Say hello to the “Anthropocene”, a new geological epoch brought about by humanity’s impact on planet Earth. A team of geologists say that ash from fossil fuels, plastic waste, rising seas (which are triggering a dramatic increase in upland erosion), and radioactive particles littered by nuclear bomb tests are all contributing to permanent changes in Earth’s rocks.[.....]
Archive by category Energy
This is an issue of global concern. Climate change, urbanization, and resource depletion (more mouths to feed, burn wood in stoves for, graze more cattle for) is still happening at a fast an alarming clip, influencing our planet’s ability to store CO2 emissions, and protect diversity. We hate scare tactics, but put it into scale[.....]
Dams tame wild rivers, they prevent floods, irrigate crops and generate billions of watts of renewable hydroelectric power. But some 25 miles from Raqaa, Syria the Daesh (aka ISIS) don’t see the Tabqa dam as a source of green energy. They see it as a military base, a prison and weapon of war.
A new breed of companies are showing how innovation can be scaled for both business opportunities and global good. Led by resolute and independent thinkers, these companies are making dents in conventional ways of thinking to defy and fight for global change. The Katerva Award identifies 10 of these companies as finalists annually in its[.....]
The World Bank, the biggest provider of public finance to developing countries, has earmarked 28% of its 2016 budget for projects that mitigate climate change, according to a statement released on Thursday. All of its future spending will take global warming into account, and all projects considered for WBG funding, including health and education, will now[.....]
‘Everything in moderation’ is good advice, especially when it comes to sunshine. Humans know this, especially in the Middle East, mastering all means of shading devices, and protective clothing. But what if you are an organism without access to sunscreen? Two scientists at Israel’s oldest university have discovered how bacteria protect themselves from overexposure.
Despite the forecast of dire effects of global warming in the Middle East, oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia have continued to keep oil production at high levels. Located in one of hottest regions on earth, the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia has also expressed high interest in building nuclear power plants, despite being a country rich in solar energy potential.[.....]
Morocco has activated the Noor I concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the first part of a three-phase development in the Sahara Desert intended to supply more than a million homes with electricity by 2018. The 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors of Noor I, which sits on thousands of acres of desert terrain near Ouarzazate, will generate up to 160[.....]
In a region where the renewable energy market is still small, despite a natural and seemingly perpetual gas shortage, one startup is making big strides. KarmSolar is an Egyptian company dedicated to bolstering solar energy use. It is now the first company in Egypt with official permission to sell solar power off-grid. The Egyptian Electricity[.....]
Global climate talks expected to close today in Paris have extended into Saturday, according French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Appearing last night on French BFMTV he said that he would present a new compromise text for a deal to combat global warming on Saturday morning. The extra day of negotiations aims to reach accord between the[.....]
While UN climate-conference delegates seek ways to cut world reliance on high-carbon fuels like oil, OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) confirmed that it would keep producing oil at current levels, estimated in excess of 31 million barrels a day, despite prices that continue to plummet. Arab activists are on the case. Earlier[.....]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) must keep pace with the rest of the world and push for a future fully powered by renewable energy, says IndyACT, the leading Arab non-governmental organization working on climate change policy.
An unnamed client hired London-based Baharash Architecture to design a luxury home that could fully function off the energy grid. That’s a tall order for any residence in Abu Dhabi, now consider the challenges for one sited in the punishing clime of the hyper-arid Liwa Desert where summer temperatures top 100°F.
The pressure for environmentally friendly energy solutions on the globe is now more than ever. With an increased demand for energy supply comes an equally high demand for sustainability and environmental responsibility. In 2013 the Center for Strategic and International Studies released a report that said global energy use will grow by 56% between 2010[.....]
Solar Impulse 2, the aircraft attempting to circumnavigate the world fueled only by sun power, will be grounded in Hawaii until next April for battery repairs. On July 3, the plane completed the longest leg of its global flight – a record-breaking (non-stop, solo piloted) five-day, five-night journey from Nagoya, Japan, to Hawaii – during[.....]
More terrible news from/for the Arabian Peninsula: The Arabian Aquifer System is the most over-stressed groundwater system in the world. Using data gathered by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites, two new studies by the University of California, Irvine, came to conclude that 21 of the largest 37 aquifers on earth studied have exceeded their sustainability[.....]
What does Walt Disney World have in common with the ancient Middle Eastern cities of Jerash and Jerusalem? In each of these places we’ve found glaring examples of wasted energy in the form of high wattage outdoor lights switched on during the brightest hours of sunny days. The radio program “This American Life” once aired[.....]
Researchers at the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute worked alongside colleagues at Trinity College Dublin to solve solar energy mysteries related to the physical properties of photovoltaic perovskite materials. Their discovery may lead to more efficient solar energy harvesting.
As of posting time for this story, pilot André Borschberg had been flying for over 24 hours on Leg 7 (of 12) of the Solar Impulse 2 trip around the planet. He’s completed about a quarter of his journey from Nanjing to Hawaii, the longest segment of this record-shattering expedition. And it’s all made possible[.....]
Scandinavian saunas are so yesterday. UAE trendsetters can now literally chillax in indoor “snow rooms” that create real snow using a snow-making system like that used for the interior ski slopes in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates. It’s costly to be cool, prices start at $109,000. But our planet pays the real bill.
Threats of potential extreme geohazards against humanity became partial reality this month, following the spectacular eruption of the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile (photo above); and the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in northern Nepal. The Nepal earthquake, occurring in one of the poorest countries in the world, has so far killed more than 7,400 people, made thousands homeless;[.....]
It’s already well known that manure or poop can be recycled for making products like paper as well as creating biogas power from methane gas. Turning urine or pee into electricity is another matter. This readily available “resource”, whether it be from animal or human origin, is now being experimented with to actually generate electricity by using our[.....]
Iran’s aggressive nuclear energy program seems to be constantly in the news these days; while other regional countries, including Jordan, have nuclear power ambitions of their own. As the fourth anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown is commemorated by Japan last week, the world may still not have learned the entire[.....]
We’ve all heard of the benefits of solar power and the emergence of innovative new projects that are making use of the sun’s energy. But one is soaring above the rest of them – a solar-powered plane attempting to fly round the world! Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab[.....]
Egypt’s tourist hotspot of Sharm el-Sheikh has plenty of sun, sea and sand. Now the popular resort city is set to get a solar power boost too, with plans for all lighting to come from solar energy. Sharm el-Sheikh already relies on solar power for 70 percent of its lighting, but the Egyptian government wants to[.....]
Shale gas exploitation in the Sahara is not the same as shale gas exploitation in the US. There are added complications, namely the dependence of fracking activities on a trans-boundary hydraulic system (the North Western Sahara Aquifer System), in a water stressed region, that depends primarily on that very system for its own water needs. As shown[.....]
Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources announced a new initiative that will convert all 6,000 of the kingdom’s mosques to solar generated power beginning this year. It’s part of a five-year program to decrease the nation’s reliance on crude oil while diversifying its energy portfolio to include more renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.
Mission Control for the Solar Impulse 2 is open for business, ready to guide the solar plane’s first flight around the world. Located in Monaco, the Mission Control Center (MCC) serves as project nerve-center, where a team of analysts and engineers will collect satellite-transmitted flight information to calculate and adjust the plane’s flight path. The plane will take off from[.....]
Solar energy is a pretty hot topic right now. It’s cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable than traditional energy sources. But the problem has remained of how to use solar energy without any sun – when it gets dark! An Israeli company thinks it might have found the answer. Brenmiller Energy, an alternative energy company, has[.....]
We don’t often hear good news coming from Palestine, but solar energy advances for Palestinian households are something to celebrate. The Dead Sea Photovoltaic Generating Plant offers drastically reduced prices for Palestinians struggling to pay their energy bills and its first phase is now open and underway. Traditionally Palestinians have had to rely on Israel[.....]
Tesla CEO and Founder Elon Musk is shocking his fan base with a special feature more likely to appeal to drag racers and Middle East “drifting” aficionados than the usual suspects attracted to his stylish and environmentally excellent electric cars. Press the “Insane Button” and his all-wheel-drive Model S P85D rockets from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in just over[.....]
There’s plenty of cold weather still to come if you live in the Middle East, but the University of Haifa is preparing for the sun, with a new study that examines whether solar electricity panels and green roofs can work well in tandem. It is basically the question can 1+1=3? The Kadas Green Roofs Ecology[.....]
Oil spills are bad enough themselves. When they occur in fragile ecological regions like Israel’s Arava desert, they can be catastrophic. Such is the case of the recent Negev Arava oil spill, which occurred as a result of a break in a large oil pipeline during renovation work. This spill, occurring in early December, caused an estimated[.....]
Big demonstrations have spread from the Sahara to Algiers, after Algerian authorities announced the drilling of the first shale gas well in the country. With world’s oil prices plummeting people are starting to wonder: why frack? Can the environmental cost outweigh the benefits of energy security now that prices are falling and renewables within reach.[.....]
The experimental flying lab better known as Solar Impulse 2 was launched today in Abu Dhabi. The groundbreaking airplane will circumnavigate the world flying both day and night without using a single drop of fossil fuel. Said co-pilot Betrand Piccard, “You can achieve miracles with renewable energy and clean technologies.”
The Levante is gearing up for a massive winter storm. Laurie over in Amman, Jordan is battening down the hatch and (lucky duck!) is preparing for a snow day (see the above image from last year); while me over in Israel, I am just wondering how to seal those pesky leaks blowing cold air through my[.....]
Dubai Municipality has invited businesses and individuals to take part in its annual Car-Free Day on February 4 to lower city-wide vehicle emissions while commemorating the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) National Environment Day. Last year, 7,000 employees from 65 government and private organizations participated. The bait they’ll use to incite more action this year? A chance to win another[.....]
The most powerful family in Jordan is tapping into the most powerful energy source in the Universe to electrify their private residence. Prince Muhammad bin Talal, brother of Jordan’s King Hussein I, has installed what is the largest, self-use photovoltaic (PV) array in the Middle East. Prince bin Talal is an active pursuer of environmental solutions. Below[.....]
Investments in solar energy innovations are not dead! Remember those weird and wonderful solar energy harvesting tulips planted in Israel and Spain? Seen miles away the sky-high tulips have found a new commercial home – in Ethiopia, the company announced last week in a press statement. We’ve covered Aora over the years and thought possibly[.....]
A United Arab Emirates-based firm has just concluded what it says is the region’s first water and energy audit of a large-scale housing facility for over 1,000 guest workers. Facilities management company Farnek assessed performance of their staff accommodation center in Al Quoz, Dubai, identifying opportunities to slash annual utility bills by 20 per cent (an estimated[.....]
Israel’s worst environmental accident, possibly worse than the devastating Carmel fires of 2010, happened yesterday morning. An estimated 600,000 gallons of crude oil (3 million liters) is causing severe damage to the southern port city area of Eilat, endangering also those close to the Eilat border, media outlets confirm. The damage was caused by a[.....]
You might meet snake charmers in the square of Marrakech and also storytellers who tell a good tale. But there is one thing always true about Morocco: the sun always shines. Foreign firms are eager to bank on Morocco’s attractive feed-in tariffs and catch some healthy profits from our sun. Solar energy companies like Martifer[.....]
NASA’s newly released video of the earth has a strange hypnotic beauty that resembles the shifting sands of the desert or the psychedelic swirling colors of soap bubbles. But this video reveals an otherwise invisible threat caused by the short-term release of millions of years of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.
A hundred employees from The Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh planted over 300 trees in the hotel’s surroundings as part of a new environmental campaign called Green Earth, Clean Earth. The project is part of a global initiative called Clean up the World with a dual purpose to preserve the natural environment and give back to the[.....]
WASHINGTON — Israel is the best-prepared country in the Middle East for climate change, followed closely by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey, according to data released Nov. 5 by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN). Publication of the 2014 index was followed only a week later by the signing of[.....]
Winter has rolled around again in the Middle East. The colder fronts have moved in, the winds are blowing, and the rains have started – again. After 105 degree heat in summer, it’s hard for us to remember how cold it can really get. And after months of dry spells, that we can suddenly see[.....]
Imagine if passing through airport security could be as pleasant as a stroll through a park. Scientist June Medford is working to harness the innate sensing abilities of plants, genetically engineering them into lean, green bomb-and-drug detecting machines. Medford is a “synthetic biologist” (not to imply she’s artificial, but to clarify that she dabbles in the re-design[.....]
Lego announced a break in its 50-year partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, a split sparked by an anti-Arctic drilling video produced by environmental activists Greenpeace. The clip – which capitalized on our love for Lego building block toys – went viral on YouTube with over 6 million hits. It incited a million email complaints to the toy maker[.....]
Is it better to plunk dirty dinner plates into the automatic washer, or go retro and wash them by hand? The spouse thinks it wiser (and greener) to clean messes as they occur. I like how the dishwasher lets me defer. He says his way saves water. I know mine saves time. We’ve argued this for[.....]
Last year, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg became the first pilots to fly across America in a featherweight plane fueled only by the sun. The Swiss duo now plans to circumnavigate the world in a next-generation solar aircraft named the Solar Impulse 2. The March 2015 flight will start and finish in Abu Dhabi.
Is there a chance of a “flip flop” reversal in the earth’s magnetic poles? Scientists have noticed some changes in the earth’s magnetic field suggesting a pole reversal could happen any day now – well, in the next 2,000 years. But if this happens, how will it affect life on earth? How will the polar magnetic[.....]
Nobel Prize-winning retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, long-time environmental advocate, just released a powerful video urging world leaders arriving in New York City for this year’s UN Climate Summit to “move beyond the fossil fuel era.”