GCC urged to invest in renewable energy
- Qatar: Saturday, February 02 - 2013 at 16:45
- PRESS RELEASE
Gulf oil producers need to pump funds into renewable energy sources and give more attention to conservation measures to ensure sustainable growth and manage their supply-demand balance, according to a key British business publishing group.
"In the coming years, far more attention will need to be placed on demand supply management. To ensure sustainable growth in the long-term, more investment needs to be channeled towards energy-efficiency measures such as clean fuel and renewable energy supplies, improving water efficiency, investing in new water desalination capacity and buying or leasing agricultural land abroad," said Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, International Events Director at PennWell Corporation Middle East.
"In view of the demand-supply gap and abundant availability of sunlight as a resource in the GCC, more emphasis needs to be placed on solar power as a viable energy source to meet emerging needs. In order to cater to peak loads, GCC Governments need to implement new projects to mitigate ageing power infrastructure and support new diversification plans," said Stanford-Kristiansen.
Conservation measures, she added such as energy efficient buildings, district cooling, metering and grid interconnections which are slowly gaining higher priority, will also need to be pursued and enforced much more rigorously.
Stanford-Kristiansen made the remarks to Iris Media ahead of the PowerGEN Middle East and WaterWorld Middle East conference and exhibition, due to be held in Doha, Qatar, during February 4-6.
She said $multi-billion projects are on the cards in the GCC and other Arab countries, including nearly $17bn in Saudi Arabia in 2013. Projects worth about $4.2bn are also planned in the UAE and Kuwait.
She said that rising oil and gas prices combined with increasing domestic power requirements are prompting GCC governments to increase investments in the power and water sector, as well as secure alternative sources of energy.
"For most Arab states, raising the contribution of solar and wind power in the energy mix is only one part of the renewables drive. Increasingly, governments realise the need for nurturing new solar-related manufacturing, which will not only create much-needed employment but also assist in economic diversification," she added.
Stanford-Kristiansen said high oil prices allowed GCC countries to fund costly energy and industrial projects.
"This is particularly evident in the GCC where now, the most pressing issue facing the utility market is obtaining new and competitively priced gas allocations," she said.
She noted that the increase in competition for the feedstock is forcing utilities in the region to consider new technology and alternative energy production, such as coal, nuclear and solar for the first time.
"Financing for future projects needs to come from private financial corporations such as the International Finance Corporation which is part of the World Bank Group, together with a consortium of international development finance institutions led by FMO. Lenders include other banks and Infrastructure Funds," she added.
Highlighting the upcoming event in Doha, she said that Power-Gen Middle East's Keynote Session will be chaired by Hisham Khatib, Honorary Vice Chairman, World Energy Council, Jordan with presentations including an Overview of the Power Industry in the Middle East and SEC Generation Projects Plan 2012-2022 (Growth & Opportunities) followed by Kurdistan Region Iraq Electricity Situation.
She said WaterWorld Middle East will also feature a spotlight session,Country Spotlights, adding that this session will discuss amongst others,Qatar's Inner Doha Re-Sewerage Implementation Strategy, an Overview of Jordan's Water Sector,Spotlights on Wastewater Sector in Iraq and Desalination Developments Across the Middle East.
Sessions worth highlighting include Power-Gen Middle East's panel discussion: Challenges and Opportunities for Power Project Development.
The session features panelists H.E. Dr. Abdullah M. Al-Shehri, Governor, Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA), Saudi Arabia, Mr. Fahad Al-Mohannadi, General Manager, SEC, Saudi Arabia and a senior representative from the Arab Countries and Water Utilities.
Similarly, WaterWorld's Panel Debate,Desalination's Changing Landscape- Thermal to ROwill include presentations by panelists, Clemens Wolters, Frans Knops, Herve Fajour, Nick Oatridge, Rahul Sardeshpande and Rami Abu Amirah.
Other Power-Gen strategic sessions will expand on GCC Interconnection: Promoting Power Trade and Renewable Integration with presentations including Maximising Today's Grid Potential and Tomorrow's Alternatives, Nuclear Power in the Middle East and Integrating Renewable Generation into the MENA Energy Mix. These hot topics will look at a smart road to sustainable energy future and opportunities and challenges of nuclear energy in the Middle East as well as the future role of solar energy in the Middle East and how can CSP and PV enter the markets amongst others.
Sessions that are likely to attract great interest in the WaterWorld Middle East programme includePrivatisation Progress, Water Resource Management, Desalination Operational Challenges and Utility Management.
POWER GEN Middle East & WaterWorld Middle East has a distinguished reputation as being one of the leading platforms for experts, decision makers and industry leaders to come together to discuss important issues and share knowledge about the latest research and technologies as well as lessons learned about influential projects.
But for those professionals operating within these industries which range from regulators through to owners, managers, operators and suppliers, keeping in touch with industry trends and developments is more important now as it has ever been.
What attendees of Power-Gen Middle East and WaterWorld Middle East will be able to find out is, just how these industries are planning to manage the ever growing demand in the region, how they plan to overcome the challenges they face and which technologies are likely to provide the solutions in this changing environment.
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