June 23, 2021: ABB’s highly efficient electric motors and variable speed drives can help the Middle East reduce CO2 emissions in critical water supply and cooling applications.
Countries across the Middle East are adopting national action plans and strategic initiatives to support a greener economy – many of these initiatives address the need for increased energy efficiency.
Egypt Vision 2030, Saudi vision 2030, Kuwait Vision 2030, UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 and UAE Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and other initiatives are addressing the impact of climate change in the region and actively seeking energy efficiency improvements. ABB is working closely with stakeholders in these programs to capture the potential savings that will contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.
The Middle East is already classified as the world’s most water-stressed region and the challenge is growing. Climate models predict that the Middle East will be particularly impacted by rising temperatures. This is one of the multiple stress factors that will significantly increase water shortages.
“To reduce water scarcity, the region must adopt water treatment plants that recycle and reuse water and encourage agricultural efficiency. These processes rely on energy intensive pumping. That makes them a prime target for energy efficiency improvements using our water industry-specific high-efficiency motors and variable speed drives,” said Ahmed Radwan, ABB MEA Motion business lead.
A good example of how ABB is helping customers to save energy is the Taweelah project, Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest desalination plants using reverse osmosis technology. The USD 500 million development will have the capacity to process over 900,000 cubic meters of seawater per day, enough to meet the demands of over 350,000 households when it becomes fully operational in 2022. Using ABB drives and premium efficiency motors will help the plant set new benchmarks for its size, efficiency and cost by utilizing the lowest amount of energy per cubic meter of water produced.
ABB is also supporting Egypt’s major project in the Toshka region, where 57 irrigation pumping stations will transform over 2200 square kilometers of desert into agricultural land by 2024. ABB high efficiency motors will provide energy savings of between 30 to 50 percent compared with conventional equipment.
Another challenge is the very significant amount of energy required to run the cooling systems essential to sustain normal life. Currently, space cooling represents 70 percent of the peak residential electricity demand on the hottest days in some countries. By 2050, the regions’ electricity demand for cooling is expected to triple.
ABB is at the forefront of comprehensive energy efficient solutions for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and especially district cooling (DC). These include application-specific drives for residential and commercial buildings as well as Ultra Low Harmonic (ULH) drives, high efficiency motors and medium voltage (MV) motor-drive packages.
“The path to an energy efficient future depends on adopting the latest motor technology, along with the drives that will save even more energy”, said Morten Wierod, President ABB Motion. “Today there are simply too many inefficient motors in operation worldwide. Governments here in the Middle East are taking very positive steps. For example, Saudi Arabia was the first country in the region to mandate IE3 as the minimum efficiency requirement for electric motors in 2017. Now Egypt will also mandate IE3 by April 2022.”
A global initiative that could cut electricity consumption by 10 percent
ABB is not only targeting energy efficiency in the Middle East. It is behind a worldwide movement. Globally, there are around 300 million industrial electric motor-driven systems in operation. Many are inefficient or consume much more power than required, resulting in significant energy wastage. If these systems were replaced with optimized, high-efficiency equipment, global electricity consumption could be reduced by up to 10 percent.