Nesreen Ghaddar - American University of Beirut (AUB)

Towards Sustainable Energy – Resources, Challenges and Opportunities
Kingdom of Bahrain, October 6-7, 2010
PANEL III: Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Research in the Arab Region from a Development Lens
Nesreen Ghaddar,
Associate Provost & Qatar Chair in Energy Studies Professor
American University of Beirut
Panel III:Knowledge and Technology Transfer
Kingdom of Bahrain, October 7, 2010, 9:00 - 11:00 am
Introduction of Speakers
Research in the Arab Region from a Development Lens
Academic Institutional Perspectives:
King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)
University of Bahrain
Qatar Foundation
Role of Civil Societies: Arab Network for Environment and Development
Technology Transfer: National Oil and Gas Authority, Bahrain
Opportunities for Inter-Arab Cooperation
Presentation Focus
• The “energy” research agenda
• Recommendations to enhance appropriate
research and address the existing challenges
• Regional opportunities for interventions and
collaboration within the region that would
support advancing the climate change agenda.
Overview of Current Research on Energy
Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE)
in the Arab region
• Three sub-regions
(Geographic connectivity, climatic zoning, socio economic aspects, natural
resources and development status):
1. States of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
2. Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
3. Sub-Saharan countries.
MENA has milder climates than GCC region, denser
population and unequal distribution of wealth with
substantial population living in rural areas.
Why RE and EE Focus?
 Current Arab region strategic energy options extend beyond oil and gas.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency now rank high on national policy
 The Six GCC countries will invest $200 billion in 120 renewable energy
projects, to be implemented in the next two decades.
Some examples of countries policy goals:
- KSA aims to generate to produce enough solar energy for local consumption and for
export, within 30-50 years.
-Abu Dhabi aims to generate as much as 7% of its energy through renewable sources
(planned investments reaching 22 billion dollars).
-Algeria aims to generate 5% of electricity by 2015 and 10% by 2025.
-Jordan aims to generate as much as 7% of its energy from RE sources by 2015 and 10%
by 2020; solar capacity is expected to reach 300 – 600 MW over the same period
-Egypt electricity generated by renewable sources will reach 20% by 2020.
-Morocco’s target for RE is to reach 42% by the year 2020.
-Tunisia aims at decreasing its energy intensity by 3% per year and to satisfy 4% of
electricity demand through the use of RE by 2012.
-Lebanon’s target for RE is 10% of the total energy supply by 2013 and 12% by the year
2020; it also aims at reducing energy consumption by 6% by the year 2013.
There is therefore a growing demand to expertise in renewable energy technology
developments. and energy systems
EE and RE Focus in Research
• More funding is available to prepare for the demands
of the new labor markets of green energy businesses
and product investments.
• Serious research output relevant to the local market
is taking place and is attracting students and faculty
to contribute to the development of knowledge at
• More local research funds open to researchers
outside borders of own country: the Qatar National
Research Fund (QNRF), KACST, and The Arab Science
and Technology Foundation (ASTF, UAE)
EE and RE Research Agenda
Energy Supply and Alternative Energy Technologies (1)
• Analysis of power sector and Power Plant
• Resource Assessment for generation and storage
(solar thermal, wind, biomass. Geothermal, PV)
• Thermo chemical hydrogen generation
technologies via concentrated solar energy.
• Hybrid wind-diesel generation and storage.
• Power plants efficiency
• Hydropower (MENA).
• Integrated renewable energy farms.
EE and RE Research Agenda
Energy Supply and Alternative Energy Technologies (2)
In the past two years research has shifted towards fundamental
research work (mostly in GCC):
 Study of aerodynamic design of wind turbine blades configuration to
enhance wind turbines performance.
 Solar assisted method for the recovery of bitumen from oil sand in an
environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
 Smart electrical grid.
 Optimized energy storage and chiller system operation
 Nano materials in low to high-temperature collectors, photovoltaic
materials and thin films for direct electricity conversion.
 Building-integrated photovoltaic systems
 Advanced material research to develop high performance thin film PV
cells for the generation of electricity at competitive cost to fossilderived electricity.
EE and RE Research Agenda
Sustainable Water Production
• Atmospheric water extraction. The least damaging method
to Gulf sea water due to increased brine rejected from the
multiple water desalination plants on its shore. Solar-driven
humidification–dehumidification desalination for smallscale decentralized water production.
• Combined cooling and water production systems
• Solar Ponds.
• Tri-generation: Electricity, water and cooling in one plant.
• Strategy, water management, and policy on desalination.
• Hybrid wind/PV and conventional power for sea water
reverse osmosis desalination.
• Nuclear desalination (Egypt and Morocco)
• Use of ocean wave energy for desalination (Sub-Sahara
• Research in Jordan has put great emphasis on desalination
systems that are based on renewable energy sources due to
water scarcity in the country.
EE and RE Research Agenda
Energy Efficient Building Systems & Processes
• Energy conservation measures in buildings were focus of research in the
last two decade in GCC to develop thermal guidelines or codes for
• Zero-investment operational strategies of heating, ventilation, and air
conditioning (HVAC) system operation for energy conservation and
thermal comfort in commercial buildings.
• Sustainable Building Indices.
• Carbon-neutral cities.
• Hybrid air conditioning systems with independent systems of removal of
sensible and latent loads have high potential for energy savings, either
through optimized operation or by integrating renewable energy sources
in the operation.
• Integrated desiccant dehumidification/humidification with air conditioning
system for cooling and water production.
• Advanced modeling methods and optimization tools.
• Smart building design (envelop, systems, and people)
Research and Development Targets
(Universities’ Perspective)
• Energy Supply Technologies (smart grid, hybrid plants
and optimized storage and use systems)
• Energy, Cooling and Innovative Water Production
Technologies and Systems.
• Energy Efficiency Technologies for Buildings including RE
Services and Product Development.
• Energy related materials and nanotechnology.
• Renewable Energy Services and Product Development.
• Energy Education and Training (GCC &MENA)
• Energy Policy Development (GCC, MENA!)
Major Opportunities of Interventions to Enhance
Sustainable Energy Practices
• Engage and Involve the Intellectual Human Capital (faculty,
researchers, students) in the development of the Arab region to
become Active Participants in the technology transfer and policy
• Allocate central funding agency for Arab Countries on R&D to
improve renewable technologies and green buildings and their
energy uses similar to GEF, EU, & NSF, but addressing EE & RE and
allocating funds on competitive basis.
• Enforce policies that require from major companies and
businesses to contribute to research funding available to
universities and scholars solving local problems and adapting new
technologies to local needs.
Who should be the
champion for each
Major Opportunities of Interventions to
Enhance Sustainable Energy Practices
• Introduce interdisciplinary education for energy
programs that provide an integrated approach to
energy problems.
• Dedicate funding to university programs that can
partner with the industry to work on energy
problems and develop green energy products and
• Establish support to enterprises and companies
spinning off from universities as outcome of
research results for development of products and
services and business plan.
Who should be the champion for each recommendation?
Major Opportunities of Interventions to Enhance
Sustainable Energy Practices
• Institute study abroad programs among regional universities and
faculty exchange.
• Institute administrative structures within universities that promote
regional cooperation among researchers in Arab universities to
build on shared knowledge and adjust to needs and research
priorities that serve home countries.
• Learn from successful models of Partnerships developed between
EC and US universities with universities in GCC or MENA.
• Develop incentive plans to faculty members to continue their focus
on quality in depth research and knowledge generation.
• Universities should mentor faculty to change their approach to
work so as to focus on long term projects that will lead to strategic
development of new research and educational programs.
Who should be the champion
for each recommendation?
Development of Energy Policies
• Arab countries have also begun addressing the
diversification of, their energy generation resources even
though they may have plenty of oil and gas resources
• The development of policies for energy generation and use
require careful consideration of local materials, climate,
culture, and business practices
• The implementation of policies needs the commitment of
many stakeholders, and investment by the government to
provide accountability.
• Compliance with energy standards by businesses and
international companies providing energy services or
implementing projects can be enforced and rewarded.
Human Resource Development and
Mobility in the Arab Region
Energy focused education in engineering, policy, and
economics majors will be in high demand, and
universities need to prepare the students to meet
these needs in an integrated multi- and interdisciplinary way.
• Establish innovative university programs that develop
students’ critical thinking skills and be more
innovative if they are to enhance the expansion of
the green energy market.
• The GCC is expanding beyond its local labor capacity
and attracts skilled labor from the MENA region.
• GCC investors may find an opportunity to expand
their investments for private power generation in
MENA countries.
Recommendations for Enabling the
Green Market
– Reform policies to expand the green market so that
renewable energy products and services are affordable
and attractive.
– Educational interdisciplinary programs that prepare green
energy professionals and entrepreneurs to promote and
market energy services.
– Empower and support public and research facilities that
can provide certification of locally and imported energy
– Invest in supporting centers that publish online data access
to public domain with information needed for the
assessment of energy products-including climatic and solar
data and bench-marked energy service prices.
– Engage universities, professional societies, NGOs in public
awareness campaigns that are based on locally generated
data to promote the practice of sustainable energy.
Example on Educational Driven Research
Aims for an Energy Lab (AUB):
We Aim to:
- Integrate renewable energy resources in all aspects of
building energy systems.
- Develop and Design in smart building systems and
materials towards Zero Net Energy Building
- Have green spaces on campus so that students live
this experience and later impact the society.
- Study all aspects of human comfort, clothing
performance, contaminant transport in air, and
environmental energy systems performance all linked
to climate, architectural practices, local clothing
choices, and culture.

similar documents