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Energy Outlook – A view to 2040

Energy Outlook – A view to 2040

Walking through the lobby at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha, Qatar, we stumble across a live presentation by ExxonMobil of its annual Energy Outlook. Normally every year we like to present the key findings of this excellent industry source to our clients and partners.

The Outlook for Energy is ExxonMobil’s long-term view of our shared energy future. They develop the Outlook annually to assess future trends in energy supply, demand and technology to help guide the long-term investments.

This year’s Outlook reveals a number of key findings about how we use energy, how much we will need in the future and what types of fuels will meet demand.

For example:

Efficiency will continue to play a key role in solving our energy challenges. Energy-saving practices and technologies, such as hybrid vehicles and high-efficiency natural gas power plants, will help countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – including those in North America and Europe – keep energy use essentially flat even as OECD economic output grows 80 percent.

Energy demand in developing nations (Non OECD) will rise 65 percent by 2040 compared to 2010, reflecting growing prosperity and expanding economies. Overall, global energy demand will grow 35 percent, even with significant efficiency gains, as the world’s population expands from about 7 billion people today to nearly 9 billion people by 2040, led by growth in Africa and India.

With this growth comes a greater demand for electricity. Today, and over the next few decades, electricity generation represents the largest driver of demand for energy. Through 2040, it will account for more than half of the increase in global energy demand.

Growth in transportation sector demand will be led by expanding commercial activity as our economies grow. However, energy consumed by personal vehicles will gradually peak and then begin to fall as our cars, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and small pickup trucks become much more fuel-efficient.

Technology is enabling the safe development of once hard-to-produce energy resources, significantly expanding available supplies to meet the world’s changing energy needs.

Oil will remain the No. 1 global fuel, while natural gas will overtake coal for the No. 2 spot. Use of nuclear power and renewable energy will grow, while demand for coal peaks and then begins a gradual decline.

Evolving demand and supply patterns will open the door for increased global trade opportunities.

Around 2030, the nations of North America will likely transition from a net importer to a net exporter of oil and oil-based products. The changing energy landscape and the resulting trade opportunities it affords will continue to provide consumers with more choices, more value, more wealth and more good jobs (see page 44).

The Outlook provides a window to the future, a view that we use to help guide our own strategies and investments. Over the next five years, ExxonMobil expects to invest approximately $185 billion in energy projects alone. Given the magnitude of these investments, it’s critical that we take an objective and data-driven approach to ensure that we have the most accurate picture of energy trends.

The information contained in the Outlook regarding energy markets is also crucial for individuals, businesses and policymakers. We hope that by sharing this Outlook, we can enhance understanding of energy issues so that we can all make informed decisions about our energy future.

Download the entire report: Energy Outlook – A view to 2040

by Anric


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Today’s level of water usage in the Gulf region is not sustainable.

A recent World Bank study urged governments in the Middle East and North Africa to invest now if they want to avoid severe water shortages in the future.   “With about 5 per cent of the world’s population, the MENA region has less than one per cent of the world’s renewable freshwater,” said Antoine Khalife, Regional Project Sales Manager, Grohe Middle East and Africa. Given the region’s rapid population growth, within the next 30 years, water resources in the region are expected to fall by another 50 per cent. “But we have seen considerable progress in recent years made by some governments to tackle this issue. A good example is the Estidama rating introduced by the Abu Dhabi government in addition to a number of LEED compliant projects across the region,” he added. “Unfortunately, with the current pace of conservation measures, regional demand will, however, soon outpace supply in some countries.”

Up to 91 per cent higher water usage than the global average
This view was echoed in a Booz & Company January report, which noted that on a per capita basis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates consume 91 per cent and 83 per cent more water than the global average, and about six times more water than the UK. Qatar and Oman are also above the global average for water consumption, despite their desert climates, it said. “GCC residents and businesses have disregarded the consequences of their water usage to enjoy benefits more common in countries with ample rain and overflowing aquifers. But with the population of the GCC increasing in excess of two per cent a year, and with rapid expansion in the region’s economies, there is a growing recognition within many GCC governments that current water consumption patterns are unsustainable.” Agriculture reform, education of consumers, tariff structure reforms, wastewater reuse and investments in desalination and other technologies were some of the recommendations put forth by the report.

Desalination provides two-thirds or more of the potable water used in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, and will continue to play a huge role in the GCC’s water development efforts, it added. But desalination carries enormous economic and environmental costs. GCC countries will likely invest more than $100 billion in their water sectors between 2011 and 2016. Some of these investments will be in improved desalination technologies, which could involve solar energy or new ways of filtering out salt or making it evaporate, added the report.

Solar desalination plants
In January, in the same, month, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced the completion of the construction of 22 solar desalination plants as part of the agency project to construct 30 solar desalination plants in different locations across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. EAD is still testing this new solar desalination technique and working on perfecting the efficiency of this method through its pilot project launched in Umm Al Zamool. Each of the plant produces around 1,100 gallons of clean water per hour – approximately 6,600 gallons on an average day.

Ralf Stahl, Managing Partner, Zeoplant said that certain key processes can be inculcated across board to achieve sustainable reduction of water usage across projects. He has been part of the landscaping industry for the last nine years. “Many regulations are still slow to address the issues governing the existing projects market, which constitute 90 per cent of the market and hold greater potential business for us. Especially, if you look at it in light of the current slowdown of new projects,” said Stahl.

Overconsumption of water in the GCC is a problem that can no longer be ignored, as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates respectively consume 91% and 83% more water per capita than the global average. Governments need to take a variety of steps to reduce the demand for, and increase the supply of, potable water. Some steps, such as tariff reforms, will involve educating consumers. Others will involve limiting agricultural usage and

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Qatar to spend US$8.5B on water security in next 5 years


Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) president Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari has called upon GCC member states to explore long-term solutions to overcome the alarming situations they are facing on the water issue.
While insisting on the necessity of implementing practicable and systematic strategies to tide over the water crisis, Kahramaa president said Qatar and the other GCC countries are determined to find effective and long lasting solutions to the issue.
The Kahramaa chief said this while delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 10th Gulf Water Conference at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Doha yesterday.
Though there is no doubt that there have been so many achievements for the member states in several areas, each of them faces a daunting task as far as water is concerned in view of the huge growth expected in the region’s population in the next one decade.
Water, food and energy, said al-Kuwari, are the three main sources that constituted the foundation for achieving development in all sectors.
Speaking on Kahramaa’s role in building up the three main sources, he said the corporation had spent more than QR11bn in upgrading and launching projects in the water sector in the last five years.
The president said the corporation had earmarked about QR31bn for implementing new projects in the water sector in the next five years from 2012 to 2016.
“We are also in the process of building huge water reservoirs and also upgrade the levels of ground water as a strategic reserve. Kahramaa has paid great attention to the conservation of water and electricity by educating the public through periodical campaigns. And we are in the process of setting up a water desalination plant to be operated by solar energy on the principle of reverse osmosis,” he disclosed.
Speaking later at the opening session, chairman of Water Science and Technology Association (WSTA) president Ali Redha Hussain said the presence of a large number of experts at the three-day conference had come as a big boost to the GCC which are in the process of evolving new strategies for meeting their growing requirements in drinking water.
He said in the 25years since its formation in 1987, WSTA had made a remarkable progress towards accomplishing its goals by leveraging the know-how of its members in recognising the issues concerning water scarcity.

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Investments, Water


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Qatar LNG Production – a quick snapshot

Qatar‘s current and future regional influence are strongly linked to its natural gas sector. With dependence on oil viewed as a strategic liability, Qatar’s forward-looking investments in LNG production and export technology give the country an advantage in an increasingly popular energy commodity. Also, because it cannot be undermined in price or supply guarantees by Saudi Arabia, Qatar’s LNG exports have given it considerable independence compared to its oil-dependent neighbors who are more likely to fall in line with Saudi views on most foreign policy issues.

Due to its significant LNG infrastructure investments and sizable natural gas reserves, Qatar will continue to be a key supplier of LNG for roughly the next 20 years. But with natural gas prices expected to peak within the next three to five years, Qatar faces both a shrinking profit margin and a more competitive market as regions such as North America are poised to become exporters themselves. Qatar will continue its attempts to mitigate some of these factors by encouraging its current customers to sign larger, longer-term deals — some up to 20 years — in an effort to lock in at current prices. Qatar has also been actively seeking to diversify its economy away from LNG and seek investments in alternative energy technology.

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Solar parking project announced in Qatar

Omran al-Kuwari, CEO of GreenGulf

Qatar is poised to benefit from solar car-parking canopies, an innovative concept from Chevron Qatar, an affiliate of global energy giant Chevron Corporation, and GreenGulf, a Qatari renewable energy company.

A solar parking project will be established at the upcoming Solar Test Facility, a Chevron Qatar-GreenGulf initiative at Qatar Science & Technology Park where the organisations are based.

“We have several commercial proposals also with regard to solar parking,” GreenGulf’s CEO Omran al-Kuwari told Gulf Times in an interview.

Chevron Energy Solutions has built hundreds of solar parking lots in California over the past decade, Chevron Qatar president Carl A Atallah pointed out. Solar parking is a simple and cost-effective way of utilising solar energy, since car-parking shades need to be built anyway, adopting the solar parking concept provides lighting at night and offsets electricity use of adjacent buildings. Solar parking is easier to plan and install than solar panel arrays on roof tops or on the ground.  Atallah cited that in California, facilities including schools, universities, government buildings and post offices have embraced solar parking. “They save money very quickly by using a lot less electricity from the grid. The project pays off within three to four years.”

Chevron Qatar is keen to try and develop, among its other activities, a business model locally for solar parking given that the country is progressing towards solar utilisation. “This is the easiest thing, the low-hanging fruit, and it is a great utilisation of space and function,” the official said. A typical solar parking design has solar panels instead of the conventional roof. Tailored T-shaped columns support the “solar roof”. LED lighting can reduce energy consumption further.

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We certainly think that such practical solutions are the way forward in a world where enough sunlight falls on the Earth’s surface in just a couple of hours each day to meet the whole world’s energy needs for one year. Read our previous posts on solar It is our direct responsibility to leave a lasting legacy for our future generations. We did after all, not inherit the earth from our parents, we just borrowed it from our children. Read about our vision and inspiration by click here.

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Qatar Newspaper Today – Food shortages and billionaires

Mounting Food Prices Lift Inflation Fears

Even in Qatar, with the highest per capita income in the world, food price inflation is being felt. Just a glance at today’s newspapers reveals a growing awareness of the consistently escalating food prices. As discussed previously, the region is especially sensitive as it imports as much as 90% of all food consumed.

Yet, on a different page, the report of the world’s Billionaires grows to 1,226 and its probably a good indication of what the future holds. As food prices keep escalating, the pain is felt most by the poorest communities that will spend literally all of their earnings on the provision of food and basic necessities for their families, whilst the spread between the super wealthy keeps widening.

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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Agriculture


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Middle East governments use two-way strategy to address food security concerns

In an effort to secure food supplies to the region and safeguard against market fluctuations, GCC governments are investing heavily in outside farmland acquisitions and leases and injecting money into the domestic food production industry.

Saudi Arabia is leading the way.  The Kingdom is currently investing US$23.1 billion in food security initiatives, including a US$12.3 billion allocation to the development of the food processing sector.  It has also furnished US$6 billion in financial and oil aid to Pakistan in return for agricultural land.

Read our previous posts on FOOD

The UAE has recently acquired or leased more than 1.4 million hectares of arable land in Sudan, Pakistan, and Morocco, while investing US$1.4 billion in the country’s value-added food manufacturing sector.  This has resulted in 150 food processing plants.

As part of an effort to be completely self-sufficient by 2023, Qatar has invested US$5.1 billion in various food security initiatives, including leasing 400,000 hectares of land in Kenya against a US$3.5 billion loan to the Kenyan government.  Qatar has also established a US$1 billion joint venture with Vietnam, 90 percent of the funds will be invested in various sectors, including agriculture.

Ensuring food security remains one of the most important issues for all GCC countries.  According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the six GCC states currently import 90 percent of all food products.  High reliance on imports mean the region is particularly vulnerable to price increases when supplies are interrupted.

In its efforts to attain self-sufficiency in the fish and agricultural products sectors, Kuwait allocated US$80 million in 2011 to the newly established Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs & Fish Resources (PAAAFR).  Kuwait is also invested in land projects in Sudan, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Oman, meanwhile, has boosted its fisheries, modern irrigation systems, agricultural production and livestock breeding technologies with US$361 million of investment in the past two years.  Bahrain has purchased farmland in India, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Sudan, with 112 of their own food manufacturing plants.

Nearly 40.6 million people live in the six-nation GCC region, however this is expected to jump to 50 million by 2020.  Food consumption is growing at a rate of 4.6 percent annually to reach over 51 million tons, further adding to the severe strain on the region’s food security.  According to a recent report by the Economic Intelligence Unit, the Gulf’s food imports could widen by a massive 105 percent from $25.8bn in 2010 to $53.1bn by 2020.

“For a region such as the Gulf, which imports around 90 per cent of food items to feed its people, there is an added urgency to secure sources that are safe and sustainable,” said Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi.

Read our previous posts on “Food Crisis”

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Agriculture


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