DAMMAM, May 16th, 2018 (WAM) — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has done impressive work to stay on track with the renewable energy targets and with phases 3 and 4 of the Dubai Solar Park to begin commissioning by the end of 2020, and is placed at the forefront of renewable energy development in the region, according to a research published by the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) on the regional renewable energy sector.
”Other Emirates have also set up projects in an effort to boost renewable energy targets like the Shams CSP in Abu Dhabi,” said the report titled ‘MENA Renewables Maintaining Momentum’.
The report forecasts that the MENA region power capacity requirements are expected to increase at an annual rate of 6.4 percent until 2022.
To support their renewable sectors, the main energy-importing countries have introduced several supporting mechanisms including competitive bidding, the introduction of feed in tariffs (FiTs), tax exemptions, and power-purchase agreements (PPA). On the other hand, energy-exporting countries – excluding the UAE – have done little to incorporate renewables, as they continue to rely on cheap-to-extract conventional resources to meet rising electricity demand.
APICORP’s report also finds that the renewable energy drive in the region is led by the UAE, Morocco, and Jordan, as each of these countries have put measures in place to ensure the diversification of their energy sources are on track, with the help of European and international development organisations.
Saudi Arabia has also kick started an ambitious renewable energy plan with the newly formed Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources taking charge of the country’s promising renewable energy programme. With proper infrastructures put in place, it demonstrates the government’s commitment to achieving the renewable energy targets, and in turn attracting foreign investors.
APICORP also predicts a more positive outlook for Egypt as the country steps up to increase the solar and wind power production. Egypt’s main challenge is their low foreign reserves and an uncertain outlook for the pound. Although the research predicts that the outlook will improve especially as disputes no longer have to be settled in Egyptian courts.
Taking a broader look at the region, the falling cost of competitiveness will support the success of renewable energy plans; however, several other MENA countries are still struggling to make progress. Large oil and gas reserves and cheap extraction costs mean that hydrocarbons continue to meet rising demand in countries like Kuwait, Qatar and Algeria, and policy uncertainty and lack of an efficient and supportive regulatory framework are also contributing to slow progress. (WAM)