The World Bank considers launching a program to deploy concentrating solar heat in industry
27th September 2018
World Bank energy expert Jonathan Sinton speaks to Tariq al-Daaja – (Al Ghad)
By Tariq al-Daaja
The World Bank is considering launching a program to support the use of Concentrated Solar Heat (CSH) technology to provide heat and steam to Jordanian industries, according to Jonathan Sinton, energy expert at the World Bank.
During the first workshop on concentrating solar heat in Amman (18-19 September, 2018), Sinton told Al Ghad [a Jordanian publication] that “the Bank is gauging the level of interest in CSH by Jordanian companies, as well as the government’s willingness to support the adoption of this technology”.
The workshop was organized by the World Bank in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and the Amman Chamber of Industry.
The technical principle behind this technology is simple, mirrors reflect solar radiation on tubes filled with water to generate steam that is used in industrial processes. CSH technology has been around for several years and costs are declining, explained Sinton. The objective of the workshop is to encourage manufacturing industries to consider adopting CSH as a means to mitigate the impact of high costs of energy, most of which is imported, and lower production costs.
The workshop also aims to foster the exchange of technical expertise between CSH technology companies and concerned parties from Jordan and several Arab countries.
Several CSH projects are already operating in many countries, including Jordan, where there are two projects that rely on solar energy to generate steam. Based on meetings carried out during the event and visits to two factories which are already employing CSH, Sinton considers that the World Bank sees a sizeable opportunity in the deployment of CSH.
Financing is one of the main challenges facing CSH projects because commercial banks remain largely unaware of this technology. The World Bank is considering the best model to provide support to the industrial sector in the use of concentrating solar energy to heat water and generate steam. “In order for the World Bank to take steps in this area, a request must be submitted by the Jordanian government on behalf of the private sector”, stated Sinton. There are various support mechanisms that the World Bank could deploy in support of CSH, including financing and technical assistance. Determining the exact shape that support could take requires discussion with the Jordanian government in the framework of existing commitments to tackle climate change and environmental degradation.
Any support must ensure continuity and be economically viable, stressed Jonathan Sinton, adding that the World Bank is interested in maintaining the continuity of the business sector in Jordan by reducing its costs. Sinton pointed out that there is already joint work between the Bank and the Ministry of Energy, especially in power generation and energy infrastructure, including upgrading the grid so it can accommodate a higher share of variable renewable energy produced by wind and solar photovoltaic technology. The expert urged the government to establish funds to support the use of CSH in industry.
According to Eng. Fadl Al-Labadi, Director of Industrial Development at the Amman Chamber of Industry, his organization sees the workshop as an opportunity to encourage industrial players to consider how solar energy could help them become more competitive by countering the impact of high energy costs in Jordan.
Eng. Al-Labadi explained that the Chamber has previously organized meetings between the World Bank and government agencies to discuss cooperation mechanisms to support national industries in the adoption of CSH technologies by providing both financial and technical assistance.
[This article has been translated and adapted from the Arabic language original published in Al Ghad on Thursday the 20th of September. Link to original article: http://www.alghad.com/articles/2455092]