Palestinian renewable energy expert explores merits of sustainable energy in public lecture

Marwan Mokhtar, director and co-founder of Shamsuna for Renewable Energy Solutions, gave a lecture on renewable energy uses and application in Palestine, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, for architectural engineering majors at Birzeit University. 

Mokhtar discussed the importance of conserving energy and utilizing sustainable energy resources, especially in industrial and residential applications as well as transportation, given that most energy produced is directed toward these three areas. 

In order to achieve true sustainability in energy, Mokhtar said, not only should we look for more sustainable sources of energy, but we should also conserve our energy consumption, noting that around 60 percent of the energy produced is classified as wasted energy - energy that cannot be harnessed. 

Mokhtar then gave a brief overview of the available renewable energy sources, such as wind power, hydropower, solar energy, and geothermal energy, and examined their advantages and disadvantages. 

Renewable energy, he said, has low operational costs, and the resource itself is free; however, the capital costs required to establish renewable energy plants are greater than those associated with fossil fuel, and renewable energy itself is intermittent, which requires advances in energy storage technologies.  

Mokhtar also noted that the energy density associated with renewable energy resources is lower than that associated with fossil fuel - meaning that a fossil-fuel plant would generate more energy using less space - which would in turn require greater spaces for renewable energy plants. 

Finally, Mokhtar summarized that while renewable energy resources require more advanced energy-storage technologies and require more space, they are sustainable and better for the environment.