Renewable energy investments at $303 billion in 2015: Center
The world’s investments in renewable energy projects had reached $303 billion in 2015, said the Diplomatic Center for Strategic Studies yesterday. According to a report by the center, the investment shares in renewable energy resources in 2015 was at 17 percent, an increase by one point from 2014’s 16 percent.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed renewable energy usage between 2011 and 2015 increased by 40 percent due to the low cost in harnessing solar and wind powers, said the center. The report added that renewable energy had contributed immensely to the production of electricity by 154 megawatts in which around 76 percent was solely produced by wind turbines and solar panels.
As for the numbers in the Middle East, the report claimed that countries in the region had tripled its renewable energy investments in 2015. The center has attributed the keen interest in renewable energy in the Middle East to the developing technologies in this field and low costs. In Morocco, the lowest wind speed produced electricity that amounted to $28 kilowatt hour while in Dubai it amounted to $30 kilowatt hour, said the center’s report. The report also touched on the upcoming World Future Energy Summit (WFES), to be held on January 16-19, 2017 in Dubai, saying that the event will look into matters that would reinforce development within the domain of renewable energy.
Hammering on the validity of renewable energy investments in the region, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealed that the cost for producing electricity through solar panels in the UAE went down to a staggering 75 percent between 2008 and mid-2014 from $7 to 1.5 per watt.
In other news, the petroleum sector’s efforts to promote the use of renewable energy was highlighted at the regional Sustainable Built Environment Conference, currently held in Doha. Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has presented a research paper to the conference on the petroleum sector’s role in widening the use of renewable energy, KNPC’s Research and Technology Department Manager Suad Al-Radhwan said on the sideline of conference.
Increasing Kuwait’s reliance on renewable energy is a translation of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s vision of securing 15 percent of Kuwait’s energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030, she pointed out. She argued that the petroleum sector has went further in its strategy which with plans to materialize His Highness the Amir’s vision by 2020 instead of 2030.
Radhwan unveiled that the sector has already completed the feasibility study and is preparing to launch a mega project to establish a national power station to generate 15 percent of Kuwait energy consumption from renewable sources. The KNPC has recently operated two solar-powered fueling stations in Al-Zahra and Al-Raqqah neighborhoods, she noted, adding that it has chosen 44 other facilities to turn them to solar power in the coming stage. She stated that the company is embarking on a plan to apply green building code on its warehouses in Sabhan, Al-Ahmadi, and New Mutlaa cities.
Radhwan noted that KNPC has signed an agreement with the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) on environment cooperation and application of green building code in the petroleum sector’s facilities. The KNPC has selected two buildings, including one still under construction, to apply the green building code to enhance the energy efficiency, she pointed out.
On the conference, which kicked off yesterday, Radhwan underlined the importance of the gathering which provides a platform for energy and environment entities to exchange experience and best practices in the domain. The Sustainable Built Environment Conference is the regional conference for GCC and MENA region on sustainable construction and urban development. The conference aims to drive innovation in the design of built environment, as well as promoting education and collaboration in the field and will serve as a platform for exchange between researchers and practitioners of the construction industry to foster the implementation of sustainability standards in the built environment. —KUNA
DOHA: KNPC’s Research and Technology Department Manager Suad Al-Radhwan speaks during the regional Sustainable Built Environment Conference in Doha, Qatar.—KUNA