The Middle East is a host to some of the highest per capita energy intensive countries globally. Fueled by infrastructure development, industrialisation and population increase, the Middle East is expected to significantly increase its installed power generation capacity from 234 Giga-watts (GW) in 2010 to 345 GW in 2020. However, Middle East Liquids (crude oil and other liquids) production is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.5 per cent while Middle East Gas production is likely to grow at a CAGR of 3.2 per cent – leading to a situation where energy needs are clearly rising faster than what can be catered to through conventional sources.
This mismatch in demand-supply ratio for power is likely to boost adoption of alternate sources of energy in the Middle East with an estimated increase in contribution of renewable energy to the total energy mix to the extent of 9.5 per cent by 2030. This growth, however, is more likely to be skewed towards solar energy as wind energy has lower potential in the region. Considering the prominence of the GCC countries in the Middle East region (together, they account for over 50 per cent of the total Middle East GDP), and on the basis of their announced plans and targets for renewables, these countries are expected to exert a strong influence on the development of the renewable energy industry in the region.
The proposed adoption of 25 GW of renewable energy in the GCC itself is expected to create a large potential for developing and utilising local content for meeting future demands. According to Frost & Sullivan analysis, the current implementation of solar power would result in a market potential of more than USD 50 Billion for local services and products like Mirrors, Modules, Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC), and Electrical Balance of Plant (BOP). EPC services hold the highest localisation potential (USD 25 Billion), considering their higher dependence on manpower, which is mostly localised. Localisation potential of EPC services is followed by Mirrors and components as a result of relatively cheaper access to land, power, and manpower. The advantages of localisation are creation of employment, development of intellectual capital within the region, and development of core and allied industries of solar power systems.
One of the factors which is likely to contribute to the success of localisation in the value chain is adequate availability of funds such as public funds or fiscal incentives, which ensure policy driven support. An example could be the Renewable Portfolio Standard which ensures component availability and promotes export trade. However, the adoption of renewable energy in the region is currently facing hindrances like decline in prices of Oil and Gas, insufficient commitment on the part of governments, insufficient local research and development on increasing energy efficiency, and intermittency and costly storage solutions.
While many challenges exist that could delay or reduce the adoption of renewable energy in the Middle East, however, Frost & Sullivan believes none of these are insurmountable and can be mitigated through focussed planning and implementation. Success will largely depend on how governments in the region set up infrastructure to promote the adoption of renewables. Additionally, Government support in setting up policy frameworks to support localisation would be critical for development and fostering a localised value chain. Further, private sector participation in the form of technology transfer and partnerships would also play an important role in promoting localisation.
Lastly, Frost & Sullivan recommends that with the promise of job creation and human capital development, localisation of the renewable value chain is a critical evolution for the GCC and should be of utmost priority for the region.
Tuesday, December 3- 2013 @ 9:51 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.