Tag: Renewable Energy

Key Factors Driving the Waste Management Industry

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The amount of wastes that humans create every day and their potential impact on the environment have been matters of concern for the government and the community for long. There is a dire need to find a sustainable solution to this issue. Proper waste management methods which would be cost-effective, scientifically better, financially viable, environment-friendly, and socially acceptable to people are the need of the hour.

Waste management refers to the collection, transportation, disposal, and monitoring of wastes. It is imperative due to its many benefits which include protection of the environment and the health of the population, resource recovery, overcoming of an epidemic, and elimination of fire hazards due to the accumulation of hazardous substances.

Growth in Waste Management Industry

The market for waste management is witnessing a significant boom in recent years. This growth is driven by unprecedented growth in all kinds of wastes taking place due to the rise in industrialization, growing urban population, and the rise in environmental awareness. The growing adoption of recycling techniques and the development of innovative technologies and advanced waste collection solutions also fuel the growth of the market.

However, lack of awareness of the impact of unattended solid wastes in the developing regions across the globe restrains the industry growth. According to the research firm, Allied Market Research, the waste management industry is expected to reach $435.0 billion by 2023 from $285.0 billion in 2016, experiencing a CAGR of 6.2% from 2017 to 2023.

A recent trend in the waste management industry is the development of novel and innovative technologies in the space, which are helping in the efficient collection and processing of wastes. Another recent trend in the ecosystem is the adoption of strategies such as partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions by companies with an aim to expand their presence globally and grab a greater market share.

One of the recent collaborations is that between PETCO Kenya, the PET recycling company based in South Africa and Mr. Green Africa, a recycling firm in Kenya to increase the collection of PET bottles. Another one is the extension of partnership by Covanta, a waste management company based in the U.S. with the Town of Huntington, New York to continue with its support for waste management.

PETCO Partners with Mr. Green Africa

In November ’18, PETCO Kenya entered into a strategic partnership with Mr. Green Africa to provide funding with the aim of expediting the PET bottles collection process. The funding enables the former company to support infrastructure for waste collectors that service the latter’s trading centers by providing waste collection tricycles. The waste collection capacity of the collectors which is an average of 40 kgs a day, will increase to between 300kgs to 500kgs under the new partnership.

These collectors have been using sacks to collect post-consumer bottles, which is not only straining on their physical bodies but also limiting in the quantities they can collect per day kilograms. John Waithaka, the Chairman of PETCO Kenya said, “PETCO is committed to increasing the amount of plastic collected from the current levels to 70% by 2030. This partnership with Green Africa is one of the many partnerships we will be rolling out in the coming months to help us achieve this goal.”

Covanta and Town of Huntington Extend Partnership

In November ’18, Covanta announced its collaboration extension with the Town of Huntington for the supervision of the Huntington Resource Recovery Facility. The facility is an energy-from-waste facility that processes about 1,000 tons of municipal solid waste each day, produces 25 megawatts of renewable energy, and recycles over 7,000 tons of metal annually.

According to Chad Lupinacci, Supervisor of Town of Huntington, the extension of their partnership with Covanta provides their community with a great solution to waste management. It helps preserve their valuable natural resources while generating clean energy. He feels that the collaboration is a blessing for their residents as they both aim to achieve a more sustainable community. Rick Sandner, Vice President and General Manager of Covanta’s New York/New Jersey region said, “The Towns of Huntington and Smithtown have developed a leading waste management system that includes energy-from-waste for any residual waste that remains after recycling. We are proud of our work in providing safe, reliable waste disposal and a source of clean energy, and look forward to serving these communities for many years to come.”

The Future of Energy Sector is in Electricity Availability

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The energy industry is showing steady growth, which, according to experts, will continue in 2019. In the USA, Western Europe and Russia it will reach 3% per year while it will be faster in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The most dynamic markets now are China, India, some African countries. While the United States is becoming the undisputed world leader in oil and gas production, China is reconsidering its role in the energy sector, seeking to “make the sky blue again.” It is China’s transition to a new economic model with the use of clean energy that determines global trends. Solar power plants in many countries are gradually becoming the cheapest source of energy. The future of the energy sector lies in the increase in the availability of electricity for electric cars, mobile solutions and digitalization.

Projections show growth in demand for low-carbon, renewable energy sources and natural gas. Coal consumption by 2040 should fall by 6–7 times, oil – by 2.5 times, gas – by a few percents, and low-carbon energy sources – by 2 times.

In 2010–2016, the share of coal when creating new generation facilities averaged about 65 GWh annually, gas – about 47 GW, nuclear decomposition products – about 3 GW, and renewable sources – almost 130 GW. In 2016–2040, the share of coal should fall to 18 GW, the share of gas should remain the same, the share of atomic decomposition products should double, and the share of renewable sources should reach 160 GW. Of which, solar power should grow the fastest – from about 30 to 73 GW per year. Solar panels are ahead of other types of energy from renewable sources. China, India and the United States are ahead of everyone here, while for Europe the wind remains the most important green energy.

The value of renewable sources is growing in shares to the rest of the energy sector. If in 2015 it was 24% versus 76% for traditional sources, then in 2050 the ratio should roll over: 85% versus 15%. Now the most significant share of green energy consists of various types of hydroelectric power plants, 16% of the total world energy production. By 2050, its share should be 12%, the share of wind – 36%, sun – 22%, gas will remain 10%, and coal – 1%.

Despite the fact that electric cars are conquering the world, the demand for oil continues to grow – though not in the energy sector. The fleet of electric cars is expected to grow to about 50 million units by 2025 and 280 million by the year 2040. The increase in oil consumption is likely to be associated with the petrochemical industry, aviation and shipping, and road freight.

About the author: Melisa Marzett thinks broadly. She keeps track of events working for Star Writer Custom Writings and cherishing a hope to write a book someday, which would blow people`s mind. Meanwhile, she practices yoga, travels, studying drawing, singing, dancing, art of paper folding and playing the piano.

Renewable Energy in the United Kingdom: A Data-Driven Infographic

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Renewable energy generation in the United Kingdom has increased by 230% since 2009, according to a series of new reports by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial. The future looks promising for renewable energy in the UK, which now accounts for almost a third of the total electricity generation in the UK.

The steady growth of renewable energy in the United Kingdom is related, to some extent, to the increasing concerns about climate change among the UK population. A survey conducted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy reveals that 71% of the respondents are concerned about climate change in 2017 compared to 66% in 2013. Furthermore, 79% of the respondents support renewable energy in 2017 compared to 74% in 2016.

The biggest source of renewable energy in the UK is wind, which accounts for 13.8% of the total renewable electricity generation in the UK. Infact, UK is the best location for wind power in Europe.

In terms of electricity generation by country, Scotland generates most of its electricity from renewable resources (42.92%), followed by Northern Ireland (25.33%), England (23.15%) and Wales (12.33%).

While renewable energy is gaining ground in the United Kingdom, coal is being used less and less as an electricity source. By generating more and more renewable electricity, the UK is spearheading the sustainability movement in Europe.

Greenmatch.co.uk has created a data-driven infographic titled ‘Renewable Energy in the United Kingdom’ that visualises the main findings of the reports.

 

Environmental CSR as a Tool for Community Welfare

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Environmental CSR play a key role in climate change mitigation and fostering sustainable development. The major ingredients of environmental CSR are elimination of waste and emissions, maximizing energy efficiency and productivity, and minimizing practices that may adversely affect use of natural resources by coming generations. In recent years, environmental CSR has also emerged as an effective tool for the welfare of marginalized and unprivileged communities, mainly through renewable energy, waste management and resource conservation initiatives.

The deployment of renewable energy is a tremendous opportunity for corporates to support societies’ broad developmental priorities in the form of energy access, job creation and overall community development. According to IRENA estimates, the expected increase in human welfare from the deployment of renewables is close to 4%, far exceeding the 0.8% rate of improvement in GDP.

Infact, savings from reduced health and environmental externalities, which are not fully reflected in conventional economic accounting systems, far offset the costs of the energy transition. Renewable energy projects, supported by corporates, will also go a long way in helping remote communities to achieve energy independence with the help of decentralized, micro-grid alternative energy systems based on solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and other viable systems.

A CSR project transforming the lives of villagers in Laos

Waste management is another important where corporates can play a key role towards community welfare. Waste management is needed in all type of industries and it should be adopted by every industry as its social responsibility. Nowadays, waste management is a growing concept which can make significant contribution in the welfare of the society and environment.

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

Green Investments and Private Equity

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Green investments, which has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, provides a strong linkage between the financial industry, environment protection and economic growth. Private equity, as an independent player, is playing a vital role in financing green projects and is now well-positioned to fund development projects worldwide. Last year, the venture capital and private equity investment in clean energy firms was a whopping USD7.5billion.

Green private equity helps project developers and entrepreneurs in securing venture capital for sustainable and green projects. Investors and funds make direct investments into private companies which lead to delisting of public equity.

Equity for renewable energy projects can come from a utility that is financing the whole project; or from the developer who is contributing partial equity (usually 20% to 40%) of the investment cost; or it may originate from outside investors such as infrastructure funds, private equity funds and insurance companies. Capital for private equity can be used to finance new technologies, expand working capital, make acquisitions, or to strengthen balance sheet.

Whether they are venture capital in a start-up electric vehicle company or the financing of a solar power project, green technologies represent investments that are crucial to our transition to low-carbon economy. The prime beneficiaries of private equity are renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transport, forest management, water management, sustainable land use and other low-carbon projects, all of which are urgently required in the developing world.

Green private investment is a major enabler for financing needs of green projects.

Green investments are a major enabler for local, regional and international financing needs of green projects. In recent years, environment awareness has rapidly increased in the developing countries and it is expected that business opportunities for private equity firms will also show an upward trend.

Short-term sustainability issues, such as water management or energy management, and longer-term issues like renewables and waste management, are already on the radar and the coming years will witness a heightened activity from private investors and equity firms in developing countries. To sum up, green private equity promises to play a big role in aligning financial systems with the financing needs of a sustainable world.

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

Which is the Most Efficient Form of Renewable Energy

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The renewable energy sector is growing fast. Its strength lies in its diversity and its numerous tangible benefits. This infographic explores the different types that are currently in use. Learn more about how they work and how experts determine their efficiency.

To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree program.


NJIT Online

The Statistics

Renewable energy accounted for a tenth of the total US energy consumption in 2015. Half of this was in the form of electricity. There are a several possible sources including geothermal, solar, wind, hydroelectricity and biomass. Biomass has the biggest contribution with 50%, followed by hydroelectricity at 26% and wind at 18%.

Geothermal energy is generated by harnessing the Earth’s natural heat. There is a tremendous amount stored in the planet with the conduction rate pegged at 44.2 terawatts. According to a recent report, the global industry is expected to produce around 18.4 gigawatts by 2021.

Wind energy, on the other hand, makes use of air flow to move massive wind turbines. The mechanical action generates electric power. Rows of windmills are usually constructed along coastal areas where there are no barriers to impede flow. This industry could make up 35% of US electrical production by 2050.

By that time, experts believe that solar energy could be supplying us with 25% of our energy needs. The estimate is based on combined photovoltaic and solar thermal energy systems. This might not be far off from reality given the continuing improvements in solar technology and the steady decrease in the cost of the panels.

Biomass refers to wood, biofuels, waste and other forms of organic matter which are burned to produce energy. The burning process releases carbon emissions but it is still considered renewable because the plants used can be regrown. Generation will rise at a slower pace that the rest from 4.2 quadrillion BTU in 2013 to 5 quadrillion BTU in 2040.

Hydroelectric plants use the power of moving water to generate electricity. The conventional method is to build dams to control the flow. This requires massive investment but operation and maintenance costs are quite low. This currently accounts for 7% of US the total US energy production.

Measuring Efficiency

We can find out which one of these renewable energy sources is the most efficient by calculating the costs of the fuel, the production, and the environmental damages. Wind comes out on top by a wide margin over all the other sources. It is followed in order by geothermal, hydro, nuclear and solar.

A formula was devised to compute the levelized cost of electricity or LCOE of the various methods we discussed. The outcome depends on several factors including the capital cost, the fuel cost, the projected utilization rate, the operation cost, and the maintenance cost.

Aside from these, both the plant owners and investors must consider the potential effects on efficiency of other external factors. For instance, there will always be an element of uncertainty when it comes to fuel prices and government policies. One administration may be supportive with tax credits and other stimuli for the industry. Another may not be as keen on seeing it take off.

Aside from LCOE, another formula used is called the levelized avoided cost of electricity or LACE. This measures the cost if the grid was to generate electricity displaced by a new generation project. LACE seeks to address the gaps in LCOE by comparing technology efficiencies while accounting for regional differences.

Types of Wind Power

There are different types of wind power including offshore, distributed and utility-scale wind. Offshore is characterized by turbines located in bodies of water. Their placement makes construction difficult such that they can be 50% more expensive than nuclear and 90% more costly than fossil fuel generators.

Utility-scale wind refers to electricity that is generated in wind farms that is then delivered to the power grid for disbursal by utility companies to the end-user. The turbines used are bigger than 100 kW. Distributed wind power, on the other hand, is also called small wind because the turbines are 100 kW or less. The electricity is delivered directly to the end-user.

Wind turbines could use the horizontal-axis or the vertical axis design. The former is more popular than the latter. These are made up of blades, a tower, a drivetrain, controls, electrical cables, group support, and interconnection equipment. Small turbines for homes have rotors between 8 and 25 feet in diameter and stand over 30 feet.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy

This form of energy is providing 88,000 jobs all around the US with 21,000 of these being in the manufacturing sector. It is a free and renewable resource that is clean and non-polluting. Since it is in harmony with nature, it can be built on land that is also used for growing crops or grazing animals. The initial investment may be high but the operating expenses is low. No fuel is needed to keep things going.

As for economic benefits, it is considered as a drought-resistant cash crop for farmers as well as ranchers. The taxes paid by the wind farm owners are channeled into rural communities. Indeed, around 70% of the turbines in existence are in low-income counties. These generated more than $128 billion in investments between 2008 and 2015. This resulted in $7.3 billion in public health benefits by reducing air pollutants.

Not all is rosy, however, as there are also notable disadvantages. Engineers have to address several issues including the intermittent nature of wind. The ideal locations for construction are generally remote and far from the cities that need power the most. Bridging this gap is of primary importance.

They tend to be noisy while they turn and are difficult to build. Imagine building 20 story towers that can accommodate blades as long as 60 meters. The transportation of materials to the remote sites is a logistical challenge. While land animals are safe, birds often fall victim to the blades as they try to pass through. Offshore turbines should be operated with migratory patterns in mind to keep marine birds safe.

Conclusion

Exports by wind turbine manufacturers jumped from just $16 million in 2007 to $488 million in 2014. This can be attributed to advances in wind turbine technology. This includes that development of a special blade that can increase energy capture by 12%. Thanks to this and other innovations, this form of renewable energy is becoming more efficient and attractive for investors.

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

Renewables in MENA: An Overview

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MENA region has an attractive market for renewables due to abundant availability of solar and wind resources. According to a recent IRENA report, the region is anticipating renewable energy investment of $35 billion per year by 2020. Recently, the MENA region has received some of the lowest renewable energy prices awarded globally for solar PV and wind energy.

Among MENA countries, Morocco has emerged as a role model for the entire region. The government’s target of 2GW of solar and 2GW of wind power by 2020 is progressing smoothly with the commissioning of Nour-1 Solar project.

As far as GCC is concerned, the UAE has also shown serious commitment to develop solar energy. The 100MW Shams CSP plant has been operational since 2014 in Abu Dhabi while 13MW Phase I of Dubai’s solar park was completed in 2013. In Saudi Arabia, the newly launched Vision 2030 document has put forward a strong regulatory and investment framework to develop Saudi clean energy sector which should catalyze renewable energy development in the country.

Saudi Arabia, the epicenter of global oil industry, has been showing keen interest in solar energy in recent years. Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest solar irradiation in the world, estimated at approximately 2,200 thermal kWh of solar radiation per m2. The newly launched Vision 2030 document puts forward a strong regulatory and investment framework to develop Saudi solar energy sector, financed in part by $2 trillion sovereign fund.

Renewable energy is in nascent stages in the natural gas-rich State of Qatar. Solar PV and concentrated solar power are well-suited to local climatic conditions and serious efforts are already underway to tap Qatar’s vast solar power potential. The country experiences moderate wind speeds which is suitable for small wind turbine generators for water pumping or to produce electricity at remote locations, such as isolated farms. Biomass energy potential in Qatar is largely contributed by municipal wastes and a 34MW waste-to-energy plant is already in operation at Domestic Solid Waste Management Center at Messied.

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

 

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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