Category: Green Economy

Can U.S. exploit Middle East green energy potential? []

August 17, 2012

King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain is one of America’s key allies in the Persian Gulf. He’s also among a growing number of political leaders in the Middle East who see more than oil in the region’s future. After all, the Middle East is blessed with an abundance of another natural resource: sunshine.

Bahrain wants to take full advantage of this reality, and harnessing solar energy has become a top priority in the country. But the government has also taken the surprising step of seeking long-term partnerships with leading American solar energy companies.

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The Future of Solar Energy is Now

June 6, 2012

Caspian Energy advances smart solar energy in the Middle East with landmark deal in Bahrain

Petra Solar, The National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), The Bahrain Petroleum Company, and Caspian Energy Holdings Announce Landmark Smart Solar Project in Bahrain

Distributed Smart Solar Energy Project in Awali breaks new ground by bringing both solar power and smart grid technology as a first step towards building a smart city in the Gulf

Petra Solar, a technology company focused on providing reliable, cost-effective smart energy solutions to the electric supply industry, The National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), The Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and Caspian Energy Holdings today announced an agreement for a five megawatt distributed smart solar energy project that will bring solar and smart grid benefits to the BAPCO township of Awali, the University of Bahrain and other locations in Bahrain. The project will leverage smart solar technology developed in the U.S. by Petra Solar to generate electricity in a reliable way that stabilizes the grid and will potentially create jobs at several skill levels in Bahrain. The project, a collaborative effort among the U.S. consortium, NOGA, BAPCO, The Electricity & Water Authority (EWA), academia, industry, and government, demonstrates Bahrain’s commitment to solve the challenges of energy security, climate change, and economic development through global partnerships and collaboration. It is the first phase of a national energy plan to generate electricity from renewable sources. Smart solar is an innovative approach that couples solar with smart grid technology and is deployed in partnership with utility companies to generate clean, safe renewable energy while making the electric infrastructure more stable, efficient and energy independent. This approach builds large scale solar in a reliable fashion that avoids future costs of rebuilding the grid. Continue reading “The Future of Solar Energy is Now” »

Capitalism With a Conscience

November 18, 2011

During the past few weeks Americans have witnessed increasing crowds gathered at Wall Street — the symbol of American capitalism — to protest the excesses of capitalism. It appears that whether in Athens, London, Madrid or New York, two fundamentally difference camps are fighting an ideological battle between savage capitalism and capitalism with a conscience. In the former only a few get ahead and prosper but in the latter we are all given an opportunity to prosper.

Those who are critical of capitalism — I call it “savage capitalism” — point out that many people in the middle class and lower middle class are left behind with little to no chance to increase their standard of living. They point to ridiculously large bonuses paid to Wall Street bankers and corruption in the American political system where money buys access and that access leads to special favors via the U.S. tax code. The end result of savage capitalism is an economic system where only the few and well-connected get rich. Continue reading “Capitalism With a Conscience” »

Balancing Stability and Good Governance

March 29, 2011

A well-rounded global energy policy means that a broad spectrum of countries are producing a wide range of oil and gas products. In this way, temporary distribution issues in one country do not slow down the global economic recovery, which is dependent on petroleum products. The key to this equation is Saudi Arabia. As the world’s largest oil exporter oil price stability depends on Saudi Arabia’s policy to keep prices within a band that is fair to both consumers and producers.

While visiting the Persian Gulf earlier this month, I met with a number of officials to discuss how the global economy has been affected by the recent events in the region. Higher oil prices are a net result of political and economic instability while the need for genuine reform is most likely the underlying cause of these events.

One way for the global economy to protect itself from price instability is closer cooperation between oil producing countries and consumers. This cooperation should also include partnerships with countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Israel and Qatar to develop alternative sources of energy.

Forward-looking countries like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar are already laying the foundations for the establishment of a green economy.

But until such time as alternative energy takes hold, the United States — and the rest of the world — will have to rely on crude oil imports for economic growth. This means that the U.S. must strike a balance between the stability of countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and our commitment to good governance.