its impact on the environment.

Turning Household Waste into Clean Fuel

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As more and more governments and businesses are racing to find efficient and reliable solutions for providing energy, the one option that is both widely achievable on a house-by-house basis, as well as tackling two major environmental issues is turning household waste into fuel.

We know there are already many organisations that are doing this on a large scale, collecting household waste from large areas and turning it into energy in Waste to Energy plants. However, arguably a better way to benefit from this is to produce energy on a household basis. In this article we explore some of the reasons why this is a good idea and how we can practically turn our own waste at home into energy.

Reduce Waste Transportation & Limit Landfill Use

Let’s take for example the UK, where they throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink waste as a population every year. Every bit of this waste is collected by local council services and transported some distance, eventually disposed of at landfill sites across the country.

The impact on the environment is twofold in this case. Firstly, the heavy duty vehicles required to collect the household waste are less than environmentally friendly. On the surface this may seem like a minor point, however when you consider how heavy these vehicles are, how slowly they move and how long they spend idling, they contribute a large amount to traffic pollution.

In fact, recent figures show that the average efficiency of these vehicles is around 4.4 mpg. Transportation of waste obviously remains an issue even where commercial Waste to Energy plants are concerned, but can be remedied by turning waste to fuel at home.

The second and arguably more obvious impact of the traditional waste disposal process is that it requires a vast amount of land. Quite simply, by using home waste to generate energy we are able to limit the amount of rubbish currently going to landfill sites.

Anaerobic Digestion

Up until now it has been technically difficult to create usable gas from household waste such as food leftovers. However, recent developments have made it easier than ever to produce energy from these wasted items. This has been made possible by a start-up that has created a user-friendly unit that can be used to collect left over food waste and turn it into biogas using the anaerobic digestion process. This biogas can then be used directly in the connected house for cooking, heating and even lighting.

For those with the ambition and technical experience, it is possible to produce biofuels and build your own biogas generator at home. Practically this is much easier in a tropical climate where the environment makes perfect conditions for the production of biogas from a wide variety of organic wastes. However, with the right equipment and insulation it is possible to do this in other climates.

Car Fuel from Household Waste

We are going to see a continuing rise in fuel prices across the globe. This fact is seeing a trend for eco car manufacturers to develop alternatives for traditional fuels, ranging from solar power through to electric. One alternative is fuelling your car on used vegetable oil. Practically, most diesel cars can be run off used vegetable oil with some minor alterations. This can be done by a specialist, but equally can be also achieved at home by those mechanically-inclined with specialist kits.

Arguably this may not be the most environmentally friendly option for fuelling cars as burning the oil for energy is comparable to diesel in terms of emissions. However, vegetable oil based fuels are carbon neutral due to absorbed carbon during the plants growing process. Also, when we consider the global issues with waste management, running our cars on vegetable oil is a smart solution.

Using household waste may not be as negative for the environment as media often paints it out to be. By limiting landfill and the harmful emissions generated during the waste disposal process we are able to create environmental benefits. We have also explored some of the practical ways you can use home waste to generate fuel for use in your home and for your car.

Cleantech Trends Worth Watching

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Cleantech promises to play a vital role in fostering sustainable development world. Access to clean, reliable and relatively cheap energy from renewable resources, especially solar power, will usher in a new era in developing countries like India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Rwanda and Peru. Off-grid (also known as microgrid or standalone) renewable power systems are already making a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of people in the developing world, especially in rural areas. Apart from solar, wind and biomass energy will also play a key role in improving the living conditions in impoverished parts of the world.

Advancements in battery energy storage have pushed this particular sector into media as well as public spotlight. With big industry names like Tesla and Nissan leading from the front, energy storage technologies are expected to make great contribution in transition to green grid powered by intermittent energy sources like solar PV, CSP, wind and biomass.

In recent years, the concept of Zero Waste has transformed our perception about garbage. The concept of Zero Waste has led to the development of a new waste management hierarchy involving 7Rs – Reduce, Replace, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Refuse and Rethink. Zero Waste movement is fast spreading worldwide and many communities are making serious efforts to reduce waste generation and to make the best use of trash. In the coming years, advancements in recycling systems, treatment methods and eco-design will not only help in waste diversion from landfills but also help in smooth transition to a circular economy.

 

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Biomass Energy: Driving Rural Development

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Biomass energy offers attractive opportunities for rural development, and has got tremendous potential to rejuvenate the agricultural economy and community empowerment. The development of efficient biomass handling technology, improvement of agro-industrial systems and establishment of small, medium and large-scale biomass-based plants can play a major role in rural development.

Improvements in agricultural practices promises to increased biomass yields, reductions in cultivation costs, and improved environmental quality. Extensive research in the fields of synthetic biology, plant genetics, analytical techniques, remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) and IoT promised to help in increasing the energy potential of biomass feedstock.

Biomass-based microgrid developed by Husk Power Systems in Bihar (India)

Rural areas are the preferred hunting ground for the development of biomass energy sector worldwide. By making use of various biological and thermal processes (anaerobic digestion/biogas, combustion, gasification, pyrolysis), agricultural wastes can be converted into biofuels, heat or electricity, and thus catalyzing sustainable development of rural areas economically, socially and environmentally.

There are many areas around the world where people still lack access to electricity and clean cooking fuel, and thus face enormous hardship in day-to-day lives. Biomass-based microgrids, clean cookstoves and biomass-based fuels can reduce ‘energy poverty’ commonly prevalent among remote and isolated communities.  To conclude, when a marginalized community is able to access reliable and cheap energy, it will lead to overall socio-economic growth, poverty alleviation, youth empowerment and sustainable development.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Waste-to-Energy Prospects in Oman

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Waste management is a challenging environmental and public health issue for the Sultanate of Oman. With population of almost 3 million inhabitants, the country produces almost 2 million tons of solid waste each year, with one of the highest per capita waste generation globally.

Municipal solid waste in Oman is characterized by very high percentage of recyclables, primarily paper (26%), plastics (12%), metals (11%) and glass (5%). Municipal solid waste is a very good source of biomass in Oman as more than 50% of the solid waste is contributed by organic matter.

Unrealised Potential of MSW

Oman is yet to realize the monetary potential of its municipal waste stream, neither through recycling nor waste-to-energy. Most of the garbage is sent to authorized and unauthorized dumpsites for disposal which is creating environment and health issues. There are several dumpsites which are located in the midst of residential areas or close to catchment areas of private and public drinking water bodies.

Solid waste management scenario in Oman is marked by lack of collection and disposal facilities. Solid waste, industrial waste, medical wastes, scrap tyres, e-wastes etc are deposited in scores of landfills scattered across the country. Oman has around 350 landfills/dumpsites which are managed by municipalities. In addition, there are numerous unauthorized dumpsites in Oman where all sorts of wastes are recklessly dumped.

Waste-to-Energy Prospects

In Oman, municipal solid waste can be converted into energy by conventional technologies (such as incineration, mass-burn, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas capture). Municipal solid waste can also be efficiently converted into energy and fuels by advanced thermal technologies, such as gasification and pyrolysis.

At the landfill sites, the gas produced by the natural decomposition of MSW can collected from the stored material and scrubbed and cleaned before feeding into internal combustion engines or gas turbines to generate heat and power. In addition, the organic fraction of MSW can be anaerobically stabilized in a high-rate digester to obtain biogas for electricity or steam generation.

Anaerobic digestion is the most preferred option to extract energy from sewage, which leads to production of biogas and organic fertilizer. The sewage sludge that remains can be incinerated or gasified/pyrolyzed to produce more energy. In addition, sewage-to-energy processes also facilitate water recycling.

Conclusion

The variety of technological options available means that waste-to-energy in Oman can be applied at a small, localized scale primarily for heat, or it can be used in much larger base-load power generation capacity whilst also producing heat. Waste-to-energy conversion can thus be tailored to rural or urban environments in Oman, and utilized in domestic, commercial or industrial applications across the country.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Thermal Processing of Agricultural Wastes

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Agricultural wastes are highly important sources of biomass fuels for both the domestic and industrial sectors. Availability of primary residues for energy application is usually low since collection is difficult and they have other uses as fertilizer, animal feed etc. However secondary residues are usually available in relatively large quantities at the processing site and may be used as captive energy source for the same processing plant involving minimal transportation and handling cost.

Agricultural wastes encompasses all agricultural wastes such as straw, stem, stalk, leaves, husk, shell, peel, pulp, stubble, etc. which come from cereals (rice, wheat, maize or corn, sorghum, barley, millet), cotton, groundnut, jute, legumes (tomato, bean, soy) coffee, coconut, cacao, tea, fruits (banana, mango, coco, cashew) and palm oil.

A wide range of thermal technologies exists to convert the energy stored in agricultural wastes to more useful forms of energy. These technologies can be classified according to the principal energy carrier produced in the conversion process. The major methods of thermal conversion are combustion in excess air, gasification in reduced air, and pyrolysis in the absence of air.

Conventional combustion technologies raise steam through the combustion of biomass. This steam may then be expanded through a conventional turbo-alternator to produce electricity. Co-firing or co-combustion of agricultural wastes with coal and other fossil fuels can provide a short-term, low-risk, low-cost option for producing renewable energy while simultaneously reducing the use of fossil fuels. Co-firing has the major advantage of avoiding the construction of new, dedicated, biomass power plant.

Gasification of agricultural wastes takes place in a restricted supply of oxygen and occurs through initial devolatilization of the biomass, combustion of the volatile material and char, and further reduction to produce a fuel gas rich in carbon monoxide and hydrogen. This combustible gas has a lower calorific value than natural gas but can still be used as fuel for boilers, for engines, and potentially for combustion turbines after cleaning the gas stream of tars and particulates. Biomass power systems using gasification has followed two divergent pathways, which are a function of the scale of operations. At sizes much less than 1MW, the preferred technology combination today is a moving bed gasifier and ICE combination, while at scales much larger than 10 MW, the combination is of a fluidized bed gasifier and a gas turbine.

Pyrolysis enables agricultural residues to be converted to a combination of solid char, gas and a liquid bio-oil. Pyrolysis technologies are generally categorized as “fast” or “slow” according to the time taken for processing the feed into pyrolysis products. Bio-oil can act as a liquid fuel or as a feedstock for chemical production. A range of bio-oil production processes are under development, including fluid bed reactors, ablative pyrolysis, entrained flow reactors, rotating cone reactors, and vacuum pyrolysis.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Eco-Friendly Home: Save Energy and Water with Energy-Efficient Design Solutions

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Finally, the time has come when everyone suddenly began to understand just how much we’ve hurt our living environment in the past and decided to take the necessary steps to prevent further destruction. However, trying to repair the consequences caused by year and years of negligence is not as easy as it sounds. While some people chose to implement only the smallest of changes to their lifestyles, others decided to fully embrace the green movement with open arms.

This does not only include choosing not to use plastic bags when grocery shopping and occasionally recycling your waste. Embracing everything green includes changing your current habits, accepting the green ones and making an eco-friendly home so that it works with nature instead of against it. If you’re not sure how you can do that, check out the following tips:

How to save water?

Water is an essential resource that is, unfortunately, finite. What some people choose to ignore is the fact that, if we all keep up with our wasteful ways, we’ll run out of this precious resource sooner rather than later. So, here’s what you can do in your home to reduce the amount of wasted water.

Upgrade your taps, showers and toilets

The first thing for an eco-friendly home is to implement some seemingly small, but very efficient upgrades. For starters, install aerators on your taps and shower heads that will reduce the amount of water you use, without compromising the pressure. The way they work is quite interesting – they mix water with pressurized air, which significantly reduces the amount of water necessary to perform some of the basic tasks, like washing your hands or taking a shower.

When it comes to toilets, opt for a dual flush or low-flow toilet tank. The dual flush toilet allows you to control the amount of water used every time you flush while the low-flow one uses significantly less water than a regular one.

Inspect your pipes

Damaged pipes are what nightmares are made of. Not only can they waste a lot of water if they happen to leak or have any cracks in them, but they can also significantly damage your property and even endanger the health of everyone living in the house. That’s why you should inspect your pipes on a regular basis and try to take care of potential problems before they appear.

For example, in countries such as Australia, heavy rainfall is a common occurrence. That’s why experts for blocked drains from Sydney offer various solutions that prolong the lifespan of pipes and make them more durable. Therefore, try to find similar experts in your neighborhood and take care of your pipes on time.

How to save energy?

There are numerous ways you can save energy in your home and they range from small upgrades to big remodeling projects. Here, we’ll be focusing only on the easiest solutions you can implement.

Go LED all the way

The first and the easiest way you can save energy is by replacing all of your incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LED ones. These not only waste significantly less energy, but they also give off light that is closer to the natural one which reduces eye-strain.

Take care of your insulation

Another thing you can do to reduce the amount of energy wasted by your household is take care of your insulation. If you notice that there’s a lot of heat/cold escaping your home you should insulate your windows and doors, line some of the external walls with cork (extremely good insulator, that’s also eco-friendly) and cover your bare floors with carpets. You can also install a thermostat with an occupancy sensor that will turn off every time there’s no one in the room.

Parting Shot

These were just some of the smaller upgrades you can treat your home to, to reduce the amount of energy and water wasted, thus reducing your property’s overall carbon footprint and making it a green home. And another great thing about them is the fact that they will help you reduce your utility bill as well, which is something everyone would like to do.

Renewable Energy Situation in Kuwait

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The renewable energy sector is in nascent stages in Kuwait, however there has been heightened activity in recent years mainly on account of the need for diversification of energy resources, climate change concerns and greater public awareness. The oil-rich State of Kuwait has embarked on a highly ambitious journey to meet 15 per cent of its energy requirements (approximately 2000 MW) from renewable resources by 2030.

One of the most promising developments is the kick-starting of the initial phase of 2GW Shagaya Renewable Energy Park in December last year. As per conservative estimates, more than $8 billion investment will have to be made to achieve renewable energy targets in Kuwait.

Renewable Energy Potential

In Kuwait, the predominant renewable energy resource is available in the form of solar and wind. The country has one of the highest solar irradiation levels in the world, estimated at 2100 – 2200 kW/m2 per year. The average insolation of 5.2 kWh/m2/day and maximum annual sun hours of around 9.2 hours daily makes Kuwait a very good destination for solar power plant developers.

Wind energy also has good potential in the country as the average wind speed is relatively good at around 5m/s in regions like Al-Wafra and Al-Taweel. Infact, Kuwait already has an existing 2.4MW Salmi Mini-windfarm, completed in 2013, which mainly serves telecommunication towers in remote areas and the fire brigade station in Salmi. As far as biomass energy is concerned, it has very limited scope in Kuwait due to arid climate and lack of water resources.

Kuwait Renewable Energy Program

Interestingly, Kuwait has been one of the earliest advocates of renewable energy in the Middle East with its involvement dating back to mid-1970s; however the sector is still in its early stages. The good news is that renewable energy has now started to move into development agenda and political discourse in Kuwait.

The Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) and the Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) are playing an important role in Kuwait’s push towards low-carbon economy. KISR, in particular, has been mandated by the government to develop large-scale alternative energy systems in collaboration with international institutions and technology companies.

Kuwait’s renewable energy program, with the aim to generate 2GW renewable energy by 2030, has been divided into three stages. The first phase involves the construction of 70 MW integrated renewable energy park (solar PV, solar thermal and wind) at Shagaya which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. The second and third phases are projected to produce 930 MW and 1,000 MW, respectively. The three phases will meet the electricity demand of 100,000 homes and save about 12.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per year on completion.

Role of KISR

The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), founded in 1967, is one of the earliest research institutions in GCC to undertake commercial-scale research on potential applications and socio-economic benefits of renewable energy systems in Kuwait as well as GCC. Infact, KISR designed and operated a pilot-scale 100kW solar energy station in 1978.

Over the years, KISR has done extensive research, using experimental projects and economic modelling exercises, on deployment of solar energy, wind energy and renewables-powered desalination in Kuwait. KISR is playing a pivotal role in the conceptualization, R&D and development of renewable energy projects in Kuwait including the flagship venture of Shagaya Renewable Energy Park.

Shagaya Renewable Energy Park

Shagaya is to Kuwait as Masdar is to Abu Dhabi. Shagaya Renewable Energy Park comprises of solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and wind power systems, being built on a 100 km2 area in Shagaya, in a desert zone near Kuwait’s border with Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The $385 million first phase, scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016, will include 10MW of wind power, 10MW of solar PV, and 50MW of solar thermal systems. The project’s thermal energy storage system, based on molten salt, will have nine hours of storage capacity, one of the few projects worldwide with such a large capacity.

Shagaya Renewable Energy Park comprises of solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and wind power systems

Al-Abdaliyah Integrated Solar Project

Al-Abdaliyah ISCC Project is another promising solar venture which is currently at pre-qualification stage. To be built in the south-west of Kuwait, the plant will have a total capacity of 280 MW, out of which 60 MW will be contributed by solar thermal systems. The facility being developed under a build-operate-transfer scheme, under the supervision of Kuwait Authority for Public Partnerships, provides a 25-year concession backed by an energy conversion and power-purchase agreement with the government.

Parting Shot

The major force behind Kuwait’s renewables program is energy security and diversification of energy mix. The country has one of the world’s highest per capita consumption of energy which is growing with each passing year. Kuwait is heavily dependent on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) to run its power plant, which is a significant burden on its GDP.

In recent years, the MENA region has received some of the lowest renewable-energy prices awarded globally for both photovoltaic and wind power which seems to have convinced Kuwait to seriously explore the option of large-scale power generation from renewable resources. Needless to say, Kuwait has a long way to go before renewable energy can make a real impact in its national energy mix.

Another key driver for Kuwait’s transition to low-carbon economy is its carbon and ecological footprints, which is among the highest worldwide. Widespread use of renewable power will definitely help Kuwait in putting forward a ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ image in the region and beyond. Job creations, growth of private sector, development of green SMEs sector and heavy cleantech investment are among other important benefits. The business case for green energy proliferation in Kuwait is strengthened by widespread availability of solar and wind resources and tumbling costs of alternative energy systems.

With many projects in planning and development phases, Kuwait should now focus on implementing projects in a timely manner and also on developing a realistic renewable energy vision. The development of a renewable energy atlas and renewable energy framework are bound to attract more investments from local and foreign investors.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

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