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A recent report by Northeast Group has projected that the Middle East and North African region could see savings of between US $300 million and $1 billion per year with the adoption of smart grids. The study suggests that smart grids grant the region an opportunity to incorporate renewable energy sources, cope with rising demand and reduce energy losses on the network.
“MENA countries are aggressively pursuing renewable sources of energy, highlighted by Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that it is aiming to spend $109 billion to develop 41 GW of solar capacity over the next 20 years. Smart grid technologies will be instrumental in helping these countries incorporate intermittent renewable resources,” the Group said.
The report predicts the smart metering market to rise to 16.1 million units by 2022, with cumulative capital expenditure of $3.9 billion. The Gulf, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will see the majority of near-term activity, with 86% of homes having smart meters installed by 2022.
“Smart grid regulatory frameworks are in the early stages of development but progress is being made. Governments are realising they must incentivise energy conservation and are beginning to invest in the technologies necessary to make their grids smarter. Smart city concepts such as Masdar City in the UAE and the Pearl-Qatar in Qatar show that smart grid technologies will be a feature of Gulf infrastructure investments over the next decade, the report adds.
Northeast Group highlight that the UAE currently leads the smart meter market in the region, with both Abu Dhabi already in the process of undertaking smart grid strategies. Masdar City is also praised as a “pioneer” for smart and other environmentally sustainable technology.