The Four Pillars of the Energy Transition in MENAT
November 18, 2022
Four terms are used quite often when talking about the energy transition and particularly at this year’s COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. That’s because security, reliability, affordability, and sustainability are the four pillars of a just and equitable energy transition.
But what are these pillars and how can companies and governments address these (sometimes competing) priorities? What’s clear is that different communities, countries and regions can be more focused on some pillars more than others, even if all remain important. To balance these needs in different situations, it’s clear a wide range of approaches is required. Here are a few examples to illustrate the four pillars in action across MENAT:
Energy security is about making sure a country or community can always access the energy its people and industries require. Lack of energy security is a major barrier to economic development in emerging economies.
Combining a reliable source of fuel with efficient, dependable gas power can deliver a secure baseload supply of electricity. An example of this is the upcoming 1.8-gigawatts (GW) Hamriyah Independent Power Plant in the UAE, which utilizes GE’s H-class turbines and expected to become the most efficient utility in the Middle East once fully operational.
Renewable power also can enhance energy security because international markets and geopolitical issues don’t impact generation powered by wind, sun and water.
In Turkey, GE Renewable Energy’s onshore wind team has installed more than 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy, representing nearly 20% of the country’s wind power. In addition, the recently inaugurated 500-megawatt (MW) Lower Kaleköy hydroelectric dam, with three 155MW GE Vertical Francis Turbines, is providing electricity to 1 million people. Neither international conflicts nor fossil fuel market volatility will affect the amount of energy flowing from these assets.
Reliability means that the power generating assets can be counted on to deliver electricity to the grid as contracted. It’s also about utilities and governments ensuring customers are confident electricity will be there when they try to turn on a light or a machine.
One example is the 3GW Besmayah Power Plant in Iraq that is helping improve electricity reliability by delivering a large amount of reliable, uninterrupted baseload electricity to Baghdad and surrounding areas. The eight F-class turbines in the operational Phase 1 and 2 at the plant are delivering this consistent performance.
GE’s asset performance management (APM) software offers another example of how to enhance reliability. Qatar utility KAHRAMAA uses APM to monitor grid-wide assets, resulting in a more than 50% decline in substation faults – crucial for their 100% reliability vision and to ensure reliability throughout the hosting of the FIFA World Cup.
The importance of affordable energy supply has been highlighted this year, not only in Europe but around the world. Affordability is about ensuring that energy is available at a reasonable cost.
Upgrades to existing gas turbines can reduce costs for operators, which in turn can be passed on to consumers in the form of affordable prices. An upgrade of two GE 9FA gas turbine at the Nubaria power plant in Beheira, Egypt has lowered costs for the operator by reducing fuel consumption by up to 3% and doubled the asset’s lifetime.
Sustainability is about reducing absolute emissions, as well as the carbon intensity of power generation.
In Oman, GE wind turbines at the 50MW Dhofar Wind Farm are generating clean electricity and offsetting an estimated 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. In the aviation sector, GE is providing solutions to help airlines reduce emissions for more sustainable flying. This includes GE’s 360 Foam Wash for jet engines, a cleaning solution that reduces fuel consumption. Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines have all been awarded technical licenses to use the technology.
Read more here about GE and its work to support sustainability and the energy transition across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region.