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Middle East on the verge of smart grid roll out

Wide scale adoption expected within two years, Siemens says.

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Siemens, News

The Middle East is likely to see wide scale roll out of smart grid technology within the next two years, according to a specialist at German industrial giant Siemens.

A number of countries within the GCC, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have been piloting projects to evaluate their specific needs, Sitaram Chodimella, head of smart grid division, Middle East at Siemens, told Utilities Middle East.

“There are plenty of [smart grid] activities across all the utilities in the region. As a first step they want to do the piloting to see that this is the right technology to apply before doing a mass roll out across their larger networks,” he said.

“We foresee that in the next one or two years the pilots will be completed by most of the GCC countries and then we will see large scale deployment of metering and of distinct demand side and distribution management systems,” he added.

“They are doing the right thing by not rushing into it, by evaluating the benefits and then implementing them. They have to decide, based on their existing infrastructure, what is needed out of the technologies that are available today.”

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the way in terms of pilot projects due to the size of their economies but every country in the region is evaluating their smart grid requirements, Chodimella said.

Huge electricity demand growth, regional interconnection of power grids, and the potential for renewable energy, provide major opportunities for companies engaged in the smart grid sector in the Middle East, he added.

(To read more about smart grid opportunities in the Middle East, catch the July edition of Utilities Middle East at the end of the month.)

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