Renewable energy will help diversify economy

Updated 27 November 2012
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Renewable energy will help diversify economy

German Ambassador Dieter Haller opened the three-day “Renewables made in Germany” exhibition yesterday at the InterContinental Hotel in Riyadh.
“Let me begin by saying that Germany has abandoned nuclear energy not because it has suddenly become afraid of technology. On the contrary, it has decided to massively increase its share of renewables in its primary energy mix and in particular in electricity generation,” he said in his opening address.
He added that this has been done to save oil and gas resources for better use than as fuel for power generation.
“Using renewable energy will help diversify the economy and create jobs for the young population. As of now, 350,000 jobs have been created by using renewable energy. If it could be done in Germany, it could also be done in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
He added that using renewable energy also helps save the environment and prevent global warming.
The opening ceremony was attended by German Embassy officials who included Counselor for Economic Affairs Peter Hofman, German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office (GESALO) for Economic Affairs Representative Mohammed Trad, InterContinental Hotels Group, members and other invitees.
Haller added that 25 percent of Germany's electricity generation comes from renewable sources and 12 percent of its final energy consumption. “There are countries with even higher percentages but Germany is the first major industrialized economy to have changed its energy mix in such a manner,” Haller said.
He added that renewable energies are based on sophisticated mechanical and electrical engineering, and Germany with its outstanding research institutes like Fraunhofer, Helmotz and Max Planck as well as innovative companies, is still very much a country of inventors and engineers. “This is the reason why Germany is globally second to none in the field of renewable energy technology. And since we are determined not only to develop but to deploy this technology, you learn from our experiences, which are a steady 'learning curve,' sometimes not free from also correcting mistakes,” he said.
On Germany's experience, he said: “Firstly, you have to give as much attention to the extension and the management of our electricity grid as to the power generating plants. You have to balance supply and demand, over the day and over the year. This — and the increasing interlinkage between the grids of European partners — opened up a completely new area of technology called smart grid.”
This includes sophisticated power distribution solutions, close monitoring of supply and demand, a flexible arrangement of main and secondary lines, and decentralization of energy generation where possible, and a variety of energy storage options,” he added.
Secondly, he said, it was crucial — on the policy side — for the success of the energy changes to involve all stakeholders. It is advisable to pursue an integrated approach and balance out the interests of the private sector, the consumers and the government.
“You have to find the right balance between the market forces and government subsidies. This is what we lay out in front of you today. We feel that Germany has much to offer and we like to invite you to share our experiences of what is possible with regards to renewable energy,” Haller said.
The 18th Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention has started its deliberations in Doha, Qatar.
“For Germany, climate change is real. As a consequence, we see the sea-level rising, the ice of our glaciers melting, parts of the country drying and the incidence of forest fires increasing. Climate change is one of the most important driving forces behind the development of renewable energy,” the envoy said, adding that renewable energy and energy efficiency are above all key elements for readapting economies to the path of sustainability.
He also introduced the German Embassy's partners in promoting the use of renewable energies such as Green Gulf, Intercontinental Hotels, GESALO, Phoenix Solar, Centrotherm, Schott Solar, Gerber Architects, and Munich Re.
Green Gulf is the first private industrial initiative in the Kingdom to extend the solar value chain beyond the production of polysilicon, and to embark on the production of silicon wafers and photovoltaic modules.
GESALO disseminates information on the whole variety of technology available in Germany and helps in the formation of partnership between German and Saudi companies.
Phoenix Solar is the building arm of the Solar Park for the new KAPSARC Research Center of Saudi Aramco. Centrotherm is major manufacturer of silicon for photo-voltaics and other applications.
Schott Solar is a world-class provider of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology. Gerber Architects is building the new National Library on King Fahd Road, and is presenting a model for low-energy high-rise building.
Munich Re is one of the world's biggest re-insurance companies and has contributed significantly to research into the link between climate change and the frequency of extreme weather events. It proposes insurance solutions for a better adaptation to climate change.
The exhibition will continue in Riyadh until Nov. 28, and then move to Dammam on Nov. 30-Dec. 2, and to Jeddah on Dec. 5-7.


Oil tops $75, highest since 2014 OPEC meeting that led to pump war

Updated 26 min 55 sec ago
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Oil tops $75, highest since 2014 OPEC meeting that led to pump war

  • Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose to its highest level since OPEC on Nov. 27, 2014
  • The latest US inventory figures are expected to show a 2.6-million-barrel drop in crude stocks

LONDON: Oil rose above $75 a barrel on Tuesday to its highest since November 2014 before paring some gains, supported by OPEC-led production cuts, strong demand and the prospect of renewed US sanctions on Iran.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose to its highest level since OPEC on Nov. 27, 2014 turned its back on curbing output to support prices, a move that triggered a battle for market share and helped deepen a collapse to $27 in early 2016.

 

 Oil prices began to recover in 2016 as OPEC discussed a return to market management with the help of Russia and other non-members. A supply-cutting deal started in January 2017 and has been deepened by a steep output drop in Venezuela.
“Prices are being driven up by tight supply due to high production outages in Venezuela plus the cuts implemented by OPEC and Russia,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank. “What is more, demand appears robust.”
Brent traded as high as $75.27, gaining for a sixth day, and was up 1 cent at $74.72 by 1151 GMT. US crude rose 12 cents to $68.76, having hit its highest since Nov. 28, 2014 on Thursday.
The United States has until May 12 to decide whether to quit a nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions against the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, tightening global supplies.
“Currently, all bets are off on the US staying in the nuclear agreement,” said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM, who added this concern was the most significant element of Brent’s recent rally.
Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA, said new sanctions against Tehran “could push oil prices up as much as $5 per barrel.”
OPEC’s supply curtailments and the threat of new sanctions are occurring as demand in Asia, the biggest oil-consuming region, has risen to a record.
The supply cut has virtually achieved its stated goal of reducing inventories in developed economies to their five-year average, but OPEC has shown little sign yet of wanting to wind down the deal.
The latest US inventory figures are expected to show a 2.6-million-barrel drop in crude stocks.
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, releases its data at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday, a day before the government’s supply report.
One of the factors limiting the oil rally is rising US production. US output, supported by high prices, has hit record levels.

FACTOID

US Crude

US crude rose 12 cents to $68.76 on Thursday April 19, this was its highest level since Nov. 28, 2014.