Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Solar energy: Powering the future  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 09/12/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Arab News) Ancient civilizations around the world worshipped the sun as a visible manifestation of a life-giving celestial force and as humankind developed, veneration and myth eventually gave way to curiosity and scientific inquiry.
Early thinkers even sought to harness the power of the sun to address their basic needs at the time, such as lighting fires and defending themselves.
We have since evolved and so have our priorities. Today's global concerns - such as energy security, economic development and halting the impact of environmental degradation - are very different from the seemingly rudimentary needs of our ancestors and while our priorities have changed, we can still look to the sun for solutions.
Consider this: every hour, the sun beams more energy onto our planet than we need to satisfy our total power needs for an entire year. If fully harnessed, solar power has the potential to guarantee universal energy security. This, in turn, would have a catalytic influence on sustainable economic development, job creation and on efforts to protect our planet.
While a futuristic vision of the Earth developing into a solar-powered utopia may be far-fetched for now, tapping into the power of the sun for large scale generation of electricity is very much a reality.
The discovery of the photovoltaic (PV) effect, by the French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel over a century-and-a-half ago, led to the realization that electricity could be generated by exposing certain materials such as cadmium-telluride or silicon - to sunlight.
This, in turn, has created a global industry dedicated to making solar power more cost-effective and, consequently, more accessible.
Over time, solar has emerged as an important component of the global power generation portfolio, offering a cost-competitive supplement to traditional carbon-based fuels, while also providing a hedge against fuel-price fluctuations.
Early challenges, such as high costs and low yields have been overcome with innovative solutions and solar power has never been as economical or reliable as it is today.
Utility-scale solar power projects are already making increasingly significant contributions to electricity generation efforts around the world.
Here, in the Middle East, our leaders are also looking to the sun for sustainable domestic energy generation.
Saudi Arabia has already announced plans to install 41 gigawatts - equivalent to the power produced by 41 nuclear power plants - of solar power over the next two decades.
The motive for this ambition is purely pragmatic: as the country's population and economy grows, so too will the demand for electricity.
In fact, according to government estimates, demand for electricity generation will exceed 120 GW in 2032. On the face of it, the push toward renewable energy sources, such as solar, in the Middle East is paradoxical.
The region accounts for the bulk of global oil exports and is home to more than half of the world's recoverable crude reserves.
Many countries in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, have little obvious need for renewables, their large hydrocarbon resources being more than sufficient to cover domestic power requirements for the immediate future.
However, consider this: according to the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, the demand for fossil fuels in the Kingdom is estimated to grow from 3.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2010 to 8.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2028. Simple arithmetic shows that the opportunity cost - the cost of domestically consuming hydrocarbon resources at subsidized rates, instead of exporting them in raw or processed form is tremendous.
It's clear that, from an economic perspective, investing in renewable energy helps to reduce the consumption of valuable oil and natural gas for power generation and to free up resources for export.
From an environmental perspective, the Middle East has some of the highest CO2 emissions on the planet and solar power, combined with other renewable energy sources, can make a significant contribution toward efforts to reduce the region's carbon footprint.
Finally, when looked at in a social context, economic growth and reduced emissions both contribute toward improved quality of life.
The potential for harnessing the power of the sun, to address some of our most pressing challenges, remains near unlimited.
In addition to utility-scale power projects, the immediate future could see solar energy being used to power desalination plants, which account for a large portion of the Middle East's electricity consumption; large infrastructure projects, including stadiums being built as countries in the region prepare to host mega sporting events; and much more.
While a look further into the future may well reveal a solar-powered utopia and the boundless possibilities that may come with it, the fact is that our needs will continue to evolve and it would be safe to assume that the sun and the energy it generates, will always be a part of the solution.

 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 21 2014 - Saudi produces 74 percent of GCC polymer capacityMENAFN
(MENAFN) The National Petrochemical Industrial Co. (NATPET), a Saudi joint stock company, has revealed that 74 percent of the GCC's polymer capacity, totaling 17.6 million tons, was produced in the ...

 Dec 21 2014 - Algeria worried on falling oil pricesMENAFN
(MENAFN) Algeria, which oil revenues make up 97 percent of its hard currency earnings and 60 percent of the government's budget, is beginning to feel the impact of the fall in oil prices that led it ...

 Dec 21 2014 - UAE's non-oil trade hits USD142b in H1MENAFN
(MENAFN) The UAE's Federal Customs Authority (FCA) said that the value of direct total foreign non-oil trade has reached USD142.8 billion during the January-June period of 2014, Arabian Business ...

 Dec 21 2014 - UAE slams non-OPEC members on rising oil productionMENAFN
(MENAFN) The UAE's Ministry of Energy said that the decision made by the Organization of the Petroleum Countries (OPEC) not to cut production was correct despite the prices continuing with their drop ...

 Dec 21 2014 - Oman's OLC, Spanish CLH sign USD320m contractMENAFN
(MENAFN) Orpic Logistics Company (OLC), a joint venture between Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries (Orpic), announced it has signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) ...

 Dec 21 2014 - UAE's Hakkasan acquires USD36m The Light GroupMENAFN
(MENAFN) Hakkasan Group, the hospitality and entertainment company owned by Abu Dhabi-based Tasameem Real Estate, announced it has acquired The Light Group from Morgans Hotel Group (MHG), Arabian ...

 Dec 21 2014 - Omani OPWP awards Singaporean firm USD250m water projectMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman's state-owned Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) announced it has awarded a consortium led by the Singaporean Hyflux Ltd and National Power and Water Co a USD250 million ...

 Dec 21 2014 - Oman's SGRF boosts acquisition of local assetsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman's State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) announced it has boosted its buying of assets in the local market, particularly shares, due to the massive drop in the prices as the result of the ...

 Dec 21 2014 - Oman's Napco revenue hits USD34.95m in 9MMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman's National Aluminum Products Company (Napco) announced it has registered a net profit of over OMR USD1.25 million as well as revenues totaling to USD34.95 million during the ...

 Dec 21 2014 - Dubai's Nakheel to restart USD550m Vietnam projectMENAFN
(MENAFN) Nakheel, the Dubai property developer, announced that it will propose a plan to restart a delayed project in Vietnam's northern province of Quang Ninh, which has an estimated value of USD550 ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help