Renewables future for Gulf

Gulf Countries may become a major supplier of power to Europe by 2050.

Gulf Countries may become a major supplier of power to Europe by 2050.

At the Fourth Middle East and North Africa Renewable Energy Conference (MENAREC4) held in Syria during July, Arab energy ministers and European Union (EU) politicians gave their support to a proposed renewable energy electricity supply system that would link the regions. The Damascus Declaration advocates the use of large-scale renewable energy systems, with vast solar electricity fields being developed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and supplying electricity to the EU.

A study undertaken by Germany advocates an integrated EU-MENA energy system that would ensure 80% of the two regions' electricity supplies are delivered from renewables by 2050.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC) has formed a partnership with German renewable energy developer Conergy AG through its alternative and renewable energy Masdar Initiative. Masdar has deemed the move a pivotal step in its plan to develop a new economic sector for the region and create an advanced global energy network in Abu Dhabi.

Masdar plans to develop and install photovoltaic (PV) systems, and intends initially to provide up to 40MW of solar capacity. "The partnership agreement with Conergy is both very important and timely. The UAE is adapting new technologies to advance energy efficiency and conservation and it is critical that we become less dependant on conventional energy. We now have the opportunity to achieve real results by reducing expensive peak power demand through the application of PV systems," stated Masdar ceo Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.

In a further move, Masdar has commissioned Canadian-based SNC-Lavalin to carry out a feasibility study on a project to capture carbon emissions in the UAE. The plan involves pumping CO2 underground in oilfields to sustain reservoir pressure; natural gas is currently used for this purpose. The study is due to be completed by the end of 2007.

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