Monday, 24 September 2012, 06:11 GMT
Electricity without ministry of electricity

Exhibitors of a solar energy technology speak duing the Energy Iraq Trade Fair, September 17, 2012./GLOBE PHOTO/Muhammed Tahir

The Kurdish Globe

Eco friendly technologies showcased in Project Iraq

Some new technologies were showcased in the Project Iraq 2012 trade fair that would put an end to the use of fuel.

These technologies known as environmentally friendly or renewable energy technologies are considered the key to sustainable sources of energy in the future as well as the energy that protects the environment. There is a lot of competition in the development and improvements of these technologies worldwide.

Solar water heaters would be extremely beneficial for Kurdistan Region due to the mostly sunny weather and this could completely replace the use of electricity and fuel for heating water.

Yonas Michael, technical manager of a Greek company, was showcasing his company's solar water heating product at the trade fair and was explaining the features of the products to visitors in every detail.

"If you have only one hour of sun per day, the water would become hot and would remain hot for 72 hours," Michael was explaining to a visitor. "If you don't have sun for a week or so, the heater automatically changes to electricity and heats the water."

Michael's product is created with simple solar technology that constitutes of a large solar panel with a water tank beneath. The panel absorbs the heat of the sun and heats the water in the tank. The tank has some isolation features that keep the water warm inside for a long period.

With traditional technologies, 80% of the energy used in a household is used for heating, and only 30% used for water heating. Hence, this new simple technology would save 30% of energy for a household.

Due to the fact that traditional energy sources are expensive, scarce and also harmful to the environment, countries tend to resort to renewable energy sources. Greece, Turkey, China, USA, Germany and Japan are among the top countries that use renewable energy sources extensively.

Japan is planning to impose a regulation that only buildings that use renewable energy for heating are licensed.

Michael who has heard about the electricity shortage in Kurdistan was surprised that people are not using solar water heaters.

"Many countries do not have electricity shortage problems but still use solar technology to save energy and keep the environment clean, but here solar energy is as important as food, but people don't use it."

According to statistics available at the Kurdistan Regional Government's Ministry of Electricity the region needs 3,151 megawatts of electricity in 2013, but it only has a generation capacity of 2,218 megawatts of electricity. This means that there is some 29% gap.

If households use solar water heaters they can save 30% of power consumption and this would fill the gap between the demand and supply of electricity.

Other ways to save power such as solar panels which transfer solar energy into electricity were showcased in the fair. Utilizing these new methods would give households the opportunity to become completely independent of the electricity ministry

By investing a couple of thousand dollars into buying a solar water heater and solar power generator a household could potentially stop its power meter and have a free yet environmentally friendly energy source.