Libya Could Produce More Energy in Solar Power than Oil
Libya could generate approximately five times the amount of energy from solar power than it currently produces in crude oil, research by Nottingham Trent University shows.
A study led by the university’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment found that the oil-rich nation could generate enough renewable power to meet its own demand and a “significant part of the world energy demand by exporting electricity”.
Libya is located on the cancer orbit line and is exposed to the sun’s rays throughout the year with long hours during the day. It has an average daily solar radiation rate of about 7.1 kilowatt hours per square metre per day (kWh/m²/day) on a flat plane on the coast and 8.1kWh/m²/day in the south region. By comparison, the UK’s average solar radiation rate is less than half that amount at about 2.95kWh/m²/day.
If the North African country - which is estimated to be 88 per cent desert - used 0.1% of its landmass to harness solar power, it could produce the equivalent to almost seven million barrels of crude oil per day in energy, the study found. Currently, Libya produces about 1.41 million barrels of crude oil per day.
Researcher Dr Amin Al-Habaibeh, who is leading the Innovative and Sustainable Built Environment Technologies research group at the university, said: “Although Libya is rich in renewable energy resources, it is in urgent need of a more comprehensive energy strategy. It is difficult to break the dependency on oil and natural gas, not just in terms of the country’s demand for it, but also in terms of the revenues that it generates.
“Renewable energy technology is still in its early days in Libya and a clear strategy and timetable is needed to take it forward. In particular, work needs to be done to develop the skills and knowledge needed to install and maintain renewable energy systems.”
The study also found that Libya has the potential to generate significant amounts of wind power, as the country is exposed to dry, hot and prolonged gusts.
“Wind energy could play an important role in the future in meeting the total electric energy demand,” added Ahmed Mohamed, a Nottingham Trent University PhD student, from Libya, who worked on the project.
“Several locations, including a number along the coast, experience high wind speeds which last for long periods of time.
“If Libya could harness only a tiny fraction of the renewable energy resources it has available in the form of solar and wind power, not only could it meet its own demands for energy, but also a significant part of the world’s demands by exporting electricity.
“The availability of renewable energy could provide a good complement to meet peak loads and current energy demand, and this in turn can be a good reason for encouraging wind and solar energy projects in Libya.”
Dr Hafez Abdo, a senior lecturer in accounting at Nottingham Business School, who also supervised the study, added: “This study tackles a significant emerging issue that is related to the feasibility of implementing renewable energy options in an oil and gas rich country such as Libya. The study explores whether the benefits outstrip the costs of implementing these options, and if not then when this would be likely to happen.
“This study can be applied to other countries such as the UK as an oil producing country and Japan, for example, as a net oil and gas importer country. The significance of this study arises from the fact that the final results should be a stepping stone for other studies to find a sufficient solution to energy security and climate change in the world.”
SOURCE: Nottingham Trent University
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.