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Mena region transitions toward a clean energy outlook

A new report released by business intelligence service Meed – ‘Renewable Energy in the Mena Region 2017’ – estimates that all tabled and existing development projects require an estimated $200 billion investment.

According to the study, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) has around 67GW of clean energy projects at various stages of the design and study stage, and this is expected to increase further in the next five years as programmes are being implemented to meet the growing demand for power.

“Meed estimates that this will require investment upwards of $200 billion, in addition to the expansion and upgrading of existing networks to facilitate the extra capacity,” Khaleej Times reported.

Mena region slow to adopt clean energy

Despite having significant hydrocarbon reserves, the region has been slow to adopt renewable energy, Khaleej Times noted.

“In 2013, the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi commissioned the region’s first utility scale solar plant, 100MW Shams 1 concentrated solar power (CSP) plant.

“Since then, the dramatic fall in the cost of photovoltaic (PV) solar has resulted in regional utilities launching some of the world’s largest solar projects, which have been supported by the submission of record low tariffs,” Khaleej Times explained.


The study examines 12 countries, which had a total installed generation capacity of 271,761MW in 2015, with just over 7% of this coming from renewables.

The bulk of this power was generated through hydropower with only Morocco in North Africa and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in UAE having commissioned solar projects with capacities greater than 100MW, Khaleej Times reported.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank each approved finance of $25 million for the construction of the Midelt Phase I CSP Project in Morocco.

The project is said to generate solar power through an innovative hybrid concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) solution. Read more…

In the first quarter of this year, Egypt secured a future 400MW of solar power through a 25-year power purchase agreement with several partners.

The agreement was signed in April 2017 with the Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi and the Ambassador of Norway Mr. Sten Arne Rosnes and independent power producer (IPP) Scatec Solar.

The deal is for the delivery of electricity from six solar plants totalling 400MW (DC).

The Mena region study highlights that despite a historical lack of clean energy projects, almost all of the 12 countries analysed in the report have some form of renewable energy targets, Khaleej Times added.


Featured image: 123rf

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.