Monday, November 2nd, 2009
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may still be considered as one of the most conservative from a religious standpoint. But with the opening of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, otherwise known as KAUST, a new era in academic learning, combined with new innovations in ecological architecture and design, has begun in which both men and women students will benefit jointly.
The new campus opened its doors in September, in the Red Sea city of Thuwal, 80 km north of Jeddah. It is considered to be the most environmentally innovative campus of its kind in the Kingdom. Constructed in a manner to utilize the maximum benefit of sea breezes for cooling, the buildings themselves have been constructed in order to screen out a good deal of the heat that is generated by the hot Arabian sun; making the internal environment more sustainable for the students.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
It sits in the middle of a harsh, barren desert, sweltering in searing heat. It has no clean water, its sea is polluted and there is no topsoil, just a covering of sand. It is also the biggest per capita consumer of fuel, massively reliant on cars, power-hungry desalination and air-conditioning. And with all this, can the United Arab Emirate state of Abu Dhabi really succeed in building a new “green city” in the Middle East?
If you can believe visionary people like architect Gerard Evenden (his words above), from the British architectural firm Foster & Partners, yes it can. Billions of dollars are riding on the assumption
Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
The IEC forum meets in Israel to standardize electric car charging stations so electric car owners can fuel up and road trip around the world.
So you bought a new electric car and think you can go on a road trip with it from the UK to Spain, then over to France, Eastern Europe and Turkey? Well, think again because it won’t be even as easy a trying to drive a right-hand drive car from the UK in Europe or America.
In fact, it could be downright difficult as not only the electric current may be different, the “codes” for recharging a car battery and the charging infrastructures may vary from country to country – even those who all claim to have a “standardized” 220 Volt 50 cycle electric current network.
Monday, October 19th, 2009
Ormat Technologies, Inc., announced today that its Israeli subsidiary, Ormat Systems Ltd., has signed a Joint Venture Agreement (“JVA”) with Sunday Energy Ltd. (“Sunday”), an Israeli solar integration company, to construct and operate solar-photovoltaic (“PV”) energy systems in Israel with a total capacity of 36 megawatts (MW).
Under the JVA, Sunday will contribute the rights to all of its property and roofs required to develop solar energy systems above 1 MW to special purpose entities (“SPEs”). Ormat will own 70% of each SPE and will also have control of it. Under the terms of the agreement, Ormat and Sunday will act, jointly, as the engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) contractor and the operator of each project in accordance with each company share in the SPEs .
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has partnered with the University of Johannesburg and the University of California, Los Angeles to conduct scientific research into the fields of water purification and microalgal biotechnology, according to a press release last month.
“This is an international partnership that will benefit the peoples of South Africa, Israel and other countries around the world,” said BGU’s Vice President for External Affairs Prof. Amos Drory on occasion of the signing. Drory and Prof. Derek van der Merwe, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Johannesburg, signed the research collaboration agreement in South Africa.
“The two universities will become involved in extremely important, evolutionary research that will mainly benefit third world countries throughout the world,” said Dr. Bertram Lubner, Vice-Chairman of BGU’s Board of Governors and president of the SA Associates of Ben-Gurion University (SAABGU).
Prof. Sammy Boussiba and Prof. Yoram Oren from Ben Gurion University’s Blaustein Institute for Desert Research will head up the projects in Israel working together with Prof. Bhekie Mamba, leading the South African research teams. They will be assisted by Prof. Eric Hoek, an expert in the fields of water purification and microalgal biotechnology at UCLA. (more…)
Monday, October 12th, 2009
A recent Jewish Telegraphic Agency article by Dina Kraft on clean technology takes a good look at a number of projects by Israeli clean tech industries and Israel’s military branches in the realm of renewable and alternative energy.
“Beating swords into green plowshares in Israel,” the article talks about solar energy energy companies such as Bright Source Energy, which is involved in building solar energy plants in California’s Mojave Desert and other locations; and Rotem, which utilizes technologies developed in Israel’s aeronautical defense industry.
Monday, October 5th, 2009
A “plucky little” country is how the late Princess Diana once described Israel to Shimon Peres. About the size of New Jersey, Israel has a disproportionate number of clean tech companies and investment in clean technology compared to its size.
And now U.S. businessman and investor David Anthony from 21Ventures (at left) is about to reveal his trade secrets and insider information about clean tech investing in Israel.
If you are itching to become a clean tech entrepreneur in Israel, this is must-read information. If you’d like to know more about what makes the industry tick, read on.
Unlike Silicon Valley and the high-tech industry, the clean tech market today has no center of excellence, Anthony tells Green Prophet. In the last 50 years of venture capital investing there has been a saying, “Never fly over your company,” meaning one shouldn’t invest in a company that isn’t within a 60 mile radius of the office.
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Abu Dhabi is going far beyond its borders to build a zero carbon footprint city in Masdar. Clean technology leaders from across the global are helping to build Masdar City, which is being designed to use only renewable power and convert its waste to energy.
The innovative city of 40,000 will have no cars and recycle all of its waste, and is scheduled for completion in 2016.
An Australian firm, LAVA architects, recently won the bid to design the city center of Masdar with a European-style plaza.
America’s General Electric has a prominent role in Masdar, partnering with the Mubadala Development Company on financing programs and clean energy research. GE is also establishing an “ecoimagination” research center in Masdar.
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
Iraqi officials have endorsed a plan to convert dates into biofuel, an innovative project they hope will boost a once-thriving agriculture economy burdened by years of drought, government sanctions and war.
A United Arab Emirates-based company will produce bioethanol from the dates that farmers can no longer use because they are rotting, said Faroun Ahmed Hussein, head of Iraq’s date palm board.
The nation produces about 350,000 tons of dates annually, but consumes only about 150,000 tons.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Israeli solar energy companies such as Solel Solar, Aora, Ormat technologies, and a host of others are now world leaders in the development of sun power to produce electricity. But Israel, a small country of 7 million, with more than half its land area being desert, has been a solar energy pioneer virtually since its beginning in 1948.
What is now fondly known to many Israelis as a “dude shemesh” or sun boiler, was invented by a guy named Levi Yissar back in the early 1950’s, when electricity was very expensive due to a severe energy shortage.