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3 Clean & Green
The availability of commercialised and affordable “clean and green technology” will impact the Power T&D industry in the GCC nations. With thin film photovoltaic, green buildings and advanced energy storage becoming increasingly commercialised and cost effective, we expect widespread adoption by GCC countries to meet energy needs.
The availability of energy storage technologies would allow for the evolution of distributed islands of power, all of which could provide for redundancy (back-up), and peaking solutions, taking pressure off the grid itself.
Also, there has been a constant technological evolution of thin film photovoltaic, which has resulted declining costs – a trend that will only accelerate moving forward. This in turn is expected to lead to an increase in distributed sources of generation, which would call for smart grids that could integrate them into the grid for greater efficiency and reliability.
In the coming years green buildings and, potentially, communities, are expected to evolve significantly over the next decade, and would assist in reducing the load on existing networks.
The broader MENA region is expected to invest significantly in Infrastructure Development, especially in the aftermath of recent political unrest.
An increased focus on infrastructure development would lead to the evolution of power trading at a mega scale, through the interconnection of grids across countries, similar to the GCC Interconnection grid and other African regional grids. This would in turn imply a move towards High-Voltage (HV) technologies, as well as an increased need for synchronisation and billing software.
5 Profit watching
The evolution of the other four Mega Trends will force utilities in the region to adopt New Business Models, another Mega Trend that Frost & Sullivan visualises as evolving in the next decade.
New technologies and services can only be embraced given a change in the existing way of doing business. For example, currently power utilities in the GCC work on a model that allows them to increase profit by increasing consumption.
However, the adoption of new technologies and solutions would eventually lead to a reduction in power consumption, which would negatively impact the earnings of the distribution companies. Some examples of such technologies and solutions are demand response management, Feed-in-tariffs, smart meters and distributed generation.
Preparing for change: your Roadmap to 2017
The power T&D sector can prepare itself for change through the adoption of proven best practices. Some key strategic actions that can be adopted are listed below:
• Benchmarking (by both the Government and Private sector)
• Partnerships (for technology transfer, skills attainment, access to products)
• New product/ technology adoption
• Development of a facilitating services sector (Engineering, Design, Installation and Integration, Maintenance)
• Set up a conducive investment climate, to attract financing and investments into the countries
• Skills development of native workforce
• Enhance the regulatory framework to strike the right balance between quality assurance and technology adoption
• Influence societal change, with an aim to encourage energy efficiency across all levels of consumption
Change is inevitable for the power T&D industry, on account of the emerging mega trends. To ensure a smooth transition, it is critical that the end users and supply chain work together towards a common goal. While the supply chain would have to extend support to the utilities, in the form of R&D activities, alliances and thought leadership, the utilities would need to operationally restructure themselves to align with the emerging Mega Trends.