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GCC has potential for 25GW of green energy by 2020

Report says doubling of power demand will require broader energy mix

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The GCC region is turning to renewable energy to meet an expected doubling of power demand by 2020. (GETTY IMAGES)
The GCC region is turning to renewable energy to meet an expected doubling of power demand by 2020. (GETTY IMAGES)

A new report by Frost & Sullivan has said that the GCC countries are facing a doubling of power demand by 2020, up to a massive 215 GW. With such exceptional growth, the authors have argued that conventional fuel sources are not expected to meet increased demand, necessitating a reconsideration of the fuel mix to make renewable energy ‘a significant contributor’. As such, existing plans for renewables means that there is the potential for 25GW of renewable energy in the six GCC states by 2020.

“Utilising oil and gas alone, or diesel, has been an option to manage peak loads; however, it is not a long-term solution to meet energy demands. While nuclear energy is an option that can be considered, it is not feasible in the current decade. An exception, however, is the UAE, which has currently been implementing nuclear energy resources successfully. The demand-supply gap and abundant availability of sunlight as a resource in the GCC has led to solar power being considered as a viable energy source to meet emerging needs. In order to cater to peak loads, the GCC Governments have proposed new projects to mitigate ageing power infrastructure and support new diversification plans,” said Abhay Bhargava, head of energy & power systems practice at Frost & Sullivan.

The report says that the global energy mix is set to change dramatically, with high growth expected for a number of various renewable energy technologies. Frost & Sullivan says that in the period 2010-2020, it forecasts wind energy to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16-20%, whilst solar PV will grow at 25%.

The firm says that, despite the move towards renewables in the GCC, a ‘customised and focused approach can create an environment that can further nurture its growth’. The report authors says that specific research into region-specific solutions are currently lacking, and the use of subsidised hydrocarbons is ‘the largest issue that needs to be addressed’.
 

 

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