Adding More Tools to the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Mix
Sometimes it takes a major international conference to open your eyes to big changes happening right under your nose. Once you walk through the exhibition halls, and listen to the panel discussions and keynote speakers, you can better see the bigger picture. Too often these emerging trends are hard to spot in the sea of news items, research reports and social media posts that pass across your computer screen day after day.
The ongoing World Future Energy Summit 2013, held last week at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, was a case in point. From both the 600 or so exhibition stands – including GE’s – and the hundreds of speakers, one could get a bird’s-eye perspective on just how extensively the region is embracing renewable energy, and sustainability more generally.
From Morocco to the UAE, and literally everywhere in between, governments are diversifying their energy sources, promoting advanced and energy-efficient wastewater treatment and desalination so crucial to this water-challenged region, and broadly looking at any number of ways they can minimize their national carbon footprint.
On stage, government officials from countries such as Morocco, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan spoke about what they were doing and planning to do, while in the exhibition halls you could see the products, systems and technologies that are likely to help them achieve those goals.
That was certainly the case with GE’s stand at WFES 2013, which showcased some of the company’s newest green technologies, especially for the power and water sectors. Examples included its advanced concentrated solar panels and the popular Jenbacher landfill gas engines, both of which are examples of cost-effective, high-output and sustainable solutions that complement the goals of the region’s governments. In fact, the Jenbacher has just been selected by Dubai to help it implement the region’s first energy-generating landfill gas recovery system.
Other GE ecomagination technologies that support the region’s sustainability goals included the remarkable GEnx aircraft engine, capable of a 15% lower fuel burn during cruise than the platform it replaces. GE Aviation’s advanced GE90-115B and GEnx jet engines have found wide acceptance by Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Jazeera Airways, Oman Air and Saudi Arabian.
Meanwhile you could also see GE Power & Water’s desalination and advanced membranes technologies at the stand, technologies that transform more than 800 million liters of water per day into fresh, usable water in the Middle East and Africa. The company’s ecomagination-certified ZeeWeed membrane bioreactor system helps utilities conserve and reuse wastewater, save energy and reduce environmental impacts.