Project of Australian Renewable Energy Export to Indonesia


The following project of Australian renewable energy export to Indonesia has not taken anyone by surprise. On the contrary, it has been anticipated by many as a new element in the international trade of resources. Although geographically far from the MENA region, it is nonetheless an indication of a trend that could prevail between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean basin. Could the oil rich Gulf countries develop similar alternatives to their fossil fuels relationship with not only the world but perhaps focus more on their northern neighbours in Eastern Europe, etc. ? Or could it perhaps be the other way around ?

In any case, here is an article written by Karen Graham in the Digital Journal’s Technology of December 2hd, 2017.

Australian project will export renewable energy to Indonesia

A coalition of renewable energy leaders has proposed plans to build a 6 GW wind and solar hybrid power plant in Western Australia to export its electricity production to its northern neighbor Indonesia via subsea electrical cables.The project is called the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) and is a team effort between renewable energy project developers CWP Energy Asia, InterContinental Energy, and wind energy manufacturer Vestas.

“Wind and solar energy, working together, have enormous potential to supply reliable and competitively-priced renewable energy across regions,” said Alexander Hewitt, Managing Director of CWP Energy Asia. The project will supply energy, helping Indonesia meet its energy needs, as well as have economic benefits, Hewitt added.

Map of cable from Australia to Indonesia.


The project will cover 7,000 square kilometers (2,703 square miles) in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia, the country’s western-most state, Construction is expected to start in 2023, with full operation scheduled to begin by 2029. Electricity will be generated from 4MW of wind capacity and 2MW of solar capacity.

The key to the success of the project involves the advances that have been made in subsea cable technology. The submarine cables will also be able to carry optical fibers for data transmission or temperature measurement, in addition to the high-voltage electrical current.


The project covers 7,000 square kilometres of land in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is on the traditional lands of the Nyangumarta people, who have been active participants in the project.

And while the plant will be located in Australia, the wind and solar generating equipment will be manufactured in Indonesia, creating opportunities for high-skilled job growth and the development of a local supply chain. And Australia will also see many jobs created with this project, not only during construction but in the maintenance and operation phase.

Danish wind giant, Vestas will be supplying the wind turbines for the project, and the company says the project is large enough to justify constructing new manufacturing facilities in Indonesia. Andrew Hilton of Vestas told PV magazine, “Over the next two years the Asian Renewable Energy Hub project plans on identifying the best solar partner who can work with us in delivering the needed solar equipment for the project through establishing a manufacturing facility in Indonesia.”

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Knowledge and Technology Transfer


Sound Foundation for Development

Algeria was ranked 108th out of 127 in June 2017 in the Global Innovation Index, a global ranking of countries according to their abilities and results of economic innovation as published annually by Cornell University, the INSEAD and the UN’s World Intellectual Organization Property (WIPO). The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4FIR) is on us; this will be based on the generalised Knowledge and Technology Transfer throughout all endeavours. We should therefore not forget that the world is not waiting for Algeria to get on the band wagon.  This country is not isolated and its assessment from either the above GII 2017 as from official data shows the limits of the administratively bureaucratic approach that lead to that ranking.

This brief analysis is a synthesis, of Volume VI of the multidisciplinary audit, submitted to the Government in January 03, 2013 (1).

Technology Transfer

According to the WIPO, technology transfer is the process of designating the formal transfer to industry of discoveries resulting from University research and the commercialization of these discoveries in the form of new products and services.

As far as academic research is concerned, technology transfer is an operation that is to transfer a specific piece of knowledge from research, formalized or not in the form of patent(s) or deposited property rights, to another center of research, public or private, with the intended purpose to pursue for industrial development or to turn research into industrial innovation, by assigning any discoveries to an industrial enterprise.

If we limit ourselves to industry, technology transfer is the sale by contract of all rights of use of a technique, a process, a product (commodity) that it owns, as well as the know-how for its industrial production.

The technology owner remains the owner and the buyer is contractually limited to a market (for example geographical limits, customer type, volumes) and constraints of broadcast (the purchaser cannot transfer technology).

As one should not confuse technology transfer with an assignment of license, the transfer of technology including the disclosure of know-how adapted to the context of the purchaser whether in public or private law.

What are the different forms of technology transfer?

We can classify this in different forms also often complementary. First, the dissemination of knowledge, sometimes named dissemination and transfer of knowledge, which is a discipline practiced by research centres for the purpose of information of public bodies et enterprises.

This broadcast is practiced in conventions, through publications constituting one of the information sources of technological intelligence that monitors the evolution of knowledge, know-how and the feasibility of inventions in a certain field and its development environments.

Strictly speaking, technology watch is not a transfer of technology but facilitates the transfer. Then there is the technological slurping, i.e. digging up sleepy projects in research laboratories and universities that did not find industrial opportunities and promote them for purposes of enterprise creation.

Another method of transfer often used in industry to facilitate knowledge management is the recruitment of executives and specialists in a given technology. It is one of the activities of head-hunters, recruitment firms or sometimes this leads to industrial espionage if the beneficiaries of the information know how to exploit them.

There is no real training phase, unless the data transmission includes didactic elements. Also included as transfer facility in a first phase is reverse engineering as applied in technical education, the counterfeiting or piracy (often prohibited under the terms of the WTO)

Finally there is the partial transfer of technology through the granting of a  license to the purchaser production but excluding certain technologies (protection of know-how). Good management requires knowledge and skills.

Knowledge fundamentals to technology transfer

Facing up to the pressure of competition with innovation, development of tailor-made products and increasingly complex technologies geared for the production of more and more personalized services, the required work of employees has no immediacy. Increasingly, directions of companies request of employees to lay down knowledge of their own work thus the importance of continuous training.

This production of knowledge is based on commitment and involvement that make initiative, intuition, judgment (famous Japanese Toolbox source of innovation) play a central role but also on the abilities of the individuals and the wider “social knowledge” that is strategic for every company that wants to continue to succeed.

Knowledge management relies on the levers of success such as knowledge embedded in products and services; knowledge and skills within a company (human capital); knowledge contained in the process (internal structure); corporate memory; transactional memory and finally knowledge as intangible property (intellectual capital).

This openness reflects the necessary break with the forms of governance that are centralized, disciplinary and mutilating as inherited from the Ford era.  Capital also goes social in different techno-organisational devices influencing the rapport of individuals at work.

Surveys clearly show that this extension of social knowledge is accompanied by new forms of segmentation (qualified / not qualified; mobile / immobile; young / old; man / woman) and a sharing of activities and services that become more and more merchants (outsourcing computing to India electronics to Japan, South Korea, etc.)

This sociocultural approach that reflects the complexity of our societies with technology transfer being the apparent appearance owes much to the important work in terms of the approach to the economic anthropology of the Indian economist Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen whereby according to him, there cannot be any sustainable development without the introduction of the competitive market economy and of a real democracy that only allows both tolerance and confrontation of ideas and growth of renewable energy taking into account the cultural anthropologies of societies.

There is generally a dialectical link between technology transfer and culture

National culture being not static, but evolving as strongly characterised by the opening of a society onto environmental values, myths, rites and signs shared by the majority of the social body is an essential constituent of the culture of enterprise and technology transfer.

The successful experiences of Japan, emerging countries such as China and India show that we can assimilate technology without renouncing one’s culture. Moreover, the transfer is favoured where there is a better understanding of convergent and divergent values between two groups whereas trying to impose one’s own values could lead to a relationship of domination that in turn limits the transfer.

Corporate culture is also a by-product of a national culture and thus a set of values, myths, rites, taboos, and signs shared by the majority of employees and an essential element to explain the strategic choices by strengthening common values: example, regulations behaviour codes, job descriptions, as well as by the rewards and sanctions system so that employees are mobilised for the purpose of identification with their company and take over its history.

All this facilitates the transfer of technology that should not be limited to its technical, but to all managerial, organizational and commercial etc. aspects.  The index of human development or HDI developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian Economist, Nobel Prize in economics Amartya Sen reflects the importance of the development of human capital including education and health.

Change of legal framework blocking investment and technology transfer

It is useful to recall that from the political independence to the present day, the Algerian economy has experienced different forms of organization of public enterprises.

Prior to 1965, self-management was preferred; from 1965 to 1980, we had large national companies and from 1980 to 1988, we witnessed a first restructuring carving up the large national corporations. As a result of the crisis of 1986 that saw the oil price collapse, timid reforms have begun in 1988: the State creating 8 Fund that were responsible for managing the various State portfolios.

As a result of cessation of payments in 1994 (with the consequent rescheduling), in 1996, the State created 11 holdings in addition to the 5 regional ones with a national Council of privatization; in 2000, we are witnessing their merger in 5 mega holdings and the removal of the national Council of privatization; in 2001, a further reorganization created 28 companies of participative management (GSP) in addition to large companies considered as strategic and in 2004, these GSPs are grouped into 11 and 4 regional ones.

At the various Governments Councils held throughout year 2007, a new organization is proposed by the Department of the Promotion of Investment, (both large companies oil SONATRACH and SONELGAZ, governed by specific laws being not concerned), articulated around four major segments: from the economic development corporations that fall under the exclusive State Management; companies of promotion and development by promoting partnership with the private sector, national and international; called State companies to be eventually privatized ; and finally, a company responsible for the liquidation of structurally loss-making enterprises.

In February 2008, this organisation proposal that did not have unanimity within the various spheres of authorities is abandoned. A commission was instead created to define the typical organization of the public economic sector between 2011/2016 with differing industry groups.

Not forgetting this ambiguous 49 / 51% of company share ownership that was introduced in 2009 to all enterprises including banks in 2010, regardless of strategic and non-strategic sectors drove away foreign capital, Algeria supporting all additional costs.

These periodically recurring changes of organization discouraged managers in the public economic sector, as well as the local and foreign investors clearly showed the dominance of the administrative and bureaucratic approach at the expense of the economic operational approach resulting in a waste of financial resources, a strengthening of the rentier dynamics and blocking of any transfer of technology.

Because of the essential blocking of local and foreign investment being a bureaucratic machine that feeds on the lack of visibility and coherence in the overall reform this situation would require an approach with a comprehensive reform whereas lack of political consensus and neutralization of the balance of power has never addressed a clear way of the future role of the State in the face of both internal and international changes.

Indeed, the future stakes are essentially economic and as in all countries in transition the Algerian society is naturally facing two trends, with in the a majority “the swamp” in the middle not understanding the issues that are anticipated between 2017 and 2030 in essentially economic, between adverse actors and stakeholders favouring reforms where the importance of records eminently political as that of hydrocarbons, the production place of the rent, of the financial system, place of distribution of the rent, and that of the partnership-privatisation, coupled with that of a socio-educational system, rather than the production of added-value that skills will create new social forces either backward if we are moving towards a new private monopoly or carriers of progress if we set a total transparency for a truly competitive market economy.

Hence the rentier tendency to managing the reforms according to a vision bureaucratic as of administrative injunctions based on administrative relays – the office, necessary in any society, but in contrast to developed countries analyzed by Max Weber, a factor blocking that attends the blocking of useful investment for more than 60%.

What conclusion for the action of the Government?

Reconciling economic efficiency and a deep social justice in the context of an open economy, control of the time being the main challenge for Governments in the 21st century would at the end of the day constitute the real challenge of Algeria between 2017, 2020 and 2030.

It is clear that at the time when big businesses and SMIs/SMEs are organized into networks corresponding to a historic phase where the enterprise tends to focus on its core business by outsourcing a good number of secondary activities, and the manufacturing industry experiencing a crisis rarely matched globally, it is necessary to avoid theoretical experiments with huge costs for the country which can only lead to an impasse for lack of strategic vision.

It is the result of the new configuration of the international labour division, product of the evolution of the development of capitalism, an unfinished globalization historical process with the new technological ecological challenge.  Knowledge within the stability of the political environment, economic and social determinants according to international reports, would be a decisive factor in the development of Nations in the 21st century with good governance.

Any operational analysis would have to connect the process of technology transfer to both the new changes at the global level, in front of a profound change in geopolitical, socio-economic, managerial and technological at horizon 2017/2020/2030 as a future policy of the Government tossed between two social forces: the rentier logic supported by proponents of import, the unfortunately dominant informal sphere and the entrepreneurial logic.

In fact technology transfer should not be limited to the technical aspects only but to the organization of society in general on a par with both internal and global changes.  The passage of the status of ‘support against the pension’ to the rule of law “based on work and intelligence” is a major political gamble since it simply involves a new social contract and a new political contract between the Nation and the State.

(1) Three audits under the direction of Dr Abderrahmane Mebtoul for the Government including the observation and operational resolutions were conducted comprising:
Study carried out and assisted by officials from the Department of Energy, senior executives of SONATRACH and Ernst Young titled “For a policy of fuels including a policy of subsidies targeted in a competitive market.”

Storage of Electricity Technologies leaping forward

According to the IEA, all renewable energy industries in 2015 have overtaken the coal ones to become the largest source of global electricity production before adding that this would continue the same way within the foreseeable future and possibly beyond. Production of energy however in this instance electricity is one thing and storing it for any ulterior use is another. This article on the latest on the subject, written by Rosamond Hutt, Formative Content and published by the World Economic Forum on April 11th, 2017 is precisely about how battery based storage of electricity technologies leaping forward seems to have recently found that the use of certain material as combined in a certain way was the best way to encourage and nurture the idea of clean production and usage of energy in the not so far future.

This battery could revolutionize renewable energy – and it fits in your basement

The global race for clean energy is on.                      Image: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The race is on to build the next-generation battery that could help the world switch over to clean energy. But as Bill Gates explained in his blog last year: “storing energy turns out to be surprisingly hard and expensive”.

Now Harvard researchers have developed a cheap, non-toxic battery that lasts more than 10 years, which they say could be a game changer for renewable energy storage.

Image: REUTERS/Mike Blake

The researchers from the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences published a paper in the journal ACS Energy Letters saying that they have developed a breakthrough technology.

Their new type of battery stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This makes the battery non-toxic and cheaper. It’s suitable for home storage and lasts for more than a decade.

“This is a long-lasting battery you could put in your basement,” Roy Gordon, a lead researcher and the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science, said in a Harvard news article.

“If it spilled on the floor, it wouldn’t eat the concrete and since the medium is non-corrosive, you can use cheaper materials to build the components of the batteries, like the tanks and pumps.”

The energy storage problem

There’s a big problem with renewable energy sources: intermittency. In other words, how to keep the lights on when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Image: International Energy Agency

In recent years, universities and the tech sector have been working on better batteries that they hope could help solve the energy storage problem.

Despite significant improvements though, batteries are riddled with issues such as high cost, toxicity and short lifespan.

Solar power customers usually have two options to store power: lithium-ion batteries such as the ones found in electronics, which are still very expensive; or lead-acid batteries. These cost half as much, but need a lot of maintenance and contain toxic materials.

Image: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

An emerging and promising technology is the “v-flow” battery, which uses vanadium in large external tanks of corrosive acids. The bigger the tanks, the more energy they store. But there’s a catch: vanadium is an expensive metal and like all other battery technologies, v-flow batteries lose capacity after a few years.

The quest for the next-generation battery

The US Department of Energy has set a goal of building a battery that can store energy for less than $100 per kilowatt-hour, which would make stored wind and solar energy competitive with energy produced from traditional power plants.

The Harvard researchers say their breakthrough puts them within sight of this goal.

“If you can get anywhere near this cost target then you change the world,” said Michael Aziz, lead researcher and professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at Harvard.

“It becomes cost effective to put batteries in so many places. This research puts us one step closer to reaching that target.”


The WEF recommends reading: These next-generation batteries could end energy poverty


How Technology Is Improving Your Health

Danielle Roberts, a friend recommended to link her website work on how Technology Is Improving Your Health to this MENA-Forum site. We decided after review of the positive healthwellness to publish some excerpts of an article with compliments to its authors. It is all about how technology is affecting healthcare generally and wellness in particular.  State of the Art technology is no doubt changing our life for the better in the developed countries but appears however to encounter some difficulty in penetrating and committing to the good welfare of the MENA countries peoples. The reasons would be multiple and varied from one corner to the other of the region.
We propose these excerpts of this article below in the hope to spread its words further out in the MENA region and beyond.

8 Ways Technology Is Improving Your Health

We hear all the time about how technology is bad for us. Since the introduction of computers, we spend more time sitting at a desk than moving around at work. We have created this sedentary lifestyle that is causing havoc in our overall life.

What if I were to tell you that technology has produced benefits? Would you believe me if I said that technology is good for your health?

Most of you wouldn’t look at first. Well, you may be able to think of a couple of ways that the computer has helped, but you are still stuck on all the negatives that ‘experts’ have shared in the past. The problem with the ‘experts’ is that they are only focused on the negatives. They haven’t looked at so many of the benefits.

So, that’s what we’ll do today. We’ll consider all the ways that technology improves our health. We’ll discuss just how it has boosted results in certain areas of healthcare and what it does for us daily.

Technology Is Everywhere in Medicine

Before we do move onto all the benefits, it’s worth discussing just how technology is used. It is found everywhere in medicine. Think about the x-ray machines, MRI scanners, and even the research equipment used daily. [ . . . ]

It Pushes Us to Do More Activity

Sure, technology has led to us sitting more. And sitting is the new smoking when it comes to health problems. However, technology has also helped to push us to do more activity.

We just must take the examples of the Fitbit, pedometers, and apps that track our steps. They all encourage us to meet our daily targets—setting personal targets to get us to walk more and meet the goals that we know are realistic to us. While there is the goal to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, that just doesn’t seem realistic for many. The pedometers and smartphone apps give us more control. [ . . . ]

Better Ability for Communication Between Doctors and Patients

With technology being widely available, there are chances that everyone has some sort of access to doctor and health websites. These sites can create chat boxes and instant messengers, where real doctors and nurses can monitor communications. When a patient comes on with a question, the doctors and nurses can provide factual answers and share their thoughts and advice. [ . . . ]

More Ability to Do Research into Problems

Medical students and professor using laptop at the university

The internet has certainly opened the ability to research. We all tend to turn to Google, calling it Dr. Google at times. The search engine allows you to input your symptoms or ask questions about a certain symptom to find out all the ailments that involve them/it. People can look through a list of other symptoms to determine the chances of suffering from certain ailments. [ . . . ]

There Are Devices That Keep the Body Working as It Should

Man after heart surgery in a hospital ward

Some devices are created purposely to help promote a healthy body. They are placed inside or outside to help keep the body working as it should. There are also other types of treatments that cause reactions in the body to support organs and the overall health.

The pacemaker is just one that will come to mind for everyone. This is a device created for those who have heart problems. The pacemaker helps to send electrical currents into the heart to prevent it from suffering from spasms. This little device is a lifesaver for so many people. It keeps the heart pumping as it should, which will support the rest of the body. [ . . . ]

Better Treatment Options for Various Ailments and Diseases

equipment and medical devices in modern operating room

It’s no secret that treatments have advanced in recent years to the point where some ailments are virtually unheard of. Vaccinations and various medical advances have completely eradicated the likes of smallpox and led to the point where polio is now less common and far more treatable.

Some of the advances have only come in the last few years, and are all due to technology. We’re able to do more research and test without the use of animals and humans. There are ways to create vaccinations and treatments without putting people at risk, increasing the chance of a better quality of life. Just look at how HIV treatments have changed since the disease was noted in the early 1980s. It is now at a point where the virus doesn’t have the chance to develop into AIDS. [ . . . ]

Improved Prediction of Diagnosis and Life Expectancy

Ever wondered if you could get a disease later in life? Maybe you wonder if a current symptom is a sign that you could develop a condition. You could even wonder just how long you have left to live when you are diagnosed with a condition.

Technology has helped to improve the prediction process of a diagnosis. Doctors will have information all in one place and can see all the symptoms at the same time. They have formulas to work out averages of when a condition occurs.

You get this type of risk assessment, and doctors will be able to predict if you are more likely to suffer from a certaintype of disease or ailment. [ . . . ]

Faster and More Accurate Diagnosis of Conditions

While the prediction side of diagnosis is improved, technology also improves the accuracy of a diagnosis. Like before, doctors gather all the information in one place and will be able to keep an eye on results more closely. They can also put together symptoms and signs sooner than before, meaning an earlier diagnosis for many people. [ . . . ]

Technology Improves Recording of Information in Real Time

Many of the benefits mentioned above rely on an accurate and timely recording of information. There is no denying that recording of symptoms between doctors has led to issues of conditions not being diagnosed and the right treatment not being administered.

Before computers, doctors would write all the information on charts. They would document it through paperwork, and that paperwork would need to be sent to various doctors. If you changed family doctor, there was a chance of the information going missing. If you went to see a different doctor in between visits, such as at the hospital or a locum, you ran the risk of the information not being sent to your regular doctor. [ . . . ]

There Are Two Sides to Technology


Technology has helped to improve the health. It will continue to do this as there are more advancements made.

There is no denying that technology can be bad. We are at a point where we sit more because we don’t have the need to go outside anymore. Socializing is possible online, and recreation is often spent watching TV shows and movies. ‘Experts’ tend to focus on all these negatives of technology, without really focusing on the ways that technology is helping us. [ . . . ]



Algeria’s 15 Best Places to Visit


THE CRAZY TOURIST in a coverage of Algeria’s 15 Best Places to Visit put it this way: the largest country in the continent of Africa, Algeria has a diverse landscape and lots to offer travellers . . .

Algeria has many charming cities with winding streets and stunning architecture, Mediterranean coast, lush landscapes and roman ruins to rival anywhere in the world.  The problem is therefore how to do it; travelling by road and / or by train.  The image above is that of Constantine, ancient and present day capital of the eastern provinces, it sits on a canyon that dramatically cut through the center to the amazement of trains, cars and pedestrians alike.

Taking the transport by train, The Algerian National Railway ‘SNTF’ in this article of Infrastructure DZ  elaborated on the country’s plans to multiply its railway network threefold within the next 15 years, to reach 10,000 kms (from 3,200 kms currently) of railways. Most of the 47 billion-dollar package set aside for transport will be allocated to railway development.

Meanwhile, Railway Gazette produced this other article republished below.

‘Modernisation, movement and beauty’ of Algeria’s future inter-city trainsets

27 Feb 2017


ALGERIA: National railway SNTF and Alstom have revealed the final design for the 17 Coradia Polyvalent electro-diesel multiple-units which are under construction in France for use on inter-city services between Alger, Oran, Annaba, Constantine and Béchar from January 2018.

The SNTF units will be similar to the Coradia Polyvalent units operated by France’s SNCF under the Régiolis brand, but adapted for local conditions including protection against sand and ‘highly efficient’ air-conditioning.

The six-car units will be 110 m long with a capacity of 254 passengers. They will have a maximum speed of 160 km/h, and be capable of operating from 25 kV 50 Hz electrification or by the six 350 kW diesel engines per unit.

The styling was developed by Alstom’s Design & Styling department in collaboration with SNTF and aims to evoke the ‘modernisation, movement and beauty’ of Algeria’s landscapes, according to Henri Bussery, General Manager of Alstom Algeria. The exterior will feature a ‘subtly reflective’ coating to reflect the cities, countryside, coasts and mountains that the trainsets will pass. The air-conditioned interior is ‘spacious and bright’, with comfortable seating and a dining area.

SNTF placed the €200m order for 17 units in July 2015. They are being manufactured at Alstom’s Reichshoffen site, with the bogies supplied from Le Creusot, motors from Ornans, traction systems from Tarbes and on-board electronics and passenger information systems from Villeurbanne.

‘The project is underway and is progressing extremely well at full speed’, said SNTF Managing Director Yacine Benjaballah on February 27. ‘This train will become a national asset, satisfying the needs of our passengers who will be proud to use it.’

We would also invite all to visualise this Youtube footage for a greater appreciation of the diverse variety of landscapes of the country.