Renewable energy on the rise in the Middle East
With the energy and utility sector undergoing an extensive transformation in the Middle East, we’ve taken a closer look at what the region has on its agenda.
The Middle East, energy and utility sector in statistics:
Electricity demand expected to triple by 2050
Over US$100bn worth of clean energy projects are in the pipeline
Total investment in clean energy is expected to exceed US$300bn by 2050
Cost of installation has fallen by 73% since 2010
The UAE aims to have 50% of its energy produced by carbon-free sources by 2050
Saudi Arabia aims to install 58.7GW of renewable energy by 2030
Dubai aims to achieve 75% clean energy by 2050
Middle East Energy - the region’s leading trade event for the power industry - notes that with the government’s increased focus on energy security and maximised return from hydrocarbon resources is driving some of the largest renewable energy projects.
Milestones made in 2019 by the region:
Commissioning of the world’s largest single-site photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, the 1.17GW Sweihan independent power project (IPP) in Abu Dhabi.
Reaching a financial close for a US$4.3bn concentrated solar power (CSP) project, the largest single-site power investment project in the world.
In addition to an increase in energy projects, it is expected that the region will see an acceleration in integrated alternative energy in 2020 to meet the rising demand for power.
Why is the demand increasing?
Rapid population growth and ambitious industrial and economic expansion is resulting in a growing need for power. In addition utilities are seeking to diversify their fuel sources for power generation to reduce costs and emissions.
“Based on the renewables targets already in place, the region, led by the UAE, could save 354mn barrels of oil which is equivalent to a 23% reduction, cutting the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 22%, and slashing water withdrawal in the power sector by 17% by 2030,” said Gareth Rapley, Group Director, Industrial, at Informa Markets, organiser of Middle East Energy.
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.