The GCC private sector and international investors will play an important role in meeting the rising demand for electricity across the Arab world, according to the newly-released MENA Power Industry Outlook 2019.
The report, prepared by Ventures Onsite for Middle East Electricity, says a rapidly growing population, urbanisation, rising income levels and industrialisation are driving increased electricity demand throughout the GCC, a region that is expected to require power infrastructure investment totalling $109bn over the next five years.
According to the MENA Power Industry Outlook 2019, the GCC alone will require $55bn billion for an additional 43GW of generating capacity and $34bn for transmission, with much of the funding for development coming from both public and private sector purses. The report stated: “Investments in the GCC’s power sector will continue to remain a priority with the private sector increasingly playing a significant role,” pointing to a range of opportunities for public-private partnerships (PPP) to make inroads in the region’s power sector.
The report further stated: “The GCC region appears best suited for PPP opportunities considering the sustained lowered hydrocarbon prices. While a few countries are more advanced than others in the legislative process, supported by authorised institutions, the others seem to be focusing on exploring this project delivery model.”
The MENA Power Industry Outlook 2019 also reveals that much of the investment will be focused on diversification and conservation of electricity with a renewed emphasis on solar, renewables and smart grids, which continue to gain regionwide momentum.
“The GCC smart grid market, which is gaining prominence, is projected to grow to $1.68bn by 2026 due to the deployment of smart grid infrastructure by GCC governments. Energy storage systems are also becoming attractive in the GCC as it forms a crucial component in the development of smarter grids. The GCC countries’ grid inter-connectivity is expected to generate USD33 billion in investments, economic and energy savings over the next 25 years,” stated the Outlook.
Middle East Electricity organisers, Informa Exhibitions, say the investment thrust is also energising the annual event, which runs from March 5-7, 2019 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The 2019 edition takes the form of five dedicated sectors within a combined mega-show: power generation; transmission and distribution; lighting; solar; and energy storage and management.