Energy storage set to transform the sector in Middle East and Africa
Energy storage advancements are set to lead to a huge transformation of the Middle East and Africa’s energy market over the next 10 years, according to Sami Khoreibi, CEO of Environmena.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Jordan this week, Khoreibi stated that battery technology has the potential to give countries their own self-sufficient, 24 hour electricity generation systems, which will impact the price of energy and, therefore, the region’s economy.
Khoreibi founded his transformative energy company in 2007. He said at the event: “Between 2011 and 2015 China’s capacity of solar module production increased by six times. It was a huge contributor in the decline of cost of solar. That same type of increase is occurring in lithium ion batteries today. Between 2016 and 2020 we’re looking at a six-fold increase in lithium-ion battery capacity.
“We’re seeing massive declines in the cost of solar plus storage. And that means we’re moving towards a renewable baseload energy system.”
“Currently in the Middle East and North Africa we have a grid which relies on multiple energy elements, like solar, gas, oil and coal.
“In the next 10 years we’re going to be at the point where, for about $0.05/kWh we’ll be producing 24 hour electricity, very consistently and eliminating the need to import things like coal from other countries to balance the grid.
“That becomes a huge value proposition with countries producing their own energy without having to depend on foreign sources. The benefits of countries producing their own energy without having to depend on foreign sources is huge and that’s not even touching on the environmental impact.
“The advancement of storage technologies, particularly in the context of use with solar, is going to lead to a huge transformation of the way we approach energy in the next 10 years.
“However, there are other factors to consider. For example, the cost and value of oil is likely to be affected if countries can create consistent energy from solar and batteries. As a region that is dependent on the revenues of oil - we need to understand the implications of this.”
Khoreibi added that the cost of energy is likely to fall with increased use of solar and battery storage: “When Enviromena first started building solar installations in 2007 the cost per kWh per plant was around $US0.35. Today we’re closer to $US0.03, which is a huge shift.
“That will please end users, who ultimately don’t seem to mind where their kWh are coming from, as long as they are cheap. To most, energy is agnostic.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.