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More research on green energy vital

The Renewables Made in Germany exhibition continued to draw visitors from local business and industry on its second day in Riyadh yesterday.
"As oil is a depleted wealth, an effort should be made to create alternative sources of energy," Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thunayan, chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, said in a statement.
He said this could be carried out through intensified scientific research to overcome challenges facing the production and storage, and increasing the feasibility of using renewables and clean energy, solar energy in particular.
Industry players agree. Hartmut Gross, Centrotherm's director of sales and marketing, said his company was doing this as it stood for uncompromising technology, products and solutions. He attended the second day of the exhibition with his colleague Steffen Mueller, head of technical marketing.
"We constantly set new standards through innovations across the entire PV value chain. Customers with existing turnkey production lines also benefit from this approach. We bring their systems up to state-of-the-art standards, such as selective emitter or centaurus technology, with our technology and equipment upgrades," he said.
This creates the basis for higher cell efficiency and helps customers to achieve competitive advantages and that Centrotherm guarantees key performance benchmarks, such as production capacity, efficiency and completion dates, he said.
"This positions us as a highly dependable partner in the solar industry for both market entrants and well-established solar companies. We also develop high-tech production systems and processes for the manufacture of semiconductor components for the semiconductor industry," he said.
Peter Hofmann, German counselor for economic affairs, encouraged the use of renewable energy instead of gas and oil which could be used for other purposes.
"Oil and gas should not be wasted on electricity generation. These could be used to produce pharmaceuticals and plastics. Hence the need for renewable energy," said Hofmann who had earlier served his country's diplomatic missions in Washington, Kuwait, Brussels, and Greece.
For Saudi Arabia, photovoltaics and solar thermal energy are also ideal for desalination instead of fossil fuels like oil and gas, he said, adding that wind energy could also be included as part of technology in the southwestern part of the Kingdom.
Hofmann, who attended the University of Munich, said that it will take many years before fossil fuel like oil and gas could be depleted. However, he said, these are bound to be depleted.
"Not now or tomorrow; there are many more oil and gas resources that are still undiscovered. The Red Sea may be sitting on more oil and gas and other mineral resources than are currently known but making them available may not be feasible due to prohibitive costs," he said.
However, he added that renewable energy will always be available after gas reserves have run out.
"So it's better to invest now and gain technical experience and use the fossil resources like oil and gas for better purposes," he said.
Hofmann added that there are many ways of saving energy, and energy efficiency is a major issue in Germany.
"Industry can improve its processes. Households can invest in energy-friendly appliances. In this way, all of us can contribute," he said. In Germany, much progress has been made in energy-friendly automation. German cars use less gasoline than comparable vehicles, he added.
"And Germany has also made much progress in the development of electric cars as well. The technology is simple but you need to invest in electric car infrastructure. It is possible to buy an electric car for daily trips to work and charge the battery at the end of the day at your house," he said.
The exhibition moves to Dammam on Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and to Jeddah on Dec. 5-7.

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