Bahrain piloting solar power projects
Manama, October 7, 2010
Bahrain has embarked on a green revolution and is already piloting solar power projects, it has emerged.
Solar-powered streetlights that are not connected to the traditional power grid are already going up, revealed Oil and Gas Affairs Minister and National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) chairman Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
He said this experiment with solar energy could be expanded to include Awali, petrol stations and some installations at Bapco.
'Although renewable energy still accounts for only 18 per cent of energy used in the world, it is witnessing a steady growth,' said Dr Mirza at a two-day meeting on climate change impacts in the Arab region, which opened at the Arabian Gulf University's (AGU) Al Jawhara Centre yesterday.
'In Bahrain, which has an abundance of solar energy and wind energy, wind power has been used through the use of turbines to generate nearly 13 per cent of the total energy of the Bahrain World Trade Centre.
'The kingdom has also begun the implementation of a pilot project on the use of solar energy in street lighting.
'The lights work throughout the year on full independence from the electricity grid and will not be affected by any possible power interruptions.'
Solar power is just one of the renewable energy options being explored to help reduce energy waste.
Last year, a committee for renewable energy was established to identify and assess sources of renewable energy, as well as draw up plans for its development and use.
The aim is to support the country's plan to create a diversified resources economy, as well as back its commitment to environment protection.
'Noga is currently conducting a feasibility study in a project for expending the use of solar energy on a large scale in Bahrain through photovoltaic technology in association with Petra Solar Company and Caspian Energy Consulting in co-ordination with several government agencies and academic and research institutions,' said Dr Mirza.
'The authority is also considering the possibility of piloting this technology initially in Awali and several petrol stations, as well as in various installations of Bapco and other companies.'
Noga is also tackling energy wastage and established a Commission for the Conservation of Energy in 2006 to find ways to reduce energy waste in all aspects of production and consumption in industrial, commercial, domestic and other sectors.
Reducing energy consumption, finding alternative energy and increasing oil company efficiency are also key goals, along with new environmental projects - particularly those that limit carbon dioxide emissions.
In addition, Noga has teamed up with a Japanese company to install precision instruments for measuring wind speed at a height of 50 metres.
Readings will be taken for more than a year as part of a comprehensive assessment of the potential wind energy in Bahrain.
'The kingdom has joined many agreements and protocols on the environment regionally and internationally, including the Kyoto Protocol attached to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,' said Dr Mirza.
'Bahrain realises the importance of international relations and their interlinkages, whether bilateral or collective and by joining international organisation or through joint projects.'
In August our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) reported a proposal to create an artificial island complete with its own reservoir, which would generate power by collecting water from the sea - activating turbines that produced electricity as water flowed in. The reservoir, which would also use solar and wind power, is the brainchild of Danish architecture firm Gottlieb Paludan.-TradeArabia News Service