Ajman University of Science and Technology was represented at the Mediterranean Green Buildings and Renewable Energy Forum 2015 by Professor Riadh H. Al-Dabbagh, Advisor, Ajman University. The conference was held in Florence, Italy wherein participants from 83 countries presented over 452 studies over the course of 3 days.
He presented an important paper entitled “Solving water scarcity problems by renewable energy technology” in the main plenary session. He explained, “Desalination has become the most important source of water for drinking and agriculture in some world regions, especially the Middle East, where water is particularly scarce. Over the past years, the deployment of desalination plants was led by countries of the MENA region where approximately 2,800 desalination plants produce about 38% of the global capacity from seawater”.
Desalination requires a considerable amount of energy and the cost of desalination is largely dominated by the energy cost. As for the overall desalination cost, significant reductions have occurred over the past years, but water desalination remains economically affordable only for middle-income countries and too expensive for poor countries.
Renewable energy, notably Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) with thermal storage systems, can significantly contribute to reduce the fossil fuels (and associated CO2 emissions) used for desalination. Other variable renewable energy sources, such as solar PV and wind power can also offer significant contributions if associated with energy storage systems. Desalination itself can be seen as a viable option to store renewable electricity, which exceeds the demand.
Prof. Al-Dabbagh also chaired a session wherein 3 speakers hailing from Australia, UK and Afghanistan presented their studies on “Building Integrated and Distributed Energy and Water Infrastructure” “Carbon free transport” and “Sustainable Rural development by Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Afghanistan”.