AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENER

Introduction


Between 1990 and 2010, the number of people with access to electricity has increased by 1.7 billion, and as the global population continues to rise so will the demand for cheap energy. A global economy reliant on fossil fuels, and the increase of greenhouse gas emissions is creating drastic changes to our climate system. This is impacting every continent.

Efforts to encourage clean energy has resulted in more than 20 percent of global power being generated by renewable sources as of 2011. But still one in five people lack access to electricity, and as the demand continues to rise there needs to be a substantial increase in the production of renewable energy across the world.

The Arab region is well known as hosting the world’s leading reserves of oil and natural gas, but it also has the planet’s highest levels of solar radiation. Many Arab countries have yet to develop renewable energy capacity, making up just 7% of the region’s energy mix. Meanwhile, electricity demand is growing at more than 77% per year, faster than the global average, while many countries now seeking to meet this demand through renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions. This is of particularly benefit for poor in the region, 40% of whom lack access to sustainable energy, and for communities displaced by conflict for whom lack of energy access stands as an important barrier to recovery.

Ensuring universal access to affordable electricity by 2030 means investing in clean energy sources such as solar, wind and thermal. Adopting cost-effective standards for a wider range of technologies could also reduce the global electricity consumption by buildings and industry by 14 percent. This means avoiding roughly 1,300 mid-size power plants. Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean energy in all developing countries is a crucial goal that can both encourage growth and help the environment.

Lebanon has a high potential to move away from oil as a main fuel for energy and rely more on renewable energy from resources such as sun, wind and water. There is room for improvement in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and affordability of energy.

Energy and Environment


The Faculty of Engineering conducts research that has relevance to Energy and Environment with a mission to support planning of environment-friendly energy systems in Lebanon and the Middle East region. For example, some research is concerned with the development of construction/structural materials that have lower carbon footprint (e.g. incorporating waste materials in construction). Other areas of research include new ways to reduce contamination and the treatment of contaminated soil/water. This can have a positive impact on the quality of air, water and soil that would be beneficial to health and wellbeing. Other research areas investigate different techniques to reduce carbon emissions originating from the operation of current wireless communication networks. This would have a direct impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases and thus contribute to the preservation of the environment. A main driver for this approach is the reduction of energy consumption through advanced energy management techniques. This would lead to the decrease in the use of non-renewable energy resources in favor of renewable resources such as solar and wind based.


Several research topics currently being tackled by researchers in the faculty of engineering fall under this theme. Examples of these topics are listed here below:

  • Green wireless communications design,

  • Green PV panels,

  • Innovative construction material with low embodied energy,

  • Reducing CO2 emission due to cement production,

  • Extracting the dust coming from quarries and using it in the production of cement. This will reduce the air pollution and its direct effect on human health (e.g Asthma),

  • Reducing traffic congestion which would reduce the travel time and the associated CO2 emission,

  • Treatment of groundwater and reinjection in the aquifer which would reduce water pollution,

  • Strengthening of existing structures. This will eliminate the demolition of existing structures and the associated dust emission and noise, and

  • Wastewater and ground treatment of Litani basin.


Researchers in the Faculty of Engineering show their interest in these topics by conducting research and reporting the outcomes in prestigious international and national journals, magazines, symposia, conferences and meetings. More than 7 publications were reported during the last two years.


The Faculty has plans concerning this research point precisely because it is of extreme importance to Lebanon. For instance, electricity provision must have regard to minimizing environmental and public health effects, both directly from generation and indirectly from obtaining fuels and dealing with wastes. This issue and many others to be cited below are the faculty’s main concern as reflected in its short and long-term strategies.

Building Energy Modelling and Monitoring Workshop at BAU- Tripoli Branch


The Faculty of Architectural Engineering at Beirut Arab University- Tripoli branch organised a scientific workshop under the title of “Building Energy Modelling and Monitoring”. The workshop was held from the 29th of November until the 1st of December, 2014.

The workshop which was divided into three main activities each day, included 23 participants  from various educational and professional backgrounds, and was oriented  to providing the guidance for the appropriate application of Building Performance Simulation (BPS), promote good practice and to offer reference material to support practicing environmental engineers and architects. It dealt with the basics of using simulation tools with an emphasis on application and case studies. The workshop also emphasizes on the importance of simulation validation, in particular building performance monitoring. The workshop included an experiential half-day intricacies and joys of evaluating environmental performance aspects of buildings. Using cutting-edge microprocessor based data loggers and handheld instruments on site.

50 Engineering Projects on Alternative and Renewable Energy at BAU


The Faculty of Engineering at Beirut Arab University organized its 17th Engineering Day to demonstrate the projects completed by engineering students from various levels and fields of specialization. The Day was entitled “Alternative and Renewable Energy” and exhibited over 50 graduation projects, ranging from designs, models and devices in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Communications, Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Computer, Industrial Engineering and Petroleum Engineering. Around 200 students from the Faculty of its two branches in Debbieh and Tripoli participated, and the opening was attended by Prof. Dr. Amr Galal El Adawi, President of BAU, Mr. Mohamed El Saoudi, Head of Saida Municipality, the deans of faculties, staff-members and a crowd of students.  


After the National Anthem and the BAU Anthem were played, Prof. Dr. Adel El Kordi, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering spoke, stating that the exhibition deals with an important issue, namely renewable energy and green engineering. He explained that renewable energy is the energy derived from natural and renewable resources, which does not run dry. It is thus produced from wind, water and the sun, and can also be produced from the motion of tides and ebbs, as well as agricultural crops.


Prof. Kordi also highlighted that the Faculty of Engineering, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, has been granted a project funded by the EU. It is a green energy project for green companies, and aims at improving the efficiency of the energy used in agriculture in the Mediterranean basin. This can be achieved by introducing the culture of renewable energy, as well as providing technical support for local skills.


Prof. El- Adawi then expressed his happiness at the opening of the exhibition, since it presents a promising opportunity for the students and constant encouragement for outstanding students to be creative. The exhibition also opens up new horizons for the students through their interaction with the society, which acts as an incentive in entrepreneurship.


Prof. El-Adawi added that this exhibition is part of the University’s commitment to its students to stimulate their innovativeness and creativity, for it is the University’s belief that it is a forum for knowledge, culture and entrepreneurship. It, therefore, fully supports these projects so that they can become a bridge towards a better future.

In the end, the University Shield was distributed as a token of appreciation and gratitude to the firms and companies that contributed to the success of the event. After the ribbon was cut, the guests toured the exhibition in accompaniment of the President. 

The Role of Geothermal Energy in Efficient Building Performance

Targeting building energy use is a key to decrease energy consumption by incorporating energy-efficient strategies into the design. Geothermal system helps us to achieve Zero Carbon design. The lecture revealed a link between geothermal system , human comfort, indoor environmental quality, and aesthetics.


Geothermal energy is an underused resource that emits no greenhouse gas emissions, highly reliable, and  is produced locally. 

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY IN ARAB COUNTRIES

The AFED 2013 Annual Report titled SUSTAINABLE ENERGY IN ARAB COUNTRIES highlights the need for a more efficient management of the energy sector.

The conference was held in 28th and 29th of October at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. There were 500 delegates from different countries. Of those delegates are public officials including minister/MP/director general level, corporate executives, 50 CEOs, international and regional organizations, 25 heads of agencies and funds, civil society, and academia. 70 media representatives (international, regional and national) have been accredited.

Concerning the future environment leaders’ forum, Arab youth speak out on the right of future generations to equitable access to energy. Arab youth attended the conference came from different universities including BAU (Beirut Arab University), AUB (American University of Beirut), AUS (American University of Sharjah) hosting, AUD (American University of Dubai), USJ (University of Saint Joseph), University of Petra, USEK, LAU (Lebanese American University), etc... Each university was assigned a topic from the AFED report. After discussing each statement prepared by universities, a general statement was prepared by the students and read in the plenary closing session by Rita Naoum (Master’s Degree) from LAU.

Concerning the statement assigned to Beirut Arab University, the topic assigned was about “Energy Efficiency”, and it was prepared by the three delegates from the department of mechanical engineering whose names are listed below:

Layal Abdallah (graduation year)

Fadel El-Naamani (graduation year)

Khalil Darwish (graduation year)

Solar Energy System Workshop

Promoters were having hands-on experience in working with solar energy system.