Bahrain planning solar energy push - Mandeep Singh Gulf Daily News, Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain planning solar energy push

Apr 30, 2010 - Mandeep Singh Gulf Daily News, Manama, Bahrain

The cost of powering Bahrain will not increase because the country is moving towards renewable sources, it was revealed said yesterday.

It costs roughly BD10 million ($26.5m) to produce a megawatt from wind, solar power or gas, said Oil and Gas Affairs Minister and National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) chairman Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.

The GDN reported on Monday that two hybrid plants were being built to produce renewable energy. They will each cost BD8m to BD10m, but Dr Mirza said the investment was worth it.

"A study has been done in Bahrain over the last year and a Japanese company installed machinery at Bapco to measure wind velocity to see if it is suitable to produce electricity and the results are extremely encouraging," he said.

He said steps were being taken to set up solar and wind energy plants in the next few months. Each will produce 5MW a year, incurring running costs of BD50m, he said on the sidelines of the fourth international workshop on renewable energy at Sheraton Bahrain Hotel.

The two-day workshop is organised by Bahrain University with the support of Noga.

"We have to keep spending on setting up and increasing infrastructure for traditional forms of energy, but investing in renewable energy is the future," he said.

Noga has set up an energy conservation committee to reduce waste and maximise power supply.

"To secure energy supply for sustainable growth and development and to sustain and develop the current living standards, an integrated set of measures need to be taken.

"This is a challenge Bahrain and all other GCC countries will have to face in the coming years."

World Renewable Energy Network director-general Professor Ali Sayigh and College of Engineering dean Prof Nader Al Baskati also addressed the event.