GCC power projects worth $320bn in the pipeline

A report by Ventures Onsite states that the GCC countries require an additional generating capacity of 69GW between 2016 and 2020

This image is for representation purposes only.
This image is for representation purposes only.

The power sector is expected to continue to be active for the near future. As per industry sources, the GCC countries require an additional generating capacity of 69GW between 2016 and 2020.

This can be translated into $137bn in investments. What is required for the next 10 years is 100GW.

Population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation, and higher income levels are all attributed to the demand growth.

According to a report by Ventures Onsite, a project tracking portal, there is a pipeline of more than $320bn worth of power projects in the GCC in various stages out of which more than $100bn are projects with renewable and alternative sources.

In recent years, interest in renewable energy in the GCC has been on the rise.

Availability of resources, improved technology, decreased costs, among others, are factors which make investing in renewable energy easier than before.

Approximately 85-90% of future renewable energy projects will be utilising solar energy. The GCC certainly has an abundance of sunshine and space for developing large solar plants.

UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are the biggest solar markets in the GCC. Other renewable sources used for projects in the region include wind, geothermal and biomass, the report stated.

Alternative sources like nuclear, coal-fired, and hydrogen based power plants are also being developed or planned in the region, the report said.

Government initiatives to encourage diversifying the energy mix include setting up credible and time-bound energy targets backed by dedicated policies and sound regulatory frameworks.

One of the initiatives is the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. As per timelines set, 7% of Dubai’s energy will come from clean energy sources by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050.

Some of the programmes already initiated to achieve these ambitious targets include the Shams Dubai which is aiming to have solar panels on every rooftop by 2030, usage of smart grid, smart meters, etc.

In a similar manner, each of the GCC countries has set definite timelines with targeted capacity for incorporating renewable energy into their energy mix, the report goes on to say.

GCC countries are investing in the research and development for renewable energy with Masdar (UAE), Qatar Foundation, Sultan Qaboos University (Oman), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KSA) taking the lead. 

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