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Archive for the category “Saudi-Arabia”

How Saudi Arabia Is Turning Their Desert Into Green Forest

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This is Saudi Arabia measuring a massive 2 million square km, making it the 14th largest country by landmass! However, 95 percent of the kingdom is a hot dry desert where you find lots and lots of sand! It is also one of the few countries where you find not a single permanent river! You are also looking at a country where the average annual rainfall is below 150 mm all year round! However, if you zoom in on the country, you will see something totally unexpected; arable land! Saudi Arabia is dotted by a network of farmlands where agriculture thrives, letting farmers harvest many kinds of fruits, an abnormality in the hot desert! You will also immediately notice that most of the farmlands are in circles! The nation has 35,000 square kilometers of arable land, which is larger than the Netherlands and larger than three times the size of Qatar! However, in the early sixties, Saudi Arabia only had 400 square kilometers of arable land! How did the oil-rich kingdom multiply its arable land in so short a period? Join us in this video as we dive into the ingenious methods Saudi Arabia has used to turn its desert into a farmland oasis!

Neom Constructions Begins

Neom, the future line-shaped city of 170 km in Saudi-Arabia, car-free, $500B, beginning to be populated as of 2024, by 2030 the new city will have 500,000 inhabitants and be able to welcome 5 million tourists annually. No home should be further than 5 minutes walk from The Line. No roads are planned. High velocity autonomous transport will take place underground. Powered by wind and solar only. Women will no longer be obliged to wear the veil, alcohol sales and consumption will be allowed to lower the threshold for tourists. A bridge between Neom and Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt is planned too.

[] – Neom
[] – THE LINE: Work begins on Saudi Arabia’s 170-km vehicle-free city
[] – The Dark Reality Behind Saudi Arabia’s Utopian Dreams
[] – Die autofreie Mega-City am Roten Meer
[] – Saudi Arabia starts construction on its $100 billion eco-city that will have NO STREETS and be ready for residents in 2024
[] – Dit weten we over Neom
[deepresource] – Neom the Line, a City 170 km Long
[deepresource] – 4GW Renewable Storage Project in Saudi-Arabia

Read more…

ThyssenKrupp to Build 2 GW Electrolyser in Saudi-Arabia

US chemical company Air Products has placed an order with Thyssen-Krupp for more than 2 GW electrolyser capacity on behalf of an ammonia operation in the futuristic town-under-construction Neom-Saudi-Arabia, to produce 650 ton green hydrogen per day. Planned operational date: 2026.

[] – Air Products, ACWA Power and NEOM Sign Agreement for $5 Billion Production Facility in NEOM Powered by Renewable Energy for Production and Export of Green Hydrogen to Global Markets

The green hydrogen avalanche has started!

More multi-GW hydrogen green projects in the works in Oman:

[] – Acwa Power to sign $7bn green hydrogen agreement in Oman

[deepresource] – ThyssenKrupp Plans €5B Hydrogen IPO
[deepresource] – Thyssen-Krupp Eyes 5 GW Electrolyser Production Capacity
[deepresource] – ThyssenKrupp 88 MW Electrolyser for Hydro-Quebec
[deepresource] – Thyssen-Krupp – Coal Out, Hydrogen In
[] – Neom

Lithium Seawater Mining Breakthrough


The size of lithium reserves in the world’s oceans are estimated to be 230 billion tons, that is ca. 5000 times as big as land-based resources. Concentration: 0.17 mg/liter or 0.2 ppm. Chinese scientists, employed by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi-Arabia, have proposed a method for extracting lithium from seawater, a process they claim is economically viable.

To address this issue, the team led by Zhiping Lai tried a method that had never been used before to extract lithium ions. They employed an electrochemical cell containing a ceramic membrane made from lithium lanthanum titanium oxide (LLTO).

Lithium has atom number 3, so is very small. The membrane’s holes are so small that they only let lithium-ions through, propelled by electricity. The lithium-enriched water is further processed in four more steps, to end up with a lithium concentration of 9,000 ppm. Eventually, lithium phosphate is the useful end product. As a bonus, the process delivers hydrogen, chlorine and desalinated water. Electricity cost: $5 per kilo of lithium. The very sunny Red Sea area would be ideal for lithium plants, driven by solar electricity, and is probably the reason why the King Abdullah University funded the research.

[] – ‘Cheap and easy’ method to extract lithium from seawater
[] – Continuous electrical pumping membrane process for seawater lithium mining (Original publication)
[] – Sea4value project site
[] – Brine mining

World Record Low Solar Energy Cost $0.0104/kWh

[source] The 300 MW Sakaka PV IPP project

The Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia has announced the intended construction of a 600 MW Al Shuaiba PV IP project, at a world record low cost of $0.0104/kWh.

As we have noted before, the cost of desert solar electricity is no longer relevant. Relevant is the cost of a “prepackaged kWh” on world markets. Storage, not generation, is the real cost. Think the cost of electrolyzers, conversion of hydrogen into a more convenient chemical form, transport, storage.

[] – Saudi Arabia’s second PV tender draws world record low bid of $0.0104/kWh

Saudi Green Hydrogen Pipe Dreams

Abu Dhabi 2 GW, 1.24 Eurocent/kWh solar power plant. Electricity is already dirt cheap, “too cheap to meter”. The largest cost factor is amortization of the required electrolyzers to transform the supply of solar electricity intro hydrogen.

Saudi-Arabia wants to build a green-hydrogen pipeline to Europe.

Based on the fact that it is not possible to generate a cheaper kWh than with photo-voltaic solar in the desert (currently 1.24 cent/kWh), Saudi plans to become a major hydrogen deliverer to Europe are entirely realistic. Not sure about that pipeline though. Which route, pray tell? Alternatively, hydrogen could be transported by ship or converted into a storage form that is easier to handle.

However, the idea to produce cheap hydrogen in the desert, should be promoted. It is the cornerstone of the German hydrogen strategy, to concentrate on producing electrolyzer equipment and leave the production of hydrogen to those countries that can produce hydrogen in the cheapest way. Note that a solar panel generates roughly twice as much electricity in the desert as in NW-Europe, so why bother littering over-populated countries like Germany and the Netherlands with solar panels and onshore wind, if somebody else can produce energy much cheaper. For security reasons, the EU should indeed produce a minimum amount itself, but not everything. Additionally, this strategy is perfect to help poor African countries to serious money for the first time, enabling them to buy our products. Win-win. For security reasons, supply of hydrogen should be distributed equally over many producers, not to make yourself vulnerable to boycotts and blackmail.

[] – Saudi Arabia ‘could pipe green hydrogen to Europe to keep leading energy role’
[] – Saudi Arabia offers Europe ‘green’ hydrogen by pipeline
[deepresource] – Germany Embraces the Hydrogen Economy
[deepresource] – German-Moroccan Hydrogen Agreement

Neom the Line, a City 170 km Long

Saudi-Arabia is drawing a Line in the sand and plans a new car-free Metropolis called Neom, in the shape of a 170 km long line. The Line. Population 1 million. A 500 billion, zero-emission city. There will be no streets. Everything is walkable within 20 minutes, for longer distances there is the metro and underground traffic. Above the ground, cyclists and pedestrians only. Construction will start 2021-Q1.

4GW Renewable Storage Project in Saudi-Arabia


The Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia has given the green light to a huge renewable energy storage project. Price tag: $5B. Location: NEOM (NW KSA). NEOM intends to become a global hydrogen hub, well, in the form of ammonia (NH3). Input: 4GW from solar and wind. Production: 650 tons H2 per day through electrolysis (Thyssen-Krupp technology, Germany). Nitrogen (N2) will be produced from air using Air Products technology (USA), resulting in 1.2 million tons/year of green ammonia (NH3) using Haldor Topsoe technology (Denmark). The project is scheduled to become on-line in 2025.

[] – $5bn deal sealed for green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility in NEOM
[] – World’s largest green hydrogen project will convert renewable energy to ammonia then back to hydrogen
[deepresource] – Ammonia posts

Read more…

3 GWh Redox-Flow Battery Plant Planned for Saudi-Arabia

The JV aims to become a global technology leader and champion in the fast-growing utility-scale energy storage segment, supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic diversification objectives. With R&D facilities in Germany and Saudi Arabia, the JV plans to set-up a GW scale manufacturing facility in the Kingdom, expected to be in production in 2021. The JV’s strategy for developing value chain integrated production will allow it to achieve global cost leadership.

[] – Everflow JV to manufacture Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFB) in KSA
[] – A 3 GWh redox flow battery factory in Saudi Arabia
[] – Vanadium redox battery

9% Efficiency Solar-to-Hydrogen with InGaP/GaAs

Splitting water molecules in an electrolyser is one of the best known methods to create hydrogen and is the main focus in a global research effort to solve the storage problem of highly intermittent renewable electricity. Once that problem will be solved, nothing will stand in the way of a total victory of clean renewable energy over fossil and nuclear fuel.

A less known method to create hydrogen is via photoelectrochemistry, that is creating hydrogen from direct conversion of sun light.

Photoelectrochemistry is a subfield of study within physical chemistry concerned with the interaction of light with electrochemical systems. It is an active domain of investigation… The interest in this domain is high in the context of development of renewable energy conversion and storage technology…

Photoelectrochemistry has been intensively studied in the field of hydrogen production from water and solar energy. The photoelectrochemical splitting of water was historically discovered by Fujishima and Honda in 1972 onto TiO2 electrodes. Recently many materials have shown promising properties to split efficiently water but TiO2 remains cheap, abundant, stable against photo-corrosion. The main problem of TiO2 is its bandgap which is 3 or 3.2 eV according to its crystallinity (anatase or rutile). These values are too high and only the wavelength in the UV region can be absorbed. To increase the performances of this material to split water with solar wavelength, it is necessary to sensitize the TiO2. Currently Quantum Dots sensitization is very promising but more research is needed to find new materials able to absorb the light efficiently.

Saudi-Arabian-funded research has led to the following results:

Here, we present a simple and efficient strategy for III-V-based photoelectrodes that functionally and spatially decouples the light harvesting component of the device from the electrolysis part that eliminates parasitic light absorption, reduces the cost, and enhances the stability without any compromise in efficiency. The monolithically integrated PEC cell was fabricated by an epitaxial lift-off and transfer of inversely grown InGaP/GaAs to a robust Ni-substrate and the resultant photoanode exhibits an STH efficiency of ~9% with stability ~150 h. Moreover, with the ability to access both sides of the device, we constructed a fully-integrated, unassisted-wireless “artificial leaf” system with an STH efficiency of ~6%. The excellent efficiency and stability achieved herein are attributed to the light harvesting/catalysis decoupling scheme, which concurrently improves the optical, electrical, and electrocatalytic characteristics.

[] – An efficient and stable photoelectrochemical system with 9% solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency via InGaP/GaAs double junction
[] – Photoelectrochemistry
[deepresource] – Record Solar Hydrogen Yield with Concentrated Sunlight

[] – Photoelectrochemical Solar Fuel Production
[] – Photochemical Water Splitting
[] – Advances in Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

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