Robin Mills, Syndication Bureau
The writer is CEO of Qamar Energy and author of “The Myth of the Oil Crisis”. Syndication Bureau.
In 1938, 18-year-old Eric Newby, later a famous travel writer, left home and sailed on the last voyage of the four-masted barque Moshulu, hauling grain from Australia to Britain. It was to be the final year that sailing ships seriously played a part in world cargo transport. Until now, perhaps.
More than a third of all the electricity consumed in the United Arab Emirates goes to one simple, yet essential task – keeping us cool. That soars to as much as 70 percent during summer. In sweltering countries with poor electricity systems, such as Iraq or Lebanon, the lack of air conditioning is a threat not just to comfort, but to survival.
Hollywood is hooked on hydrogen. American actress Jamie Lee Curtis once compared her Honda Clarity to a “rocket ship” and said that she would “sob uncontrollably” if it was taken away.
An airliner over Dubai’s coast, a single-engine helicopter, and a Japan-Abu Dhabi flight: sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has proven capable of powering air travel. But can supply rise and cost fall fast enough to make SAF a major part of the aviation industry’s journey to net-zero emissions?
Where is sunnier than the Middle East and North Africa region? Not many places on Earth — but in space, the sun shines eternally, and unhampered by clouds or dust. So it is understandable that a desert kingdom would team up with a foggy island to harness this energy source.
The story of renewable energy across the Middle East and North Africa is usually told from one viewpoint: the sun that beats down relentlessly on the region’s deserts. Solar is indeed a tremendous source of power and increasingly made to move electrons. But wind also blows across the Middle East’s plains, hills, and seas — and megaprojects are harnessing it.
The average human body contains some 7 octillion electrons (that is 27 zeroes) that weigh, altogether, just 19 grams. These tiny particles should be able to cross borders more easily than the average passport-bearing person, but beyond Europe, international trade in electricity is minimal.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader who died last month at 91, was famous in the West for perestroika and glasnost. But three other Russian words also familiar in English were even more consequential for his reign and the resulting Soviet downfall: gaz, neft (oil), and atom. Gorbachev’s approach to these pillars of the Soviet economy continue to shape Russia’s relations with the world.
European politicians have been scouring their neighborhood to find new gas supplies to replace those threatened by Russia. They have secured some promises in their tour that took them from Azerbaijan via the Gulf to Egypt and Israel. They have visited Algeria too – but Africa’s largest country and biggest gas producer remains a prickly partner.
As the war in Ukraine grinds on, Europe and the US continue to search for tools to do the impossible: cut Russian President Vladimir Putin’s energy earnings without disrupting oil and gas supplies or driving prices through the roof.