The need for renewable energies – such as solar and wind – has grown exponentially in recent years, as fossil fuels quickly run out. The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Sustainable Energy Unit (SEU) estimates in its 2017 National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) that the reserves of oil and natural gas have projected lifetimes of 11 and 15 years, respectively. This, in turn, means that energy costs will inevitably increase, with the latest price projections for natural gas (the largest energy source in the country) predicting an increase of more than 60% by 2020.
In response to the global energy crisis, the SEU has put together the NREAP to plan the future of energy production in the country, implementing targets for renewable energy share of total energy production of 5% by 2025 and 10% by 2035. Alongside its neighbours, Bahrain looks far behind the pace in renewable energy production. In 2014, the country’s renewable energy installed capacity was only 5 megawatts (MW), compared with figures like 785 MW in Morocco, 645 MW in Egypt and 133 MW in the United Arab Emirates.
The SEU’s targets include renewable energy installed capacity of 255 MW by 2025, which is made up of 200 MW from solar power, 50 MW from wind power and 5 MW from biogas (gas made from the breakdown of organic matter such as sewage and food waste). By 2035, the SEU is targeting an installed capacity of 710 MW, with wind power increasing its share to contribute 300 MW. With some of the highest solar radiation levels in the world, and good wind speeds too, Bahrain should have no problem contributing to the renewable future.
Al Manaratain’s Contribution To Solar Energy
Renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing areas of modern construction, both for individuals and businesses. While many people still see the installation of solar panels on their roofs as a high-cost barrier, public perception of renewable energy is steadily improving as people realise the importance of reducing and eventually eliminating our reliance on fossil fuels. As such, solar panel manufacturers and sellers in Bahrain are starting to see success.
Here at Al Manaratain, we have embraced the move towards renewable energy in a number of important ways. Firstly, we are installing solar panels on the roofs of all our factories in the country. This means that a great deal of our power will come from a renewable source, and also that we can save approximately 44% in energy over the course of a year.
Secondly, we are training many of our staff members on the operation and maintenance of solar panels. Operations training involves learning how to monitor solar power generation, record any variations and completing basic cleaning and maintenance of the panels. As part of the maintenance training programme, staff will learn how to install solar power systems, including the panels themselves and all the necessary wiring. Trainees will also learn how to monitor the systems, troubleshoot and fix any problems that may arise.
Finally, Al Manaratain is in the process of acquiring its electrical installation license from the Electricity Distribution Directorate (EDD) of the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA), and some staff members are already licensed solar panel installers. We are also actively seeking to become an approved solar power installation partner of the Sustainable Energy Unit (SEU).