Kingdom, UAE to lead MENA’s renewable energy generation

Updated 17 December 2012
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Kingdom, UAE to lead MENA’s renewable energy generation

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the new entrants from the MENA region to Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI), which scores 40 countries across the globe on the attractiveness of their renewable energy markets, energy infrastructure and the suitability for individual technologies.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are forecasted to lead MENA’s generation of renewable energy. As new entrants to the index, they exemplify the growing clean energy potential of the MENA region, with policy-makers in the two countries already announcing ambitious renewable energy targets.
Energy consumption in the Middle East has grown rapidly in the last five years. Between 2007 and 2011, the region’s energy consumption grew 22 percent. In the next five years, energy usage is not expected to slowdown, with double–digit growth rates forecast for the Middle East.
Nimer AbuAli, MENA head of Cleantech, Ernst & Young says: “Emerging markets, endowed with resources and high levels of government support, are already learning from their predecessors’ experiences, with many opting for capacity tenders in favor of financial incentives. Increasing energy demand in these regions has strengthened government investment in clean energy. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are supported by strong government initiatives, a proven track record in energy infrastructure, and robust financial markets.”
The UAE presents strong evidence of its commitment to delivering its renewable energy and carbon reduction targets. Abu Dhabi launched its Masdar Sustainable City initiative, which will house 50,000 people and will be completely reliant on renewable sources for its power needs, paving the way for carbon–free cities in the region. Dubai has also launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with a view to establishing 10MW of installed capacity by 2013, and eventually 1GW by 2030. Sir Baniyas Island wind project, with a capacity to produce 30MW, is also expected to be completed in 2013. Plans for a 100MW wind farm near the Saudi border are being considered by Masdar. The UAE is also recognized for its commitment to the global carbon agenda and has planned to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are targeting the generation of 7 percent and 5 percent respectively of total power demand from renewable sources by 2030.
AbuAli says: “In an approach that is fundamentally different from many other MENA countries, the UAE tends to shape its markets not just through independent regulation, but also through the creation of privately structured, government backed entities such as TAQA, Center of Waste Management and MASDAR. These are able to channel government funds into infrastructure projects through effective partnering with the private sector at a global level, to deliver projects and transactions.”
Unlike many other GCC countries, Saudi Arabia has good wind energy potential, with some 4.9 hours of full–load wind per day on average, one of the highest in the MENA region. The strikingly high solar radiation of around 2,550kWh/m2/year and the availability of large stretches of empty desert that can host solar arrays, in addition to the vast deposits of clear sand that can be used in the manufacture of silicon PV cells, makes Saudi Arabia an ideal location for both CSP and PV power generation.
Saudi Arabia has quickly made it onto the list of focus markets for investors and technology providers, with the government announcing its ambitious $ 109 billion plan to install 41GW of solar and 9 GW of wind capacity by 2032. Other strong signals to the market include the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA–Care), the government’s alternative energy arm, announcing its plans to launch a major renewable energy auction.
AbuAli says: “Saudi Arabia hopes that in addition to using renewable energy to help meet rising electricity demand, it will also reduce its domestic use of crude oil and hence release additional oil capacity for exports. The outlook for the UAE is very positive. The country’s renewables push is supported by government commitment to address the country’s growing energy needs in a sustainable manner. Saudi Arabia’s consistency in the development of power projects bodes well for clean energy expansion in the country, especially since the Kingdom has long demonstrated a substantial commitment to social and economic infrastructure, as well as its desire to free up hydrocarbon fuels for export. The next months will be particularly crucial for the future of the country’s clean energy sector,” AbuAli added.


Southwest challenged engine maker over speed of safety checks

Updated 20 April 2018
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Southwest challenged engine maker over speed of safety checks

  • The proposed inspections would have cost $170 per engine for two hours of labor
  • Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly explained the airline’s maintenance procedures in a 59-second video posted to Twitter

WASHINGTON/PARIS: Southwest Airlines clashed with engine-maker CFM over the timing and cost of proposed inspections after a 2016 engine accident, months before the explosion this week of a similar engine on a Southwest jet that led to the death of a passenger, public documents showed.
The proposed inspections would have cost $170 per engine for two hours of labor, for a total bill to US carriers of $37,400, the US Federal Aviation Administration said in its August 2017 proposal, citing the engine manufacturer.
The documents reveal that airlines including Southwest thought the FAA had “vastly understated” the number of engines that would need to be inspected — and therefore the cost.
The documents are part of the public record on the FAA’s initial proposal for inspections and the response from airlines made in October, within the designated comment period.
The FAA and CFM International made the inspection recommendations after a Southwest flight in August 2016 made a safe emergency landing in Florida after a fan blade separated from the same type of engine. Debris ripped a foot-long hole above the left wing. Investigators found signs of metal fatigue.
On Tuesday, a broken fan blade touched off an engine explosion on Southwest Airlines flight 1380, shattering a window of the Boeing 737 jet and killing a passenger. It was the first death in US airline service since 2009.
The FAA is not bound by any specified time periods in deciding whether to order inspections and must assess the urgency of each situation.
Southwest and other airlines in their responses in October objected to a call by CFM to complete all inspections within 12 months. The FAA proposed up to 18 months, backed by Southwest and most carriers. Southwest also told the FAA that only certain fan blades should be inspected, not all 24 in each engine.
“SWA does NOT support the CFM comment on reducing compliance time to 12 months,” Southwest wrote in an October submission.
CFM is a joint venture of General Electric Co. and France’s Safran.
Southwest said in its submission that the FAA’s proposal would force the carrier to inspect some 732 engines in one of two categories under review — much higher than the FAA’s total estimate of 220 engines across the whole US fleet.
“The affected engine count for the fleet in costs of compliance ... appears to be vastly understated,” it said.
Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said on Thursday that the comments “were to add further clarification on items included in the proposed AD (airworthiness directive).”
She said the company had satisfied CFM’s recommendations, but she did not immediately answer questions about how many engines had been inspected and whether the failed engine had been inspected.
Late on Thursday, Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly explained the airline’s maintenance procedures in a 59-second video posted to Twitter. He said the airline hires GE to do heavy overhaul or maintenance work on all of its engines.
“So GE provides the guidelines for maintenance inspections and repairs over the life of the engines,” he said.


The airline on Tuesday evening said it would conduct accelerated ultrasonic inspections of the fan blades on CFM56 engines within the next 30 days.
“In addition to our accelerated inspections we are meeting with GE and Boeing on a daily basis regarding the progress of the inspections and we will continue to work with them throughout the rest of the investigation,” Kelly said in the video.
The FAA said on Wednesday it would finalize the airworthiness directive it had proposed in August within two weeks. It will require inspections of some CFM56-7B engines. FAA officials acknowledged that the total number of engines affected could be higher than first estimated.
The FAA, which has issued more than 100 airworthiness directives just since the beginning of this year, has said that the time it takes to finalize directives depends on the complexity of the issue and the agency’s risk assessment based on the likelihood of occurrence and the severity of the outcome.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday that investigators would be on the scene into the weekend but declined any new comment on the investigation.
Investigators said one of the fan blades on Tuesday’s Southwest flight broke and fatigue cracks were found.