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RENEWABLE GREEN LEADERS

Bio | Geothermal | Hydro | Finance | Green Buildings | Legal | Recycle | Solar | Sustainability | Upcycle | Storage | Tidal | Waste | Wind

Dr. Raed Bkayrat Managing Director

Clean Energy Business Council

The Latest News on Green Energy:

Becoming Your Own Boss:

New Japanese Ship Can Harness Both Solar and Wind Power

Why Engineers Should Create A Blog For Their Startup

Scientists Create Potato Starch Paint as Petroleum-Free Alternative

Things Engineers Should Know Before Applying For A Patent

The World’s Largest Desalinated Water Reserve - Built in the UAE

Why Engineers Should Work For Startups Before Starting Their Own

Huawei Unveils Home Energy Management Systems for Solar System Optimization

10 Ways Engineers Can Generate Ideas For Their Startup

Dutch Company Is Building the Next Largest Wind Farm in the World

Tips For Engineers With Side Hustles While Working Full Time

MARCH 2018 ISSUE NO. 011


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February flew by so fast and we’re about to finish the first quarter of the year already. From left to right, we hear fascinating stories about organizations, companies and even individuals who are creating their own marks in the engineering community. GineersNow’s mission is to share these wonderful stories and the latest news in our attempt to educate and inspire every engineer in different parts of the world.

EDITOR’S NOTE

For this month’s GineersNow: Renewable Green Leaders, we are featuring Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC). Learn more about this non-profit organization as it promotes the clean energy industry in the MENA region and leads several companies and government entities towards a decarbonized world. Find out what their top 10 accomplishments are and how they plan to increase the adoption rate of renewables and energy efficiency to make a significant impact in the region. We have also included several renewable energy feature articles on the magazine such as the following: • New Japanese Ship Can Harness Both Solar and Wind Power • Scientists Create Potato Starch Paint as Petroleum-Free Alternative • The World’s Largest Desalinated Water Reserve - Built in the UAE • Huawei Unveils Home Energy Management Systems for Solar System Optimization • Dutch Company Is Building the Next Largest Wind Farm in the World Lastly, we have prepared helpful articles to help you become your very own boss! Learn why engineers should work for startup companies first before having their own. Find out how you can generate ideas for your own startup company and why you should have your own blog when you decide to have it. Read our tips for engineers with side hustles while working full time and things you should know before applying for a patent. So go ahead, scroll through our pages and read the latest stories concerning renewable energy. Get updated with the news and be informed with our inspiring stories that are slowly changing the way we live today. Enjoy this month’s GineersNow: Renewable Green Leaders.

Engr. Alice Hernandez Senior Editor-at-Large


Contents Huawei Unveils Home Energy Management Systems for Solar System Optimization

10

The World’s Largest Desalinated Water Reserve Has Been Built in the UAE

22

This is Going to Be the Next World’s Largest Wind Farm

12

Mobisol tackles off-grid solar industry’s recycling challenges

24

This New Ship Can Harness Both Solar and Wind Power

14

‘Towards a decarbonized world – the socioeconomic impact of decarbonization’

26

This New Machine Recycles Construction Waste into Reusable Materials

15

10 Ways Engineers Can Generate Ideas for Their Startup

38

Do Biofuels from Burning Wood Really Benefit the Environment? New Research Says No

16

Why Engineers Should Work for Startups Before Starting One

44

Renewable Energy in Middle East Will Triple by 2035, Siemens Says

18

Why Engineers Should Create A Blog For Their Startup

46

Scientists Create Potato Starch Paint as Petroleum-Free Alternative

19

Tips For Engineers With Side Hustles While Working Full Time

49

Researchers in Japan Find a Way to Remove Lead from Water Using a Moss

20

Things Engineers Should Know Before Applying for a Patent

50


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Huawei Unveils Home Energy Management Systems for Solar System Optimization Huawei releases its “FusionHome Smart Energy Solution” in Australia promising its customers that it will optimize their solar systems. Recently, Huawei has released its “Fusion Home Smart Energy Solution” and is being launched in Australia. Its first customers are expected to install the new product this quarter. According to Steven Zhoutao, the General Manager for Huawei’s Smart PV Business Residential Solution, “We believe we will contribute our expertise to the residential market, 10

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

better develop the residential solar technology and provide strong support for a sustainable development and technical advancements of the global PV market.” he told PV-Tech News. “Imagine your home producing enough energy for the whole family, never having to worry about rising electricity costs or your household carbon footprint.”


retrofit batteries. FusionHome also says that it can increase inverter efficiency by up to 98.6%.

Energy Management Systems (EMS) Nowadays, Home Energy Management Systems (EMS) are getting more and more popular as a way to maximize the potential of photovoltaic panels. The main purpose of these systems are for monitoring and control. Huawei’s FusionHome aims to be holistic system that will aid domestic residences to generate and manage power as well as store power. The system also monitors the quality of power consumption and provide an easy-to-understand experience of using renewable energy in every household.

center’ allows communication between the rooftop solar and intelligent home appliances, so that power consumption is optimized. According to Huawei, this system means domestic consumers won’t need to invest in expensive battery storage devices while the prices are still high.

“Imagine your home producing enough energy for the whole family, never having to worry about rising electricity costs or your household carbon footprint. With Huawei Fusion Home Smart Energy Solution, you can cut down power bills and contribute to a better environment, without compromising your lifestyle.” This was how Huawei described the system.

However, this new system already has a built-in DCcoupling storage interface just in case the user wants to

Good Energy Management Systems should be able to let you see how energy is being both manufactured and used within your home. Depending on the type of system that is installed in your household, your EMS should be able to tell you how much energy is being used and generated. A comprehensive system allows accurate monitoring of consumption for both solar and batteries.

Monitoring The new system makes use of a combination of domestic solar panels and smart monitoring systems along with smart domestic appliances. The ‘smart energy Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

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This is Going to Be the Next World’s Largest Wind Farm It will be built by a Dutch company in the North Sea.

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“If we keep on like this the Netherlands will still be bungling at the bottom of European lists in 2030,” the group said. Still, the Dutch officials are trying: they have made plans to build a highly ambitious offshore wind farm by 2027, hoping to make it the world’s largest. Engineers have assigned the location at Dogger Bank, a site 78 miles off the East Yorkshire coast in the North Sea. They said it is windy and shallow making it an ideal site for massive offshore windfarm. Other than the Netherlands, the power hub would send electricity over a long-distance cable to the United Kingdom, and maybe later to Belgium, Germany and Denmark. The project will be built with an artificial island for a specific purpose: convert the electric current into usable electricity, something that has never been done before. Instead of using expensive underwater cables which do the job of the energy conversion, the island, with its wind turbines, will perform the process. TenneT, the Dutch electric company spearheading the project, had said that putting additional equipment on the island, which would approximately be 5 to 6 square km., would also allow the team to operate more turbines at a lower cost — and thus generate more power — than a traditional offshore wind farm. A government review in 2016 indicated that The Netherlands is going to miss 2020 targets for renewable energy production and greenhouse gas emission despite new investments in wind power. According to the Dutch Union for Renewable Energy, a group which represents renewables companies in the country, the efforts in green energy will produce 12.4% of the Dutch energy supply by that time, falling short of the 14% target agreed with the European Union.

Early findings of a study revealed that the project could be billions of euros cheaper than conventional windfarms and international power cables. Rob van der Hage, manager of TenneT’s offshore wind grid development programme, said, “It’s crucial for industry to continue with the cost reduction path. The big challenge we are facing towards 2030 and 2050 is onshore wind is hampered by local opposition and nearshore is nearly full. It’s logical we are looking at areas further offshore.”

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

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This New Ship Can Harness Both Solar and Wind Power The world’s first solar energy sails will soon be built and tested by the year 2019. After the testing is done, one ship from the fleet will be chosen for a 12 to 18 month trial. The ship that is selected will be fitted with an array of EnergySails, solar panels on deck and the hardware that is necessary to monitor and control every part of the system. According to EMP, the Aquarius project can reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Vessels that are going to use the technology would join other ships that are aware of climate change. The world’s first solar energy sails will soon be built and tested by the year 2019. This new technology will enable ships to be able to use solar and wind energy at the same time. The new ship is called EnergySails, and was developed by the Japanese renewable energy systems company Eco Marine Power (EMP) as part of a greater project which is Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy. EMP is working with other strategi partners and Japanese ship owner Hisafuku Kisen K.K to equip bulk carrier ships with the technology which is an “advanced integrated system of rigid sails, marine-grade solar panels, energy storage modules, and marine computers,” according to EMP. EMP said

that its project will enable ships to tap into renewable energy by harnessing the power of the wind and sun. The EnergySails themselves will also be helping ships to collect and store energy even while it is docked. According to New Atlas, the sails which are made of carbon fiber or steel, can also be stored during rough weather conditions. EMP is currently conducting feasibility tests on multiple ships in Hisafuku Kisen’s fleet. They hope to estimate how much propulsion an EnergySail system can give the ships while also taking into consideration how much solar power the on-board panels would receive on each individual ship’s route.

However, it is not sure yet what Hisafuku Kisen’s EnergySailequipped ships will be hauling.


This New Machine Recycles Construction Waste into Reusable Materials The biocycler is a machine that would create bricks by making use of living organisms, which bind pre-existing construction waste. Carbon emissions are one of the environmental problems our world is currently facing today. This is why Christopher Maurer, Principal Architect with Cleveland-based redhouse studio, thought of a groundbreaking method to help lessen the environmental consequences that are brought on by the actions of the construction industry, since buildings contribute to a large percentage of total carbon emissions. He created the Biocycler. The biocycler is a machine that would create bricks which can be used for new structures by making use of living organisms (cultured biobinders), which bind the pre-existing construction waste. Maurer and his team began collaborating in 2017, with NASA on possible applications for the biomachine in space. At NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Maurer delivered a talk titled “Stronger, Faster, Better: New Materials for a New Age” in August 2017, and a few months later with the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative. The process involves, “embedding mycelium (the vegetative part of fungi, with masses of branching, thread-like hyphae) in agricultural waste to make robust building material.”

According to Maurer, this project was also a way of expanding on work he was already doing. “We do many projects that are adaptive reuse to preserve old buildings, but even then the demolition waste can be quite extensive,” he said. In addition to this, he also teamed up with Kent State University for the design/re-build project, which is an initiative that is designed to transform old structures into renovated gems. There, they were able to see upclose the effects after the end of a house restoration project. “We dropped the material ourselves at the landfill,” Maurer said. “[Disposing of the waste in this way] was hard to do but there was no economically feasible way to use the materials.” Redhouse has launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate funding for this project. “Truth be told, we’re already recycling buildings, or at least materials. The Kickstarter will lead to a mobile unit to put these processes on display and get closer to building entire structures out of the waste.”


Do Biofuels from Burning Wood Really Benefit the Environment? New Research Says No Researchers believe that burning wood pellets for power is worse for the climate than burning coal. Biofuels are one of the most common sources of energy today, produced directly or indirectly from organic material like biomass including plant materials and animal wastes. They can be mixed with petroleum fuels like gasoline and diesel fuel but biofuels can be used on their own. Two of the most common types are ethanol and biodiesel. This renewable energy source has been highlighted recently by members of the European Parliament to be the priority in meeting renewable energy efficiency targets at a minimum of 35% for all energy consumption by 2030. They said that burning wood wastes and residues should lead in

the fossil fuel alternatives. While it is a viable source and a widely accepted substitute to fossil fuels, biofuels have a major setback according to a new research by MIT Sloan School of Management. Professor John Sterman from MIT Sloan believes that burning wood pellets for power is worse for the climate than burning coal. His reason? Its short-term effects and the “potentially irreversible impacts that may arise before the long-run benefits are realized.� His


research team points to a much more negative impact on the environment. “Because combustion and processing efficiencies for wood are less than coal, the immediate impact of substituting wood for coal is an increase in atmospheric (carbon dioxide) relative to coal,” a new report from Sterman stated. “The payback time for this carbon debt ranges from 44-104 years after clear-cut, depending on forest type—assuming the land remains forest,” it added. The EU announced in 2009 that 20% of its energy use would be from renewable sources by 2020, citing an important note that biofuels are carbon-neutral. But Sterman begs to disagree. “Declaring that biofuels are carbon neutral, as the EU and others have done, erroneously assumes forest regrowth quickly and fully offsets the emissions from biofuel production and combustion,” the report said, taking into consideration the increase of wood pellets production in the United States. “The neutrality assumption is not valid because it ignores the transient but decades to centuries long increase in carbon dioxide caused by biofuels.” Sterman’s research points to how cutting forests, with an aim to produce wood pellets energy, affects the environment. He and his co-

researchers have done simulation through the Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support (C-ROADS) to arrive to the conclusion. The report stated that when a forest is cut down and trees are replanted in its place, the replacement forest does not remove and hold as much carbon as the original forest. It also pointed out that the replacement trees will also likely require fertilizer which is not good for the environment. “It’s like an investment in which you give your bank $1,000 today,” Sterman said in a statement. “They promise to pay you back, but only over 80 years, and only if they don’t go out of business first or decide there’s something else they’d rather spend your money on. You’re better off if you keep your money. In the same way, it’s better to keep the trees on the land and keep all that carbon out of the atmosphere.” According to Sterman’s team, solar and wind are the way to go. They have branded such renewable energy sources as the safest, easiest, and cheapest ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions.


Renewable Energy in Middle East Will Triple by 2035, Siemens Says But gas will still dominate. In one of the key findings of a new report that has been published by Siemens, the share of renewables in the Middle East energy mix will triple over the next 17 years. However, natural gas will still be the dominant power source in the region. Siemens predicts that by the year 2035, the Middle East will require a toal 483 GW of power generation capacity, which is an addition of 277 GW from 2016. This would be an increase of more than triple from 5.6 percent (16.7 GW) in 2016 to 20.6 percent (100 GW) in 2035. Solar power is one of the additions accounted for which is around 61 GW by 2035, and the report highlights a great potential for wind power generation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but they noted that this potential is not entirely reflected in the moderate capacity additions expected. Siemens also noted that this means that the need for reliable energy storage solutions and a stable and efficient grid is crucial. Dietmar Siersdorfer, the chief executive of Siemens Middle East and UAE told journalists 18

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that the need to make grids ‘smarter; was “the most underestimated thing” in the global energy industry. According to Siersdorfer, the use of the battery storage was sure to figure highly, and that hydrogen storage was a “holistic” solution. “You can build an eco-system for hydrogen”, he said. This is because of its ability to also act as a fuel for vehicles and also be utilized for other industries like petrochemicals. However, though there will be a great rise of renewables in the Middle East, the report predicts that natural gas will still remain as the number one power source in the region which represents 60 percent of installed capacity through to 2035. “A reliable, efficient, flexible and affordable power supply is the backbone of economic and social development in the Middle East,” Siersdorfer said. “While the energy mix will see significant diversification over the next 20 years, natural gas will remain the prime energy source for power generation in 2035.”


Scientists Create Potato Starch Paint as Petroleum-Free Alternative Modified potato starch serves as a good alternative as the main component of coating materials. such as forming a continuous film, can be used with different layers, and has the ability to be embedded with pigments and fillers easily. Unmodified, starch counteracts every single property that a film former should have, according to Christina Gabriel, scientist at Fraunhofer in PotsdamGolm. “it is not soluble in cold water and neither does it form continuous, non-brittle films,” she described.

Researchers from Fraunhofer have derived film formers for paint using potato starch. Although there has been numerous attempts to use “organic” components as a base for paint, none have proved to be at par with industry standards. This step from the science community at Fraunhofer has allowed us to have an insight towards creating true “natural” coating products that leaves no bad effects to the environment. Diminishing resources, climate issues, and the health of the environment have all been taken into account in the creation of this research paper. Previously, paint binders made

with bio-based ingredients were very expensive and mostly sub-standard. That’s why the research team created a modified starch to counter those issues. The potato starch-based paint proves to be both costefficient and sustainable at the same time. In Germany alone, over 100,000 tons of coating material are manufactured to protect against corrosion. This breakthrough can prove a significant amount of benefits towards different avenues of the industry. Using the starch as the main component for paint and varnishes has challenged the minds at Fraunhofer. As a film former, it must uphold standards

This led the team to create modified starch that can withstand these situations and still prove to be a costeffective solution while being renewable as well. Currently, the researchers have applied an initial degradation step to the potato starch in order to fix its solubility. This enhances the forming ability of the starch as well as allowing the solids of the starch to incorporate better in water. Afterwards, the starch undergoes esterification, creating starch esters that creates consistent films and allows it to stick on glass and aluminum surfaces. The research is providing very promising results and is showing as a promising alternative to petroleum-based film formers.

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

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Researchers in Japan Find a Way to Remove Lead from Water Using a Moss Lead is a contaminant which typically takes lots of fossil fuels and energy to be removed from water. Not anymore. Lead is a heavy and toxic element that can contaminate drinking water. Humans, when exposed to such metal, could suffer from cardiovascular health problems, lower kidney function and reproductive issues. Usually, it takes loads of fossil fuels and a tremendous amount of energy for the lead or other heavy metals to be removed from water. It 20

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

is worth noting that boiling only removes harmful things like pathogens, but the lead remains. Researchers from Japan has found a sustainable solution to this problem. They performed a process called phytoremediation, which uses photosynthesizing organisms to clean up soil or water contamination.


concentrations of 15 different metals. They were then exposed to F. hygrometrica filaments for 22 hours. Later, it was discovered through a mass-spectrometer analysis that the moss cells had absorbed lead up to 74% of their dry weight. Also, the cell walls had absorbed lead even after being removed from living moss. “Our findings show that F. hygrometrica is a useful biomaterial for recovering lead from aqueous solutions,” said Hitoshi Sakakibara from CSRS. The first step is to find that photosynthesizing organism to facilitate the process. They tried a common type of cord moss that is found in North America, and it was proven to work. At the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, it was discovered that the cell walls of a moss species called Funaria hygrometrica absorb a significant portion of their weight in lead. The plant is known to grow well in sites contaminated with metals like copper, zinc, and lead.

chemical industries,” Mr. Itouga said. While moss absorbed lead the most out of the heavy metals during the test, it efficiently took amounts of tin, gold, and platinum. After choosing the photosynthesizing organism, the process required different solutions with varying

Moreover, the team revealed, “This means that there is something special about the cell walls of this species of moss that allows them to thrive in environments that are toxic to other plants.” RIKEN was able to identify that “something special” to be polygalacturonic acid, also known as pectic acid.

“We found that the moss can function as an excellent lead absorbent when in the protonema [early] stage of development,” said Misao Itouga, first author of the study published in the journal PLOS One. “This valuable ability means that moss protonema will likely make exceptional wastewater cleaners in mining and

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The World’s Largest Desalinated Water Reserve Has Been Built in the UAE Definitely a called-for project in this part of the world which is mostly desert. The United Arab Emirates might be rich with oil and gas reserves, but it still has a problem with steady water supply. Especially now that the people, which number ballooned to 100 times since 1960, have a close relationship with water: they are among the world’s highest consumers at about 600 liters per day per person. It doesn’t help that climate change poses a threat to water security in the region. For that, its government knew that something had to be done to meet water demands. Plans to build a huge water reserve were initiated back in 2002.

Roughly sixteen years later, officials have unveiled the world’s largest reserve of artificially desalinated water at the launch of the 2018 International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi, January 15. “The project ensures continuous water supply for Abu Dhabi city and the Al Dhafra region and secures the reserve for future generations,” Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) Director-General Dr. Saif Saleh al-Sayari told the Emirates News Agency. “Whenever needed, water from the 315 wells, lying up to (260 feet) below ground, can be used to recover supplies at any time.”


Located under the Liwa desert at the southern edge of Abu Dhabi, the water reserve contains about 26 billion liters of high-quality drinking water, taking 26 months to fill it up. At present capacity, the reserve can provide about 100 million liters of water per day to the country’s residents – that’s only a fraction of the 6 billion liters of daily consumption in Abu Dhabi. In an emergency situation, it could supply the needs of one-million people with 180 liters per person every day for three months. The project costs about $450 million with a construction period of over five years.

Large pipes, about 1 meter in diameter, were installed to transport the desalinated water to the people. But before that, the water is dumped about 80 meters underground through perforated pipes, where it seeps deeper into the aquifer. More than 300 wells, as already mentioned, to recharge, recover,

and observe the aquifer’s water were provided. Al Seairi mentioned about sharing the lesson learned in building the reserve with “regional partners.” This means making the process of building a reserve slightly cheaper for them.


Mobisol tackles off-grid solar industry’s recycling challenges Solar provider establishes partnerships for responsible disposal of e-waste and lead batteries in all operational countries • Three partnerships initiated: Lead battery recycling with Associated Battery Manufacturers Ltd. (Nairobi, Kenya), e-waste recycling with Enviroserve Ltd. (Kigali, Rwanda) & Phenix Recycling Ltd. (Arusha, Tanzania) • In line with overall industry shift towards end-of-life awareness, Mobisol is one of the first companies to transparently communicate and tackle the recycling challenge of off-grid solar components Mobisol, a leading provider of decentralized solar solutions, has joined hands with e-waste and battery recyclers in all operational countries. By partnering with Phenix Recycling in Tanzania, Enviroserve in Rwanda, and Associated Battery Manufacturers (ABM) in Kenya, Mobisol has established ties with experts in their field. All three recycling partners have demonstrated a strong commitment to establishing a comprehensive 24

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

recycling network for off-grid solar components, such as waste from solar products, consumer electronics and lead-based batteries. This milestone comes at a time where the offgrid solar industry increasingly acknowledges the importance of finding end-of-life solutions for its products. In order to steer this urgent issue with clarity and transparency, Mobisol positions itself


to tackle the challenge of informal and inappropriate practices sustainably.”

Mobisol Tanzania Team & Athina Kyriakopoulou, CEO of Phenix Recycling Ltd

as one of the first market players to openly communicate its recycling infrastructure. E-waste recycling was one of the emerging topics of discussion at the Off-Grid Solar Forum in Hong Kong last month. At the event, attended by over 600 sector representatives, the importance of collaboration and exchange in order to improve existing methods for safe disposal of e-waste and batteries was strongly emphasized.

On December 7th of last year, the Government of Rwanda officially inaugurated its first e-waste recycling facility in Kigali. The event was attended by several public representatives, demonstrating the national will to create an infrastructure for responsible recycling. Building on a long-standing partnership with the Government of Rwanda since 2014, Mobisol is proud to be able to establish ties with Enviroserve, a Dubai-based international recycling expert taking over the operation of the Kigali facility since January this year. Stuart Fleming, Group CEO of Enviroserve, says: “Having recently entered the Rwandan market by signing a public private partnership with the Government for the operation of the new, state-of-the-art e-waste recycling facility, Enviroserve proudly takes on partners like Mobisol that are willing to jointly create awareness among the population for the growing waste problem around solar products and consumer electronics. We are looking forward to becoming a recycling hub in East Africa in the future.”

Facing the immense challenge of the informal recycling sector that uses practices which do not meet acceptable, sustainable standards, Mobisol is convinced that recyclers and off-grid companies need to work together to focus on social and environmental standards and create awareness for sound waste management in countries they work in. After having recently announced its partnership with the Tanzaniabased recycling company Phenix Ltd., Mobisol has now additionally established ties with ABM, a long-standing lead battery recycling business from Kenya. Guy Jack, Managing Director of ABM, says: “ABM is very content to have found an ambitious, environmentally-conscious partner in Mobisol. The decentralized solar industry is one that will face further challenges with regards to recycling in the future; experienced, long-standing recyclers like ABM have the responsibility to provide clear and transparent end-of-life solutions to those who are willing

Patrick Mugabo, Senior Head of Operations at Mobisol Rwanda and Stuart Fleming, Group CEO of Enviroserve

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018

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M i d d l e E a s t & N o r t h A f r i c a ‫ﺍﻟﺸــــــــــــــــــــﺮﻕ ﺍﻷﻭﺳــــــــــــــــــــﻂ ﻭﺷﻤـــــــــــــــــــﺎﻝ ﺍﻓﺮﻳﻘﻴـــــــــــــــــــﺎ‬

‘Towards a decarbonized world – the socio-economic impact of decarbonization’ We cannot avoid it – as a global society, we need to ensure that we minimize our impact on the environment. Global warming is now not only a topic of discussion on governmental levels but a household topic around the dinner table. As the naysayers of global warming decrease by the day, the debate has shifted instead to its impact – and how to manage it. Worldwide, people are identifying ways to deal with the new reality resulting from climate change. From remote islands threatened with total disappearance in the next few decades, to the calamities farmers are facing in rural areas in India, to the South East of the USA and the Caribbean islands – all these communities are heavily impacted by environmental change. For example, in the US and the Caribbean, communities need to reconsider all aspects of their infrastructure, including revising their electrical network, to be more resilient through micro-grids and being able to cope with the severe yearly hurricanes hitting that region.

There are significant improvements we can be grateful for, moving things in the right direction. At this very moment, a cherry red electric vehicle (EV) is making its way into deep space, far away from planet earth, but hopefully ushering in a new era for EVs. We expect to see a significant increase in the adoption of EVs by end users driven by a price decline, the unveiling of more options on the consumer market and a wider base for selection. All these factors should lead to a double-digit compound annual growth rate for EVs, and hopefully make EVs a mainstream form of transportation over the next decade or so. Such a development will eliminate a significant source of pollution in our cities and allow for new economies to be built around the value chain of clean transportation, as well as help to improve health levels in inner cities and typically congested urban areas.


The MENA region has been historically dominated by monopoly-based utilities and heavy government subsidies for electricity and water. This traditional model is changing rapidly into a regulated market, allowing for separation between generation, transmission and distribution. The market is now being freed up to allow the price of a cubic meter of water or kilowatt hour (KW-hr) of energy to reflect its true market cost, where margins are regulated by open competition and a level playing field for all players. We have seen significant markets for renewables open in the MENA region, such as in Morocco, Jordan and the UAE. More recently Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman have been added to


Dr. Raed Bkayrat Managing Director Clean Energy Business Council


H.E. Dr. Rashid Alleem Chairman Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority


this list. Current renewable developments have mainly been utility scale projects in wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) for power generation. In the last five years, we have seen the MENA region break records in project size and tariff on a global scale; such as the Sweihan 1.1 GWac solar PV plant in Abu Dhabi, or the 2.3 cents per KW-hr for the 300 MWac project in Skakka Saudi Arabia. The next Kuwait National Petroleum Company project in Kuwait is expected to exceed the 1.2 GWac mark, and we cannot forget Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s largest CSP project at 7.3 cents per KW-hr. These major projects have ushered in a significant, though difficult and extremely competitive, utility scale renewable energy market in the MENA region. Utility scale markets tend to be limited in the number of deals in general, as well as being less impactful to small and medium enterprise (SMEs) that are willing to operate in the renewable space. Here, it is important to emphasize the value of the distributed solar PV value chain and its impact on SMEs, in terms of direct and indirect job creation. Distributed solar PV will also create a much higher deal count as opposed to large-scale utility projects. It is often said that the greenest KW-hr that any operation can achieve is the one that is often not used. Process optimization and energy

efficiency solutions are usually implemented first and used before renewables are applied as a subsequent phase. The initial process of optimization means achieving a desired output with the least energy intensity possible and can be reached by adjusting consumer behavior or an industrial process. For example, in a house, this could be using lights wisely and having a proper setting on the thermostat, or this can be in an industrial setting, optimizing the temperature of a kiln in a cement factory for example. Once this process optimization is done, the next step is applying energy efficiency solutions, where we would still achieve the same output with even lower energy intensity, by example using LED lights in homes or waste heat recovery solutions in industrial applications. Following this, we can achieve the same desired outcome by decarbonizing the already optimized energy used, applying renewables to generate electricity or, for example, heat and steam. This somewhat linear process is really the roadmap to achieving an optimized, low carbon footprint for any operation - which can be a household, industrial or a commercial environment. There is no tribalism when it comes to technology or selecting one policy or regulatory approach over another in the quest to achieving deep de-carbonization. It is important to maintain an open mind from both the private and public sector. We will need all the help


we can get in our journey to building a 100% decarbonized world, and this needs to come to fruition sooner rather than later. We should consider all technologies - including nuclear energy, wind, solar, bio-gas, waste to energy and others - when it comes to finding a pathway to a decarbonized world, this mixed solution approach will allow our planet to suffer the least amount of damage in the long term. This multipronged approach will hopefully create a drastic shift, without which, we will not be able to steer away from the cliff which is almost upon us as a human race.

we follow the true definition of sustainability - we positively generate more than we consume – is a path that reflects a prosperous, healthy and economically viable future. Many industries are emerging around new technologies, and SMEs are being created to support the ongoing energy transition. This is turning a crisis into an opportunity for both developed and developing countries, whereby they can reinvent their economies and usher in a new future based on sustainable clean technology, job creation, community welfare and higher standards of living.

Having said that, it is important to stay positive and resilient in terms of our quest for decarbonization. There are many positive indicators that we are on a strong path to achieving our goal. Examples of this include the steep drop in renewable energy tariffs, and a wider global adoption of renewable technologies, as well as the availability of different financing tools with gradual policy developments. All these factors are indicators of a positive future ahead. The path to a totally decarbonized world, where

Humanity would have to triple - or quadruple - its current adoption rate of renewables and energy efficiency to make a significant impact, that would still achieve a change of less than the expected 2C degree rise which is now used as the benchmark for global warming. There are several areas that need to be considered, and improved, to allow for this massive rate of adoption to take place.


These include: • Wider Technology commercialization by the private and public sectors. Our future, in ten or twenty years, will not necessarily be dominated, technology wise, by GW size light water nuclear reactors, Li-ion batteries or the silicon-based PV panels of today. There are several promising technologies that are at concept stage, or are even collecting dust on the shelf, in dire need of early stage funding to push it forward and bring into mainstream. • Rapid Policy and Regulation Development. This is an area which is the slowest to develop, due to the complexity of the regulatory systems and having inefficient and

bureaucratic government systems in many parts of the world. Regulators need to have a clear and open mind on what is needed to create real change, and they need to take initiative and be bold on their approach to the future. Lastly, no matter how successful one model or another has worked in any one country, regulators need to develop their own story - and live this story. Alternative power purchase agreements for solar power plants that offer capacity charges in certain hours of the day, or capacity commitments based on forward forecasting, are essential to maximizing the use and value of renewables with little additional cost to off takers, and with a lower impact on system integration costs of such renewable projects.


• Creating alternative business and finance models. Finance is the blood stream for any industrial sector. Without it, projects and deals suffer, and are slow in coming to fruition. An open dialogue between the private and public sectors on the topic of finance for clean energy is paramount to achieving a wider depth of adoption for energy efficiency and renewables. • Developing a talented and skilled workforce across the value chain. Currently, there are over 10 million people working in renewable energy across the world. Numbers are increasing slowly in different regions, in total creating a double digit annual growth rate on a worldwide

scale. Emphasizing the need for engineers in clean energy, as well as project finance, legal and marketing graduates specialized in sustainability and clean energy, is essential. We live in a new era of sustainability, on a scale that has not been seen before. Still, this is dwarfed when compared to the current level of emissions that we are producing and its negative impact on our environment. Global warming is probably the biggest challenge faced by our planet earth but the resilience and determination of mankind on clean and sustainable energy will prevail, and we can save our planet for us and future generations to come.


CEBC Top 10 Accomplishments: 1. Being the only organization to represent the whole clean energy spectrum in the MENA region 2. Targeting 56,000 students across 22 schools in the CEBC schools program 3. Providing a platform for Women in Clean Energy to encourage, network and support one another 4. Leading conversation on emerging and disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, and embracing new technologies (such as webinars) to share our knowledge 5. Promoting the uptake of clean energy through our networking, events and policy work 6. Our soon to be delivered sixth MENA Clean Energy Summit, which gets bigger and better every iteration 7. Bringing together key thought leaders in the clean energy sector in the MENA region to promote dialogue, discussion and progress 8. Helping to bridge the gap between the public and private sectors in the MENA region, connecting private organizations with government in support of change 9. Being able to share the knowledge of our amazing member organizations, providing them speaking opportunities and chances to collaborate with other organizations 10. Supporting our member organizations to grow their business, providing valuable expertise and growing the MENA region’s renewable energy capabilities and achievements


About CEBC Registered as a Not for Profit Company in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, the Clean Energy Business Council is the pre-eminent organization representing the private sector involved in the clean energy sector across the MENA region. Our goal is to establish a dialogue between the public and private sectors to drive the development of appropriate and much needed regulation and policy to support the development of this vital sector. We do this through our three arms of policy, networking and events, and our connectedness to the sector is crucial in our ability to help support and activate change in the MENA region. You may read more about us at cebcmena.com.


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10 Ways Engineers Can Generate Ideas for Their Startup If you’ve ever thought about creating a startup of your own but don’t know what your company will be, this may help you Startup companies are now taking the world by storm. There are a vast amount of people from all walks of life creating their very own businesses that fits their very own personality. If you’ve ever thought about creating a startup of your own but don’t know what your company will be, here’s a few tips on how to generate ideas for your startup.

Think of a problem Yes, you heard that right. It’s best if you think of a problem that you want to solve rather than 38

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thinking of something cool that you’d want to try out. You’d have more success building up a business model to solve a specific problem rather than building on off a cool idea you got off the internet. Businesses are there to solve problems. If your business does not solve a problem, you wouldn’t have a market to work with. That said, your business will thrive depending on how big the amount of people affected by the problem is. Every business has a problem they’re solving, that’s why yours should too.


You don’t have to be “original” A lot of successful businesses didn’t even create the idea from scratch. It’s not a matter of generating an idea that revolves entirely on a concept YOU created. It can be an existing idea that you’d want to re-imagine into your own creative version. Take Facebook as an example; It’s a huge and successful Social Media Platform but it’s not the FIRST Social Media Platform. Facebook took the idea of a Social Media Platform and transformed it into their own intricate design.

people in your community will benefit from your upcoming business and if it’s really what your target market needs.

Think practically There’s a lot of ideas which sound really good on paper but not in actuality. You’d have to check time in again if your business idea is something you or your partners can do. If you got a couple of ideas, sort through them first. Think whether it’s really needed or whether it’s actually doable. If your current idea pool gets drained, take a step back and check for more.

If you can’t think of a problem, ask your friends or family There’s nothing better than asking the consumers themselves. Are they bothered by the issues with the environment? Is it something you can create an idea from? Do you have a way of solving this issue? If you said yes to any of it, then asking around did you good. Sometimes, it’s good to take a good look at your surroundings. It’s a good way to see how the

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A business has to be practical to start with, if you think you’d be setting yourself up for something really risky, think twice before you plunge right in.

If you’re boggled about an idea you have, ask questions from people who know or take it to yourself to learn more about it.

Go with what you like

Let your brain rest

If you’ve already gathered the ideas needed and you’re having a hard time choosing which one you’re going to go with, here’s a question you should ask yourself: “Is this really what I want to go with?”

If you’re stuck creating an idea, take a breather. It’s not good to continuously squeeze ideas out from a tired brain. Let your brain cool down and think about it tomorrow. No good idea comes overnight.

If you answered yes, then go with it. This way, you’ll love it when it booms and it you’ll regret it less if it fails. Always consider where your heart lies since it’ll allow you to focus more and give more to the startup you’re planning to grow.

Thinking of too much and not allowing your brain some rest means new and fresh ideas might not come to you. Always make sure that your brain gets some rest. Who knows? Your dreams might just inspire you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice

Go to new places

If you have a friend or someone who has a business background (having a startup is a plus) then don’t hesitate to ask them for advice. If you don’t have anyone near you who can help, try searching online or try reading a book about business ideas.

A little exploration won’t hurt anyone. If in any case you can’t find anything in your community, try reaching out to new places. You can try going overseas or just travel within your country, it’s completely up to you. New environments inspire your brain to think outside of your comfort

Renewable Green Leaders • March 2018


zone, allowing you to see things from a different perspective. They say traveling helps calm the mind and soul. It also helps your brain by exposing it to new things which broaden your mind and increase the chances of developing creating and innovative ideas.

confusing or is something that the audience has little knowledge of, it’s best to rethink your plan. If your customers are unaware of the subject you’re trying to do, it’s going to be extra work for you to convince them that your business is actually worth it.

Know how big you want your startup to be It will surely help your mind in generating ideas if you know how big the startup company you’re making should be. If you plan to make a smallscale startup, it’s best to let go of ideas that are too grand or are too costly. Consider the amount of manpower your idea would need for it to work. If you’re planning on a large-scale startup, see if your idea’s risk factor is worth taking.

The idea should be relatable A good business idea should take their market into consideration. If your business idea is too

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Why Engineers Should Work for Startups Before Starting One Planning to build your own startup? Make sure you’re ready!

many of them desire to create their own startups. Unlike in the past, we now have countless tools like the internet and social media at our disposal that can help us to create our own business easier than ever. But even if it is easier to build your own startup nowadays, it is also true that being your own boss isn’t for everyone. Being your own boss means that you’ll be responsible for everything. The burden of the entire world can feel like it’s completely on your shoulders, and it can be very stressful when things aren’t going quite according to your plan.

Millennials are known nowadays for being innovative and having a great desire for creating solutions to today’s world problems. This is why 44

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If you feel that you are fully equipped with the right skills and ready for these challenges, then go ahead and give it a go. If not, then it’s alright. You can learn so much from working for other startups that have a similar cause as you do. Give it your


all, and reach towards the startup’s goals. Maybe once you are equipped with all the needed skills, you can then build your startup. Here are some skills you will gain from working in a startup

Business Development This is the skill for networking and meeting people. These are one of the main skills for a startup to be successful. In a startup, you will be trained to meet new people, create partnerships that can make a massive impact on both your companies, and find out how working together can benefit both companies.

Marketing When working for a startup, you will learn how to market the startup’s products and services. It is a crucial skill since every startup needs to be seen, and every unique voice needs to be heard above everyone else in the same industry.

Engineering and development While we already have engineering and development skills, it’s also important to understand how the manufacturing process is done, from design to finished product. By doing so, you will have a better understanding on how the startup’s products are manufactured. You will also be able to find improvements in the process and find a better solution. There are many skills that you can learn while working in a startup. Find your niche and try it out. After a few years of experience, you can weigh if you’re ready to build your own startup. What’s important is that you were able to contribute to a cause that you are interested in, and were able to gain experience in that field. Combine that experience with leadership skills and you’ll soon be ready to build a successful startup!


Why Engineers Should Create A Blog For Their Startup Blogging enables you to deliver your content to your customers and it also makes your online marketing life a breeze. Startups nowadays rely heavily on online marketing when it comes to connecting with customers. This mostly comes in the form of Social Media Marketing, advertising, and many others. Those tools however require lots of research and planning in order to become effective; you may even have to hire someone to do it for you. There’s one other way to market your business on the internet though and it’s very simple to use unlike the prior methods: Blogging. 46

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Blogging enables you to deliver your content to your customers and it also makes your online marketing life a breeze. So why write a business blog? We’ve gathered together 10 reasons why you should choose blogging as your online marketing tool. Everyone’s on the Internet. Any business would probably want to be recognized by the masses, and the best way to reach the masses is through the internet. Almost everyone has online access


make you more visible, it also saves you some money which you can then use for something else.

and putting your content on the web is a surefire way to get a lot of viewers. Startups nowadays rely heavily on online marketing when it comes to connecting with customers. More viewers = More Customers. Getting your content out there is sure to get you noticed by more people who can potentially be your future customers. You can use it to show what your business is all about. This gives you the ability to tell them why you’re in the industry and what you can do for them.

It lets you know who your customers are. Blogging allows you to check the user trends with Analytic Tools. You can see what your customers read, what topics they like, and what they click on. This would enable you to gear up and find out what content is best for your online readers. It’s free advertising. If your blog contains useful information, there’s a high chance of people reblogging it or even sharing it to social media sites like Facebook. Not only does it

Anyone can use it. Whether you’re a fresh face in the industry or whether you’re already a business veteran, blogging is for you. You don’t even need graphics design knowledge to create a blog. Blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr offers a user-friendly interface which doesn’t require you to be tech savvy. It lets your customers know what’s going on. Real time updates or news regarding your brand is sure to leave a good impression to your customers. It makes you think about your business, your customers, and everything else around you. A good content gives good rewards and good rewards makes you and your business reach better heights.

It sets your brand’s ‘character’. An effective blog will show your customers who your brand is and it defines whether you’re a brand to look out for. It builds relationships with your customers and gives them confidence with your brand. Getting information through properly formulated content gives customers reason to trust your brand and your products.

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Tips For Engineers With Side Hustles While Working Full Time Learn to balance working full time alongside your side businesses. Why Did You Choose This? Find your reason for choosing this passion. Your answer may be, “well, because it’s my passion”. Yes, that’s true. However, the “why” needs to be clearer as you continue on with your new business.

Millennials nowadays love side hustles even when they are working full time. For them, it’s not all about the money. It’s the happiness they get when they are able to do their passion, and money is just the small part of that happiness. While having side jobs alongside working full time has been an ongoing trend, it’s important to note that this isn’t something anyone can do off the bat. It can be tiring, and could ruin your full time job if you haven’t planned well enough. So here are some tips on how you can balance working full time alongside your side hustles.

Start With Your Passion Knowing what you are passionate about can help you find the right niche for your side hustle. Remember,

you’re going to be spending your 8 working hours at your full time job already, so find a side hustle that you are willing to spend your after hours to wholeheartedly. This gives you the chance to open your heart to what you’ve always wanted to be other than being an engineer. You could venture into writing a blog, creating videos, recording music on YouTube, painting, or even cooking! By identifying your passion, you will be able to find that extra strength you need to pursue your side business. It will be your motivation to keep your endurance during the first few difficult months of starting your business. So, What is your passion?

For example, you may want to start a blog because you want to feel more fulfilled, and you wanted an outlet for your daily frustrations and opinions on different events. It could also be because you want to pursue your lifelong dream without having to sacrifice your work.

Plan Your Schedule Carefully Remember that time is of the essence. Don’t make time your enemy, make it your friend. Define your priorities and schedule your time efficiently. Make sure your hustle hours are outside of your regular work hours, so you won’t be distracted from completing your tasks for your full time job. Make a schedule and stick to it. These are just tips on how you can follow to balance your side businesses with your full time job. I hope these help.

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Things Engineers Should Know Before Applying for a Patent With so many innovations coming out these days, it can be very difficult to get your patent approved. More and more engineers nowadays are looking for ways to make the world a better place, and they do so by developing groundbreaking innovations that seem fit with their vision. Once the technology has been built, the next step would be always to get a patent. Patents are important because they can protect you from competitors who plan to use your ideas for their own benefit. Patents are also a business asset as it increases your value. This can help you build licensing partnerships in the future. However, with so many innovations coming out these days, it can be very difficult to get your patent approved, so here are some things you should know before you apply for a patent.

Find good attorneys This is a very important tip especially if it’s your first time applying for a patent. When applying for a one, hire an attorney who is knowledgeable with the subject area. Also look for one who understands your vision and has the same view towards your innovation.

Expect things to go wrong Yes, things may go wrong in the process, but don’t give up. 50

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While you can have the best attorneys in the country, it can still be a challenging and difficult process. Applications can get rejected again and again on different conditions, and the long process can get very frustrating. But if you really believe in your innovation, then don’t give up. Work together with your attorney, solve the necessary issues– and maybe do some needed revisions–then try to appeal once again.

Over budget for the process When budgeting for the fees for your patenting, it’s always a better option to over budget for the process. As said in the previous topic, the long process can take numerous revisions. This means an increase in your attorney’s hours, thus increasing your legal fees.

Laws could change Patent laws change over time– and unexpectedly, this is why it’s important to have an attorney with updated knowledge on patent laws. And while your attorney knows how the new processing goes, it won’t hurt to do some research as well.

Understand what you’re getting into During the whole patenting process, it’s important that you understand everything that is going on. While your attorney will be doing most of the legal work, it’s also good to learn the whole process. Also, have a good understanding on why you are applying for a patent in the first place. The process can be long and frustrating, but it will be extremely gratifying once it gets approved.

Good luck !


March 2018 Renewable Green Leaders Issue 011  

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March 2018 Renewable Green Leaders Issue 011  

GineersNow Renewable Green Leaders Issue 011

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