The world?s transition to renewables is gathering pace and the Middle East and North Africa is very much at the vanguard of that shift.
As much as two-thirds of the $US7.7 trillion of INVESTMENT forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance to build new power plants globally by 2030, is earmarked for renewable energy. And of that, MENA will see a $US800 billion share – the majority going to solar and wind. That is over $US50 billion a year for 15 years to support the region?s stated goals of deploying more than 100GW of renewable energy to meet rising power demands and mitigate carbon emissions –not to mention the economic imperative. The opportunity cost of burning domestic oil and gas for POWER GENERATION, rather than deploying renewables, is significant. In fact, a Citigroup report which suggested the world?s largest exporter of oil, Saudi Arabia, could become a net importer of oil by 2030 at current domestic consumption growth, has catalyzed regional development.
In Morocco, Jordan and the UAE progress is underway. In fact, the recently published REN21 report confirmed that the UAE is now home to the third highest capacity of concentrated solar power in the world, behind only China and Spain and ahead of cleanenergy powerhouses such as Germany, the US and Japan.
Having built, commissioned and inaugurated the Masdar-owned Shams 1 in 2013, the innovative 100-megawatt CSP plant catapulted the Emirates close to the top of the CSP table, underscoring the UAE?s intention to CAPITALIZE on the commercial opportunity presented by latest generation technology, abundant sun and the absence of political barriers.
The rise of renewables brings with it many once-in-a-generation commercial possibilities and nowhere is this truer than in the Middle East.