Kuwait Chamber of Co-mmerce & Industry (KCCI) and Japan Coo-peration Center for the Middle East (JCCME) jointly held a seminar on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvement.

Adel Al Yousifi, Board Member of KCCI, in his welcome address underlined the importance of the seminar in the light of the world’s search for alternate energy solutions.

The seminar is the result of decisions taken at a meeting of Japan Kuwait Business Committee last month, in which topics such as renewable energy and environmental and medical services were dwelled on.

Yousifi said bilateral ties between the two countries have been growing strong with trade doubling to $13.4 billion in the last 15 years. “Japan is Kuwait’s third largest importer after the US and China.”

In his opening address, Seiji Hirota, Executive Director of JCCME, said the business delegation from Japan is here in Kuwait to seek out a win-win relationship with Kuwaiti partners.

The seminar was attended by 12 Japanese companies and one Japanese business association. Japanese entrepreneurs, Hirota said, have been receiving many business delegations from the Middle East to identify specific problems faced in the field of power generation, waste water recycling and so on and provide the best solutions.


JCCME held roundtable talks with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) prior to the seminar. Based on the insights gained from the meeting, Hirota said that Kuwait is going to face an acute increase in power and water demand in the near future, “which in turn will lead to heavy consumption of fossil fuels.”

The question is how to minimize energy consumption, the director added. “This seminar aims to provide some answers to that question.”

The quantity and stability of solar radiation in the Middle East, according to Hirota, have huge potentials for generation of solar power.

The seminar mainly focused on Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology.

Ryohei Okada of Japanese Business Alliance for Smart Energy Worldwide (JASE) gave a quick introduction to his organization, after citing some statistics on Japan’s energy savings.

Despite Japan’s tremendous growth in GDP between 1976 and 2006, there has not been a commensurate increase in energy consumption.

Okada attributed his country’s energy efficiency to organizations like the Energy Conservation Center, which has undertaken many pioneering projects in energy conservation.

JASE is a more recently established organization, and has 45 members companies, who have cumulatively created 221 energy-saving technologies in the fields of electricity, oil refinery, construction and transport and iron and steel.

CSP uses mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area. Electrical power is produced when the concentrated light is converted to heat, which drives a heat engine, usually a steam turbine, connected to an electrical power generator.

Increasingly, the developed countries are turning to CSP technology to meet their power needs. CSP is being widely commercialized and the CSP market has seen about 740 MW of generating capacity added between 2007 and the end of 2010. More than half of this, about 478 MW, was installed during 2010, bringing the global total to 1,095 MW.

Kazuaki Ezawa, who spoke on Japan-made CSP, explained the four types of CSP technologies: Tower, Fresnel, Trough and Dish.

A solar power tower consists of an array of dual-axis tracking reflectors called heliostats that concentrate sunlight on a central receiver atop a tower. The receiver contains a fluid deposit, which can consist of sea water. The working fluid in the receiver is heated to 500-1,000°C and then used as a heat source for a power generation or energy storage system.

The Trough consists of reflectors that concentrate light onto a receiver positioned along the reflector’s focal line. The receiver is a tube positioned directly above the middle of the parabolic mirror and filled with a working fluid. The reflector follows the sun during the daylight hours by tracking along a single axis. Trough systems are the most developed CSP technology.

Enclosed trough systems are used to produce process heat. The design encapsulates the solar thermal system within a greenhouse-like glasshouse. The glasshouse creates a protected environment to withstand the elements that can negatively impact reliability and efficiency of the solar thermal system.

Lightweight curved solar-reflecting mirrors are suspended from the ceiling of the glasshouse by wires.

A single-axis tracking system positions the mirrors to retrieve the optimal amount of sunlight. The mirrors concentrate the sunlight and focus it on a network of stationary steel pipes, also suspended from the glasshouse structure.

Water is carried throughout the length of the pipe, which is boiled to generate steam when intense sun radiation is applied. Sheltering the mirrors from the wind allows them to achieve higher temperature rates and prevents dust from building up on the mirrors.

Fresnel reflectors are made of many thin, flat mirror strips to concentrate sunlight onto tubes through which working fluid is pumped. Flat mirrors allow more reflective surface in the same amount of space as a parabolic reflector, thus capturing more of the available sunlight, and they are much cheaper than parabolic reflectors.

The Dish engine system consists of a stand-alone parabolic reflector that concentrates light onto a receiver positioned at the reflector’s focal point. The reflector tracks the sun along two axes. The working fluid in the receiver is heated to 250-700 °C and then used by a Stirling engine to generate power.