A new report published by Siemens predicts that the share of renewables in the Middle East energy mix will triple over the next 17 years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that natural gas will remain the dominant power source in the region.
Siemens, a German conglomerate and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, predicts that by 2035, the Middle East power requirements will translate into 483 GW of power generation demand, an uptick of 277 GW from 2016 demand, and representative of an increase of more than triple from 5.6 percent (16.7 GW) in 2016 to 20.6 percent (100 GW) in 2035. (Siemens also operates a LEED Platinum headquarters in Masdar City.)
Solar power is forecast as accounting for approximately 61 GW of supply by 2035. The report highlights significant potential for wind power generation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but noted that this potential is not entirely reflected in the moderate capacity additions expected.
Mirroring the observations of industry experts, Siemens also noted that this means that reliable energy storage solutions and a stable and efficient grid is crucial. Dietmar Siersdorfer, Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Middle East and UAE told journalists at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that the need to make grids smarter was “the most underestimated thing” in the global energy industry.
According to Siersdorfer, battery storage was sure to figure highly, and that hydrogen storage was a “holistic” solution. “You can build an eco-system for hydrogen”, he told Gulf Business, “This is because of its ability to act as a fuel for vehicles and also be utilized for other industries like petrochemicals.”
Although there will be a great rise of renewables in the Middle East, the report predicts that natural gas will still remain as the region’s primary power source, representing 60 percent of installed capacity through to 2035.
“A reliable, efficient, flexible and affordable power supply is the backbone of economic and social development in the Middle East,” said Siersdorfer. “While the energy mix will see significant diversification over the next 20 years, natural gas will remain the prime energy source for power generation in 2035.”
Baby steps towards a clean, green future.