Article by DIT
Countries in the Middle East have strong foundations to build a greener, more sustainable future. The prevalence of regular sunshine and wind, ample space, and great steps forward in hydrogen production and waste-to-energy, give the region the opportunity to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint. Working hand-in-hand with the UK, the Middle East has launched a number of exciting new projects that will accelerate its transition to cleaner energy.
Harnessing the power of the sun to solve water scarcity
British company Solar Water Plc has developed a game-changing, carbon-neutral, 24-hour operational, hydro-infrastructure project to purify seawater. The company’s vision is to create an end to water scarcity with a solution that will also create a better future for our planet. The technology is being deployed at sustainable city NEOM in Saudi Arabia. The system delivers scaled supplies of freshwater with a planet-friendly, zero-environmental impact, green energy technology, using the concentrated power of the sun. With game-changing fifth generation solar concentrators and heat storage capability, the thermal energy processes seawater inside a steel dome, in an affordable and sustainable manner that helps mitigate climate change and solve water scarcity.
Racing through the desert thanks to hydrogen
AFC Energy Plc is a leading provider of hydrogen fuel cell power systems to generate clean energy in support of the global energy transition. Based in the UK, the company’s scalable systems provide off-grid, zero emission power that is already being deployed for rapid electric vehicle charging and the replacement of diesel generators for temporary power applications. This includes charging all of the cars for the inaugural Extreme E racing season that held its first ever race in the Saudi Arabian desert in April. AFC Energy is also working with global partners in the deployment of products for the maritime, ports, data centres and rail industries.
Extracting value from waste
Kiverco is designing and building a number of waste processing systems in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia. Each project is bespoke to the specific waste stream and customer requirements but all have been provided on a turnkey basis. Up to 95% of the incoming waste is processed and recycled for further use. Kiverco’s recycling solution delivered for the Red Sea Project is designed to process in excess of 150,000 tonnes per year of construction waste on the Red Sea coast. The recovered materials will be recycled into new products as well as provide fuel to generate electricity at the nearby waste to energy plant. The plant will be used for years to come to process other waste streams in the area.
Cost-effective finance solutions for project owners
UK Export Finance (UKEF) has financed a new £31m clean growth loan to complete the construction of Bee’ah’s new green headquarters in Sharjah, UAE. The project is a shining example of British innovation in sustainable construction in the region. The new green building, designed by late British architect Dame Zaha Hadid, will be entirely powered by renewable energy generated from its solar panels and waste-to-energy systems and will be one of the most sophisticated ‘smart offices’ in the world.
This is the first clean growth loan issued by UKEF in the Middle East. The support comes from its Clean Growth Direct Lending Facility, which dedicates £2bn of funding for clean growth and renewable energy projects.
UKEF is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade. A UKEF team covering the region is based in Dubai to offer product support and guidance for buyers looking for UK solutions.