The world is one great big ball of energy. Without energy our industrialized world would come to a standstill. A necessary factor in fostering human development and economic growth is a secure, affordable, reliable, clean, and sustainable energy supply. Today we face monumental challenges: global warming, the waning of natural resources, explosions in population growth, increasing energy demand, rising energy prices, and unequal distribution of energy sources. All of these factors contribute to the urgent need to transform the energy sector which now primarily relies on fossil fuels, to one that uses renewable energies and harnesses new energy efficient measures.
Climate change refers to a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activities that alter the composition of the global atmosphere which are in addition to natural climate variations.
With increasing global warming and climate change issues worldwide, in 2009 Abu Dhabi Marine Operating company (ADMA-OPCO) also decided to participate in reducing of CO2 emissions in their operations in order to meet the global climate change challenges. After reviewing and studying the total company emissions and carbon foot print of 2008, an effective emission reduction program for 2009 was launched. With technical plant modifications and the goal of reducing one million standard cubic feet flaring of gas per day, ADMA-OPCO succeeded in reduction of 1.2 million standard cubic feet gas flaring per day at the end of the year. This not only left a favorable environmental impact on the atmosphere, but it also reduced the CO2 emissions, which were around 14% less, as compared to last year and also earned revenue by selling the saved gas.
Renewable energy is one of the key solutions to the current challenges facing the world’s energy future. Many countries already foster the production and use of renewable energy through different approaches on a political and economic level because they recognise the many benefits renewable energy provides. The current use of renewable energy, however, is still limited in spite of its vast potential. The obstacles are manifold and include: lengthy permitting procedures, import tariffs and technical barriers, insecure financing of renewable energy projects, and insufficient awareness of the opportunities for renewable energy. To address these issues, The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) was established in Bonn, Germany in 2009.
The founding of IRENA is a milestone for world renewable energy supply and a clear sign that the global energy paradigm is changing due to the accelerating commitment from governments. 125 delegations attended the Founding Conference held in Bonn, and a total of 75 nations, developing and industrialised alike, signed the Agency’s Statute. The aim of the new Agency is to promote a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide. IRENA is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energies, addressing both industrialised and developing world’s needs. Now developing the organization in the United Arab Emirates, IRENA’s headquarters was awarded to Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is one of the richest cities in the world, and its economy is projected to grow at over 12% per annum over the next four years. Before the discovery of oil in the early 1960s, Abu Dhabi was a small village primarily supported by the Pearl Diving industry. Today this Abu Dhabi metropolis is an amazing mix of the modern world and traditional Arabian culture. Abu Dhabi is an oasis in a massive desert region, and yet it’s magically full of beautiful mosques, shopping malls, cultural centers, and luxury hotels.
Abu Dhabi has established its leadership position as a global cooperative actively in search of sustainable solutions to some of mankind’s most pressing issues: energy security, climate change and the development of human expertise in sustainability. To say Abu Dhabi is progressive when it comes to current petroleum opportunities and new energy initiatives is an understatement. Abu Dhabi is the first major hydrocarbon-producing economy to take such a big bold step into the new energy arena by developing the FIRST “CARBON-FREE” city on earth. This city is called MASDAR. www.masdaruae.com
Abu Dhabi as a world-class research and development hub for new energy technologies. The goal is the establishment of an entirely new economic sector in Abu Dhabi around these new industries, which will assist economic diversification and the development of knowledge-based industries, while enhancing Abu Dhabi’s existing record of environmental stewardship and its contribution to the global community. It seems fitting that Irena would be situated in Abu Dhabi as it holds the promise of being visionary, pro-active and energy conscious.
Colin Harrison is director for Strategic Innovation for IBM Global Services Strategic Outsourcing in EMEA. He manages a program known as Best of Blue that aims to bring the best of global IBM’s capabilities to bear on outsourcing clients’ needs. Previously he established the IBM Institute for Advanced Learning, a global, virtual organization, jointly planned between IBM Research and IBM Global Services. Colin says, “Oil and natural gas are enormously valuable natural resource and the oil industry has developed its scale to address the needs of populations all over the planet. But I think it will be a great shame if the best use we can find for oil and natural gas is to burn them, especially when there are so many good alternatives for these applications. I hope that in the twenty-first century, we will come to see oil and natural gas as feedstocks for creating re-usable materials to enrich the lives of the world’s populations in other ways.”
According to IBM research teams, “An estimated 60 million people are moving to cities and urban areas each year – more than one million every week. Multinational, IBM Corporation focuses on cities because the world is experiencing unprecedented urbanization. Last year, our planet reached an important milestone – for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population resided in cities.
Cars and city buses will no longer rely on fossil fuels. Vehicles will begin to run on new battery technology that won’t need to be recharged for days or months at a time, depending on how often you drive. IBM scientists and partners are working to design new batteries that will make it possible for electric vehicles to travel 300 to 500 miles on a single charge, up currently from 50 to 100 miles. Also, smart grids in cities could enable cars to be charged in public places and use renewable energy, such as wind power, for charging so they no longer rely on coal-powered plants. This will lower emissions as well as minimize noise pollution. Right now, IBM and the Denmark-based EDISON research consortium are developing an intelligent infrastructure to enable the large scale adoption of electric vehicles powered by sustainable energy.
Source: www.IBM.com; www.masdaruae.com; www.irena.org; ADMA-OPCO; IBM
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